“…if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard” (Colossians 1:23)
There is a strong relationship between faith, hope and love. If we believe in the Lord God and in His promises of eternal life, this fills our hearts with love and gives us a solid hope in life. For “faith is the assurance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1). On the other hand, if we turn away from the faith and don’t believe what the Bible tells us, all hope is lost.
Paul does not assume that all his addressees have this true, saving faith, even if they belong to the church. The genuineness of people’s faith will be tested when they face trials or opposition or temptation. As Jesus told in a parable about a farmer, some people seem to receive the Gospel with joy, but since their joy has no roots, it doesn’t last long. Others are occupied so much by the cares of the world that God’s Word doesn’t sink in. These people are not “stable and steadfast” in the faith. They are not saved!
Paul listed so many blessings that God offers us in Christ. Now he urgently warns his readers: continue in the faith, so you will receive these eternal blessings!
Are you stable and steadfast in the faith?