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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

STABLISHED IN THE FAITH

Colossians 2:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Until found, the pathway to eternal life in heaven, is, and will remain, the mystery of God (Col. 2:2). It is hidden in Jesus Christ, His Son (Vs. 3). Many men and women of the world will attempt to beguile you with enticing words (Vs. 4), trying to convince you that they hold the keys that will open the door of salvation, if you will but follow them and their worldly wisdom. Be assured, these are teachers of the philosophies of mankind - they are false prophets that, through covetousness designed by Satan, seek to satisfy their own selfish desires. Whether it is for their fame or fortune, they will use you as merchandise - they will "buy and sell you to the highest bidder" in order to satisfy their own personal, lustful desires (See 2 Peter 2:1-3).

Once in Christ, and the mystery of salvation has been found, Paul's warning to the Christians at Colosse, and to all children of God today, is that we must continue to walk ye in Him. Once salvation has been found, it is not guaranteed. For those in the body of Christ, assurance of a home in heaven is reserved for those that continue to obey the will of God,continue in His statutes, remain faithful, and walk in Christ. Each of these tenets is not a one-time obedient act, rather each is an ongoing, never-ending, labor of committed love for God, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the plan of eternal salvation, which they established before the world began.

Peter confirms, in his epistle to all Christians, that being baptized in the body of Christ does not assure eternal life in heaven. One can still fall away into unrighteous living and jeopardize their salvation. This fact, all Christians need to understand, recognize, and guard against. Peter wrote, Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness (2 Pet. 3:17). The Hebrew writer also warns Christians to take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God (Heb. 3:12). The lesson text says, those that have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.

In Christ, and only in Christ, is salvation found. Because this is true, Paul tells us two ways that help all Christians, seeking eternal life, to continue to walk in Christ. First, he says that we are to be rooted and built up in Him. In Colossians 1:23, Paul says that we are not to be moved away from the hope of the gospel. We are to be firmly anchored andestablished on a foundation that is grounded and settled. Similarly, Paul told the Ephesian brethren that their faith was to be rooted and grounded in love (Eph. 3:17b). The Psalmist gives us a good description of being firmly rooted in the will of God by comparing His faithful children to a tree planted by the rivers of waters,that continues to be fruitful, does not wither, and prospers (Ps. 1:3). Christians, ye are God's building (1 Cor. 3:9b), therefore continue in building up yourselves on your most holy faith (Jude 20b).

Secondly, to continue to walk in Christ, Paul says we are to be stablished (or established) in the faith. The faith of a Christian is to be made firm and stable; it is to be permanent. To the Colossians, Paul said that the faith in which they are to be established wasthat ye have been taught. In a like manner Paul told the Christians at Rome that their faith was established in them according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ (Rom. 16:25). From a bright cloud, God spoke to Jesus' disciples telling them, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him (Matt. 17:5). The gospel of Jesus Christ, then, is the will of God. Our faith becomes established when we study the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is God's will, as recorded by Holy Spirit-inspired writers of the New Testament. To continually study His word, is to abound in faith; to be filled to our individual capacity; to overflow with knowledge of His will.

Just as Paul told the brethren at Corinth, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). Peter gives a formula that will establish the faith of a newborn Christian, and, indeed, make that faithsteadfast and unmovable. As one grows in Christ, these things should be added to faith; virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity. Peter said further, that ...if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (See 2 Pet. 1:5-10). The last word of the lesson text tells us that, for the hope of salvation, every knee should bow in a prayer of thanksgiving to God. Consider this prayer of Paul: But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57).