Colossians 1:23a

If Ye Continue…

 

Introduction:

1. Consider the flow of the sentence thought:
» You were enemies (vs. 21)
» Yet now He hath reconciled you (vs. 21b)
» To present you holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight
» IF ye continue in the faith…

2. Those troublesome if clauses…

a. Does Paul mean that the Colossians (and us) will not be saved unless they persevere to the end?

b. Does Paul mean that there can be no assurance of salvation in this life… not until we finish our course?

c. Does Paul mean that if they do not continue in the faith grounded and settled that they lose their salvation?

d. Does this “if clause” lay down a condition for salvation? How does that differ from works?

e. If so, HOW closely must they continue in the faith? How grounded and settled must they be? 100%? What if it slips below 100%? Will 60% grounded and settle suffice? Is there a cut off point?

f. What if their faith grows weak? What if they backslide? What if they get mixed up in doctrinal error?

g. Does this mean that we can never really KNOW if we are saved until we have continued to the very end?

3. The if clauses open up a whole Pandora’s Box of potential problems to consider.

a. Misreading these clauses has caused the faith of some to falter… it has discouraged others… it has confused many… it has caused much division in the Body of Christ…

b. Regardless of how difficult they may appear, nevertheless, there they are… right in God’s Word.

c. They are inspired Scripture. They are not to be dismissed, but interpreted properly… and to be BELIEVED.

d. Rest assured… God’s Word properly understood does not cause confusion… nor does it discourage the sincere believer.

e. Rather, God’s Word properly understood ENCOURAGES, challenges, and motivates us.

Those Addressed: Ye


1. The question to be addressed first is “to whom was this written?” Who is the “ye” of vs. 23?

a. Many assume that these words were written to warn the unbelievers in the congregation… and to prick their consciences…

b. But rather than ASSUME, it is always better to READ the text.

2. Follow this “ye” backwards:

a. The same people who will be presented holy, unblameable, and unreproveable… (vs. 22)

b. The same people who WERE (but are no more) enemies of God… (vs. 21)

c. The same people who ARE reconciled – “hath” (vs. 21).

d. The same people who have redemption (vs. 14).
• Here the pronoun switches from “ye” (the Colossians) to “we” (the Colossians plus Paul).

e. The same people who have forgiveness of sins (vs. 14).

f. The same people who have been delivered from the power of darkness and have been translated into the kingdom of His dear Son (vs. 13).

g. The same people who have been made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (vs. 12).

h. The same people for whom Paul prayed to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will; walk worthy; being fruitful; strengthened with all might; etc… (vs. 9-11).

i. The same people who have love in the Spirit (vs. 8).

j. The same people in whom the gospel continued to produce fruit since the day they heard the gospel (vs. 6).

k. The same people who have a hope laid up for them in heaven (vs.5).

l. The same people about whose faith in Christ Paul heard (vs. 4).

m. The same people referred to as saints and faithful brethren (vs.2).

3. Then try following the “ye” forward!

a. 2:5 – Paul was beholding their order and the steadfastness of their faith in Christ.

b. 2:6 – they had received Christ Jesus the Lord.

c. 2:10 – they are complete in Christ.

d. 2:11 – they had been circumcised spiritually.

e. 2:12 they were dead and buried with Christ and rose with Him.

f. 2:13 – they were quickened and forgiven.

g. 3:3 – they were dead and hidden with Christ in God.

h. 3:4 – Christ is their life.

i. 3:9-10 – they had already put off the old and had put on the new man.

j. 3:15 – they were called into one Body… Christ!

4. However you slice it, one fact cannot be ignored: the YE in 1:23 refers to BELIEVERS…

a. They are already redeemed; forgiven; saints; reconciled; delivered; risen with Christ; quickened; complete in Him; they have a hope laid up for them in heaven; they are partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light…

b. This fact is undeniable.

c. The people addressed in this epistle are saved to the uttermost… complete in Christ.

d. Paul is NOT addressing a mixed multitude. Where would you ever get that idea from reading the epistle thus far?

