|October 16, 2020|
Continue in the Faith
“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel.” (Colossians 1:23)
In the New Testament, the use of the definite article “the” always modifies the noun that follows. In this case, “the faith” insists on a particular body of doctrine that defines the Christian life. For instance, as Paul and Barnabas were returning from their initial missionary effort, they went back to each area “confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith” (Acts 14:22).
There are nearly 50 occurrences in the New Testament where “the faith” is used in this way. These references always speak of obedience to specific teachings that embrace the core of the godly lifestyle that represents holiness and the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Thus, one who is “grounded and settled” in the faith will be both knowledgeable and stable in his Christian testimony and ministry.
It is necessary, of course, to build on the foundation of the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 3:11), but only the “gold, silver, precious stones” have any lasting value (1 Corinthians 3:12- 15)—hence the requirement in Jude: “It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).
Furthermore, those who continue in the faith will not be “moved away from the hope of the gospel.” That hope acts as “an anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19) and is the drive that motivates us to maintain a purity of lifestyle (1 John 3:3). “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). HMM III