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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

FAITH THAT IS GROUNDED AND SETTLED

Colossians 1:21-23 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight:if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.

The religious theories of "once saved, always saved," and that individuals chosen by God are "predestined" for heaven, are firmly and convincingly disproved by one small word - IF! In the lesson text we find the apostle Paul praising the Colossian brethren for becoming Christians. Although they were far from God, and were alienated and enemies of God, as demonstrated by wicked works, they heard the preaching of God's word. They believed and obeyed it. They were reconciled to God by having their sins washed away through baptism. Thus they became Christians, and were added by God to the body of Christ, His church. The erring teachers of the religious theories cited above, stop at this point and say that these Christians are assured of eternal salvation - that they are holy and unblameable and unreproveable in the sight of God. This was only partially true to these Christians, because this added clause in God's word, tells us it is wholly true, onlyIF ye continue in the faith...

Once in the faith, it is necessary to continue in the faith in order to attain eternal salvation, which is the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature, which is under heaven. This was the massage Peter, and all other apostles, preached on the day the church was founded - the Day of Pentecost (See Acts 2). As written to the Colossians, this is the same message whereof I Paul am made a minister. And it is the same message of God that is preached by all faithful ministers of the gospel of Christ today.

In order for thehope of the gospel to be maintained in the lives of Christians, their faith must be steadfast, firm, and unmovable. Here Paul tells the Colossian brethren, as well as us today, that the faith of a Christian must be grounded and settled. To this teaching all Christians should ask, "How firm is my faith in God, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the plan of salvation, which He died to establish?"

Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesus telling them their faith must be rooted and grounded in love (Eph. 3:17b). The soil in which the "Tree of Life" grows is love! Faith, not only survives, but also thrives, when rooted in love. Not only is love the best soil in which faith is to grow, it is the soil that is required in God's word. The Son of God assured us of this when He said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, ... soul, ...and mind. And ...thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (Matt. 22:37-39). God's law of salvation it totally rooted in love. Therefore, in order for it to grow and continue, it is necessary that Christian faith be planted, grounded, and firmly rooted in love for God and for our fellow man.

Paul tells us that faith is, not only to be rooted ...in love, but also grounded in love. The very foundation, on which God's plan of salvation securely rests, is love. Through God's love, He gave us His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). For this, the Christian must love God in return, and demonstrate that love by accepting and believing Jesus to be the Savior, the Son of God. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11). For a faith that is sure; one that steadfast and unmovable, it must build upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone (Eph. 2:20).

We know God's love for us; for He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). Eternal life in heaven is promised to all that accept Jesus as their Savior, are reconciled to God through the forgiveness of their sins, and by submitting to, and being baptized into the body of Christ. Fellow Christian, learn this from the lesson text. Eternal life is only promised! It is assured only to those that have a faith that is grounded and settled - firmly rooted in love!