5. This fact rules out one popular interpretation of the IF clauses, namely, that Paul is addressing a mixed multitude.

a. Ex: Harry Ironside: (whom I usually love!) said of the if clause in Col. 1:23: “Paul did not pretend to know who of the Colossians were really born of God. While he had confidence that most of them were, he wanted to stir up the consciences of any who were becoming slack…”

b. I would contend that Paul had no such thought in his mind.

c. He was not addressing those whose salvation was in doubt.

d. Rather, he was addressing believers… those he KNEW to be redeemed, reconciled, forgiven, and delivered!

6. Ironside: I Cor. 15:1-4 – “The “if” was inserted to trouble the consciences of any who, having professed to believe the gospel, were in danger of forgetting the message because they had never really received the truth into their hearts.”

a. God’s Word may have that effect on unbelievers, but it is hardly fair to the text to say that Paul was in doubt of the position of those to whom he wrote. He was not.

7. In Col. 1:23, some have concluded that Paul is speaking to believers up through vs. 22, and then warns any unbelievers in the audience in vs. 23.

a. The problem with that view is that it is an ASSUMPTION based upon language that the interpreter is uncomfortable with…

b. He assumes that the “IF” implies doubt, and that doesn’t fit into his theology… so he then assumes again that Paul is now speaking to another group: the unbelievers in the crowd… and warning them.

8. This is the argument that many folks use in teaching through the book of Hebrews.

a. They say that the author addresses a mixed multitude, and every other verse seems to be speaking to a different audience… and it is up to the interpreter to guess which group is being addressed in each verse.

b. And that “guess” is usually based upon the language… (if it sounds too harsh, it must be a word to the unbelievers—(it is impossible for those who fall away to be renewed unto repentance…)

c. It is a convoluted and subjective way of dealing with God’s Word.

9. A much simpler method of interpretation is to just let the Scriptures speak for themselves.

a. Who IS Paul addressing in Colossians?

b. Well, what does the passage actually SAY about those being addressed?

c. Does he refer to them as a mixed multitude? As a body of believers and unbelievers?

10. The argument is often given: “Well, in any congregation, there are bound to be both believers and unbelievers and the speaker needs to address each in a sermon.”

a. True, BUT — a speaker with any wisdom at all will make it crystal clear to whom he is speaking… especially when he shifts from telling believers how to live… and the unbeliever how to be saved.

b. Also, this is a LETTER, not a church service where unbelievers may enter.

c. He tells us exactly TO WHOM the letter is addressed! It is a letter clearly labeled by the author as being addressed to the SAINTS which are at Colosse… not the unbelievers in Colosse.

d. If I write a letter to you, and address it as such in the opening greeting, you don’t have to wonder who I am talking to on each page… in each sentence. It is addressed to YOU!

e. When the author spells out clearly who he is addressing, that should be the end of the argument.

11. Once that is settled in our minds, we should dismiss the interpretation that views vs. 23 as a warning to the unbelievers.

a. It is not. It is addressed to Christians…

b. It is not so much a WARNING about a Christian losing his salvation.

c. It is rather a word of assurance about the walk of a true believer… he continues or abides in the faith.

d. Paul is not trying to instill doubt into the minds of his readers. He is trying to instill confidence… faith in God… assurance in what God has promised… and he does a fine job at that… once the passage is understood properly.

If Ye Continue…


1. Now, since Paul is addressing believers, what does the IF mean? What does it imply?

a. Doesn’t an IF imply doubt? Uncertainty of one’s final destiny?

b. If a believer does not continue, does that mean that he is no longer reconciled and reverts back to being an enemy of God?

c. We will see here that “if ye continue” is not a condition for becoming saved or maintaining one’s salvation; rather, it is a PROOF of one’s salvation.

d. And what a profound difference between a condition (which makes salvation iffy and doubtful) and a proof (which brings assurance and strengthens faith).

2. IF: (A.T. Robertson) Condition of the first class (determined as fulfilled)

a. Second class condition: an unfulfilled condition
• Heb. 8:4 – “If He were on earth (which He isn’t) He should not be a priest…”
• John 11:21 – Lord, if thou hadst been here, (and you weren’t!) my brother had not died.
• John 4:10 – Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
• This kind of construction speaks of a condition which is NOT fulfilled… it assumes the condition to be untrue and the speaker knows it.
• This is NOT the conditional clause used in Col. 1:23.

