Friday, April 18, 2008

To be continued?

Whether you fizzle before you finish the race because it was a faulty start or because you just decided to quit the race due to disinterest or a desire to go back to your old ways, isn’t what we are tackling today. The point Paul is making in today’s text is that we must stay in the race and finish it. We must continue, we must persevere, we must endure, and we must remain. This is not done out of our own strength or human effort. It is done because of Christ in us. However, we have a very active and participatory role to play.

Today’s Colossian text is a wonderful reminder of Christ’s redemptive work and our necessity to daily live from a position of faith.
21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. – Colossians 1:21-23
We once were lost in our sin and strangers to God, but now we are made new because of Christ’s work on the cross and thus brought close to God. However, Paul clearly follows this beautiful truth with the fact that this is not a one-time decision. He tells us that this is a reality for those who “continue in their faith”. In other words, walking the isle is only the beginning of the journey. The one who will be presented free of accusation will be the one who continues the journey and walks daily with Christ. The present tense of “continue” calls for a continual action - this should be our habitual practice or our lifestyle. This represents the cooperation with the process of our sanctification. Therefore, this is the full gospel that Paul proclaimed: justification and sanctification = salvation.

The follower of Christ must answer the question of “to be continued?” with an emphatic yes.

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