Verse of the Day Devotion: Colossians 1:23
“If indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.” – Colossians 1:23
This is a very interesting verse in that it is essentially saying salvation is not a one-time event. It is actually a continuous one. Yes, there is a time when we accept the work Jesus did on the cross for our benefit, that being the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. This is where our journey starts. However, many believe this is where it ends as well, that once we do this we cannot lose our salvation. However, we can wonder away which this verse explains explicitly.
First, Paul introduces this idea in four verses preceding. “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him (Jesus), and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—” Colossians 1:19-22. When the Father sent the Son here, it pleased Him because it was the way to reconcile us to Himself. We were enemies of God, hostile to His ways. We walked according to the ways of this world and our unrighteous desires. “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Ephesians 2:1-3. However, when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are reconciled to God. We have the privilege of calling Him our Father and Christ our Lord.
But this is only the beginning. Not only must we accept Him and the new life we are to live, but we must persevere to the end. We must not turn around and say, ‘This isn’t working, I want to go back to the way things were.’ We do not have to explicitly say these words but turning away from Christ and walking away is basically the same thing. And one more thing regarding this, it could be a gradual turning away. We may start by simply going back to a few of our old ways. But, if they are contrary to the Christian walk, have we not in essence turned away? We must always obey what He has commanded us. Recall the words of Jesus. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15.
Jesus in His messages to the seven churches in Asia Minor said the same. He said those who overcome and keeps My deeds until the end will be blessed as follows:
- To the Church of Ephesus – I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.
- To the Church of Smyrna – will not be hurt by the second death
- To the Church of Pergamum – I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.
- To the Church of Thyatira – To him I will give authority over the nations, and shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I have received authority from my Father.
- To the Church of Sardis – They will be clothes in white garments, and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father and before the angels.
- To the Church of Philadelphia – I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
- To the Church of Laodicea – I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Salvation is not a one and done event. It is first giving our lives over to Christ and His Lordship. Then it is continuing to live this life until the end of the age and He returns. We cannot lose our salvation, but we can walk away. Remember the words of James regarding this idea. “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” James 2:17. I encourage us all to show our salvation by our works, remain steadfast and a true follower no matter the cost until He returns. We can then rejoice for all things will be made new.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.