b. First class condition: a fulfilled condition…
• This condition assumes the condition to be true.
• John 13:15 – If ye know these things, (and you do because I just told you!) happy are ye if ye do them.
• I Thess. 3:8 – For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. (Paul was not doubting whether they were standing fast or not. He knew they were! (vs.7)
• I John 4:11 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” (John was not doubting whether God loved them or not! He KNEW that God did love them… he assumed this condition to be TRUE!)
• Rom. 8:31 – If God be for us, (and He most definitely is!) who can be against us? He assumes the condition to be true… SINCE God is for us… who can be against us?
• Col. 3:1 -?If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above… There is no doubt whatsoever as to the position of these saints.
• The first class if clause assumes the condition to be TRUE!
• Hence, in Col. 1:23, Paul ASSUMES that the Colossians WILL continue in the faith, grounded and settled. He does not doubt this for one moment.
• While in English the “if clause” sounds kind of IFY… it did not have that meaning to the author… namely, Paul, and the Holy Spirit who directed his use of words, phrases, and clauses!

3. Paraphrase of vs. 21-23: “You were enemies of God, but are now reconciled, in order that one day you will be presented before God as holy, unblameable, and unreproveable. We can say all this SINCE we know that you will continue in the faith, grounded and settled.

a. HOW does he know this? Because God began this good work in them and He will perform until the day of Jesus Christ!

b. Since might be too strong of a translation… though many use that word for this kind of clause.

c. But IF all by itself is also too strong too. It is misleading.

d. Perhaps it is better to say, “If ye continue in the faith as I know you will…”

e. Wuest: “assuming indeed that you are adhering to the Faith, having been placed upon a foundation with the present result that you are on that foundation, firmly established, and that you are not being shifted away from your hope held out by the good news which you heard…”

4. Here’s where we’ve come so far…

a. Paul is talking not to a mixed multitude, but to true believers… saints… redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!

b. Paul states that these former enemies of God have been reconciled in order that they might be presented before God as holy, unblameable, and unreproveable.

c. Thirdly, since Paul knows they are saved, he rightly assumes that they will CONTINUE in the faith, grounded and settled… because that is what true believers do!

5. Paul is NOT saying that we are SAVED by means of continuing in the faith… or that we RETAIN our salvation by means of continuing in the faith…

a. Either way, that would mean that my getting into heaven was ultimately contingent upon my efforts!

b. Oh no! Salvation is of the Lord. It is HIS doing from start to finish.

c. But, by continuing in the faith, we simply give EVIDENCE of having been saved already.

d. Assurance of salvation is an encouragement to continue! We are encouraged and reminded that we WILL make it to the end.

6. True believers CONTINUE…

a. Paul uses three tools here to teach this truth.
• The meaning of the word continue = to stay at or with, to tarry, to continue, remain; to abide.
• This term is the word for “abide” with a prefix that intensifies it.
» The “Linguistic Key to the New Testament” explains the prefix this way: “the preposition in compound adds to the force of the linear action of the present tense: “to continue and then some”
• Present tense… adds a further sense of continuing…

b. Paul’s point: true believers WILL continue… there is no question, no doubt, nothing ify about it!
• Believers continue… and while we might stumble on occasion, in the end, believers get up and continue…
• Prov. 24:16 – For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again.
c. Believers are overcomers. Period. We may be overcome by this trial or that skirmish, but we ARE overcomers. God said so.

The Faith


1. The next question to consider is, “What does Paul mean by faith?”

a. Is he speaking of faith objectively (The Christian faith… the body of Christian doctrine… the thing believed).

b. Or is he speaking of faith subjectively (one’s personal faith/trust in the Lord).

2. There are good reasons to believe that Paul meant faith in the objective sense: the body of Christian doctrine… the truths that we believe… and hold dear…

a. First, the definite article appears… which points to a particular faith… THE faith… (Although that alone does not settle the issue… the article could appear when faith is used subjectively, but it is most naturally used in the objective sense.)

b. Secondly, the context: Paul is addressing the issue of the false teachers that have infiltrated Colossae with their apostasy: an early form of Gnosticism, shades of Jewish legalism, and asceticism.

i. Paul is combating that error with the TRUTH of the gospel… our true Christian faith…
• The word of the truth of the gospel (1:5)
• The gospel that brings forth fruit (1:6)
• He presents Christ as the very image of God (1:15)
• He presents Christ as Creator (1:16)
• He presents Christ as the One in whom all fullness dwells (1:19)
• He presents the all sufficiency of the cross (1:22)
• In a subtle way, Paul has been weaving his attacks against the error of the false teachers throughout this epistle.

c. Thirdly, the meaning of the faith seems to be amplified in the immediate context as “the gospel which ye have heard…”
• Hence, Paul seems to connect THE faith with the gospel message… making it objective truth that he is describing, rather than the subjective faith of the individual.
• “The faith” refers to that which the Colossians believed…
• While “the faith” can be used in a broad sense in some contexts (Jude 3), it appears to be used in a narrower sense in other contexts… such as Col. 1:23.

d. The faith… the gospel truth… that which the Colossians’ believed was under attack by the false teachers… their body of Christian doctrine… the truth… the faith was under attack…
• Paul rightly assumes that they will continue in THE FAITH… and will not be swerved away from the truth.
• Paul rightly assumes that the attack of the enemy will NOT separate the believer from the truth.
• Paul assumes that true believers will ultimately recognize light when they see it… and will continue in it.
• A blind man may not recognize light, though it be all around him. But a man whose eyes the Lord has opened surely recognizes light when he sees it.
• True disciples continue in God’s Word… in God’s truth… they continue in THE faith (John 13:31).
• Sheep RECOGNIZE the voice of their Shepherd and they follow Him… (John 10:3-4,8, 27).
• John 18:37 – Jesus said to Pilate: Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

e. True believers… those who are genuinely born again WILL continue in the faith.
• There is no such thing as a believer who does NOT continue in faith.
• Believers can become confused…
• Believers can become uncertain about various doctrinal issues…
• Believers can get mixed up in erroneous teachings… charismatic emphasis… non literal, Reformed view of Scripture… can question eternal security… they can become perplexed by prophecy… entangled in legalism… go overboard on an erroneous concept of grace…
• There are all kinds of ways in which a believer can become snared in various doctrinal issues.
• BUT — a true believer WILL continue in THE FAITH.

f. In a similar sense, true believers CANNOT continue in sin.
• Rom. 6:1-2 – they cannot continue in sin because God has CHANGED them… they died to sin and are alive unto God. They have a new nature that will not allow them to continue in sin indefinitely. It will become sick of sin… and hunger after righteousness.
• Rom. 6:14 – sin will NOT have dominion over the believer.
• I John 3:9 – he that is born of God CANNOT commit (habitually practice) sin.
• Why? Because God will intervene in the life of his child.
» Conviction of the Spirit; chastening; even death.

g. THE FAITH
• Eph. 4:4-5 – There is ONE faith = THE faith.
» This faith is universal among believers.
» This is THE faith… the truths that are believed by ALL believers in the Body… the gospel (the narrow sense of “the faith.”)
» Believers may be divided on minor, ancillary issues. There is often division and discord over various doctrinal issues.
» But there are certain things that ALL believers share in common: one Lord… one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all…
» If you don’t share that, you’re not saved. Period.
» THE faith speaks of the essence of our Christian faith: who Christ is and what He has accomplished on Calvary.
» If someone claims to be a Christian and does not hold to THE FAITH, he is a false believer… either he is deceived or is a deceiver.
» One CANNOT be saved and not believe that Jesus is God who became a Man… and who died on the cross… and whose blood paid for our sins… and then rose again.
» THE FAITH is shared by every true believer… and he WILL continue in that faith.

• Acts 6:7 – priests were obedient to “the faith.” This means that they responded to the gospel message and believed “the faith.”
» They did not necessarily understand all the associated doctrinal issues… but they understood the faith as proclaimed in the gospel…
» The faith = who Jesus is (God-Man) and what He did (all sufficiency of His cross work).

• Rom. 1:5 – obedience to the faith = they responded in faith to the gospel… they obeyed the faith by getting saved. They believed the essentials of the faith… who Christ is… His finished work on the cross.

3. Not everyone CONTINUES in the faith.
a. All true believers will continue in THE FAITH… those who do not continue simply demonstrate that they were NEVER saved in the first place!
b. Apostates don’t continue in the faith.
• I Tim. 4:1 – false teachers shall DEPART from the faith. Apostates claim to believe, but they do not continue… proving they were never saved.

c. Pretenders don’t continue in the faith.
• I John 2:19 – True believers continue in the faith with other true believers. False professors will eventually go out… and manifest that they were not really OF us… ever.

d. Shallow professors don’t continue in the faith.
• Matt. 13:20 – seed sown in the stony place
» This ground is stony; with a shallow layer of topsoil
» The seed is sown, and immediately appears to make a good start, but things are not always as they appear.
» It withers away when the sun comes out… trials and tribulations prevent it from “continuing.”
» There is no real root. All is merely superficial.
» Every Bible believing church has seen countless such folks enter their front door… and then a year or two later, go out the back door… and it is heartbreaking…
» They did not continue in the faith—because they were never saved. They never had saving faith…

e. False teachers don’t continue.
• II Pet. 2:20-22 – False teachers CLAIMED to be saved, and did have a head knowledge of Christ…
» And that association improved their lifestyle, at least externally… for a time. By associating with believers, they escaped some of the pollutions of the world.
» But eventually, they were overtaken by their old ways… and they became entangled again in their old ways…
» They were like a washed pig… (superficial cleaning; a whited sepulcher; merely external cleansing).
» Eventually, that clean pig will return to the wallowing in the mire—because an external cleansing did not change its nature. It was a still a pig. It never became a sheep.
» Folks can superficially attach themselves to Christ and Christianity—and it WILL have a healthy effect on them… but it won’t save.
» Association with Christianity might produce enough “changes” to lead folks to believe that they were saved, when in fact, they were NEVER saved.
» They may claim to believe THE FAITH… but unless they were regenerated, it is likely that they will eventually DEPART from the faith they once espoused.
» They did not lose their salvation; they never had it!
» Judas didn’t LOSE his salvation. He was never saved.

4. While false professors may depart from the faith, a true believer can NEVER depart from the faith. A true believer will CONTINUE in the faith. God guarantees it!

a. Eph. 1:4 – He chose us before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him.

b. Col. 1:22 – He reconciled us so that he might present us holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight!

c. Phil. 1:6 – He who began a good work in you WILL perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. The moment we believed, God regenerated us… gave us a new nature… dwelt within us… and began a work of transforming us into the image of His dear Son. He will never stop that work in us until the job is done!

d. Our position in Christ is SETTLED for all eternity.

e. The precious blood of Christ was SO entirely and eternally efficacious, that when the Judge of all the earth looks upon us, even HE can find no flaw… and HIS conclusion is: unblameable… unreproveable…

f. The KNOWLEDGE of this and the assurance that it brings is one of the means that God uses to motivate the believer to continue.

5. God has many MEANS available to assure that His people CONTINUE in the faith.

a. One of the REASONS why true believers DO continue in the faith is because of the influence of the Body of Christ.

b. Acts 14:22 – Believers are to EXHORT one another to continue in THE FAITH.
• This is one of the MEANS God uses to assure that believers WILL continue in the faith… because other believers in the Body are exhorting them… helping them along… warning them when they start to go astray…

c. I Cor. 16:13 – stand fast in the faith…
• Paul exhorted the Corinthians to stand fast in the faith…
• Why? Because in the life of ANY believer, there is always the danger of being temporarily swerved aside into error…
• When it comes to THE faith – we need to be exhorted to stand fast: don’t ever bend… don’t ever compromise… don’t ever wander.
• They were to be strong like men… not like babes who are easily swayed… tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. Stand fast… like men.

d. I Tim. 4:16 – Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: (continue = same word as in Col. 1:23)

e. Jude 3 – we are also to CONTEND for the faith… because the faith is under attack and the attacks are real.

f. II Tim. 4:7 – Paul said, “I” have kept the faith. There is human responsibility involved… and yet God assures that the true believer WILL continue in the faith.

g. Nevertheless, God assures us, that regardless of the attacks against THE FAITH… the faith will remain. It will never be destroyed. And regardless of the attacks against us from our enemies, we will remain… abide… continue in the faith.

h. The influence of the Body of Christ on each member is essentially, CHRIST working in and through and by means of His Body… to carry out His purpose for each member.

i. And one of the ways in which God has ordained that we should continue in the faith is for the members of the body to watch out and care for one another.

6. Believers CAN depart from THE Faith in the broad usage of the term. (The faith = the entire body of Christian doctrine…) But a believer can NEVER depart from THE faith in the narrower usage of the term. (the gospel)

a. The Faith in the broad sense: the entire body of Christian doctrine. Believers CAN swerve away from some aspects of the faith.
• Be concerned when you see a brother listening to tapes from a Bible teacher in error…
• Be concerned when you hear of a brother who is reading radical “Christian” literature…
• Be concerned when you see you a brother or a sister getting involved in Reformed theology… or tending towards the charismatic experiences… or being allured toward traditionalism or legalism… or curious about the 7th Day Adventists… or whatever form of error they might be attracted to…

b. The Faith in the narrow sense: the gospel; who Christ is (God-Man) and what He did (died for our sins and rose again).
• Cf. Acts 6:7; Rom. 1:5
• No true believer can ever swerve away from this aspect of the faith.
• Paul goes on to almost DEFINE which aspect of “the faith” he means in Col. 1:23: “be not moved away from the hope of the gospel…”
• True believers BELIEVE… they all share THE faith (Eph. 4:4-5)

c. A true believer can become confused and pursue false doctrine
• When a believer begins to wander, the indwelling Holy Spirit convicts the heart… and yet, the believer may resist the ministry of the Spirit and grieve the Spirit. (Eph. 4:30)
• Jas. 5:19-20 – If he continues to wander away from the faith, God may use YOU to exhort him to come back! Do you know a believer who is beginning to wander from the faith? (BRETHREN, if any of YOU do err from the truth…)
• God may have to resort to severe chastening to get that believer’s attention… whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth…
• God has His means of accomplishing His purpose… and His purpose is that every true believer will continue in the faith… and that God will continue to work in him… and do His great work of transforming that sinner into the image of His dear Son!
• There is a mystery and a tension in play between the responsibility of the individual and the supernatural work of God IN that individual… and between our unalterable, heavenly position in Christ… and our earthly and quite changeable condition of our daily lives.
• But somehow in God’s marvelous power and wisdom, they work together to accomplish God’s eternal plan…
• Rom. 8:29 – He predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son… and right now that process is under way… and will continue… until glory.
• This truth is NOT revealed so that we might sit back and say, “Well, I’m going to make it anyway, why sweat it out today? Why not eat, drink, and be merry until that day!?” Some will always twist truth to their own sinful lusts.

7. Rather, this truth is revealed so that the child of God might walk by FAITH in the interim…

a. So that we might KNOW that we are redeemed, reconciled, saved to the uttermost… and that he might KNOW that by God’s grace and supernatural working in him, he WILL continue in the faith to the very end…

b. So that the believer’s PERSONAL subjective faith might be strengthened as he realizes how SAFE he is in Christ… and therefore can continue to walk… trusting, resting, believing, that as weak as I feel today… as hopeless as my fallen flesh is…
• I must KNOW that my old man is DEAD… and I can KNOW that as a new creature empowered by the Spirit of God, I am ABLE to walk in newness of life…
• I am ABLE to continue… because I KNOW and BELIEVE what God has said… HE is able to keep me from falling… and He is able to present me faultless before the throne of God… and in fact He has promised to do so.
• The believer isn’t to walk about fearful that he might not make it to the end… paralyzed by the error that teaches that my making it into heaven is contingent upon whether I can persevere to the end…
• Faith says, I believe I WILL continue to the end… because God said so. Therefore I can continue to walk by faith, trusting in His promise… trusting in His power that He said is working in me… trusting that it is GOD who is working in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure…
• The believer who does NOT know this will not have assurance… and will walk feebly… wobbly… with unsteady steps… uncertain as to whether he will make it to the end. That kind of uncertainty makes our steps falter… and breeds more uncertainty… and more faltering steps.
• But the believer who KNOWS and has assurance can walk in confidence… not self-confidence, but God-confidence (faith!)… and that results in a steady, solid, stable walk that endures.
• That believer will be empowered by that faith… motivated by those promises… and filled with the very presence and power of the God who promised…
• Once again, Paul uses our glorious, heavenly, unalterable position in Christ to motivate us to walk worthy of our high calling in Christ Jesus…
• Col.1:23 presents words of encouragement and confidence for the believer: “You have been reconciled to God and will one day be presented before Him as holy, unblameable, and unreproveable. And I can say this because I know that you will continue in the faith, grounded and settled!”


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