Continue in the Faith - Your Daily Forward Devotional

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Continue in the Faith

 

August 18

 

Read Colossians 1:23 (ESV)

...if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

 

Reflect

What faith is Paul exhorting the Colossians to remain steadfast in?

 

The news is full of “deconstruction” stories these days. Many outspoken Christians in the public arena have decided to leave the faith completely or to change what it means to follow Jesus. It is certainly a disturbing and alarming trend. But it isn’t a phenomenon new to our time. And it is certainly something that Jesus and the apostles saw coming.

 

In today’s verse, Paul urged the Colossians to continue in the faith. Notice that Paul doesn’t leave the idea of “faith” open-ended or vague. He specifies that they are not to “shift from the hope of the gospel that you heard” from him. The Gospel that was proclaimed by the apostles of Jesus Christ is the only gospel that we are to put our faith and trust in.

 

But how do we know who is a genuine Christian? How do we know if we are truly saved? Jesus answered the question many times with this answer—remain in Him.

 

In John 8:31, Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.” This is the test of true discipleship. Are we faithful to continue believing in what Jesus said or do we eventually abandon Him and His teaching?

 

Jesus taught more about this in Luke 8 when He shared the parable of the sower. He spoke of the seed of the Word of God falling on the rocks. Initially, the seeds begin to grow but because the plants lack root, they soon shrivel up and die. He explained, “And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away” (Luke 8:13).

 

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, many people started off following Him but abandoned Him when the going got tough or His teaching was too difficult to accept. John records that many of the people who initially followed Jesus were not true disciples. When they became offended by His teaching, they left. “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life…’” (John 6:66-68).

 

During Jesus’ time, people were following Jesus at first but falling away once they were offended or the cost of following Him was just too great. During Paul’s time, heretics were preaching a false gospel in Colossae that some were embracing instead of continuing in teaching the apostles had received from Jesus and had preached since the very beginning.

 

In our time, some are falling away because they are offended by His message. Some accepted Jesus before counting the cost and are abandoning Him as it becomes more difficult and less popular to remain faithful to Him. Others are “shifting from the hope of the gospel” to embrace a false gospel. But the Bible is clear that true saints persevere to the end.

 

Friend, continue in the faith. Be stable and steadfast. Do not shift and accept worldly philosophy and false gospels. “...the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13).

 

Pray

Lord, please give me the strength to persevere and continue in the faith. Do not let me turn away or shift from the hope of the Gospel to a false gospel that cannot save. You are the One with the words of eternal life. I want to remain in You. Amen.

 

~ Pastor Nat Crawford

 

 

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5 months ago
I agree 100% that in this world it is so much negative information out there. And we should continue in the Word of God to stay strong and not listen to the world's points of view. And there is enough in the bible to remind us as followers of Jesus to stay planted in him! Like the good seed that fell on good ground, we should eventually, (as a result) bring forth good fruit. We need to be patient and soon we will see the fruit (results of our prayers and steadfast commitment to God in Christ Jesus). Jesus said continue in his word and we are his disciples (followers, students) indeed...and we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free. Free from lies and foolishness that the world tries to trick us with! Jesus is our teacher (like his disciples were in those days) and we are the students (disciples of this time in life). Pastor Nat, you are an excellent shepherd (teacher, encourager, influencer) of the flock (us!!!) Thank you Father in Heaven for Pastor Nat and his daily obedience to you so that we can learn and get daily encouragement from him!!! And I also want to say thank you for Arnie Cole, Cara Whitney, and Dan Whitney and Brian Clark, who all of them have indeed brought me "back to the bible" with their teaching and encouragement. God bless them and their families forever. In Jesus name, Amen!!!
5 months ago
My Lord and my God, I want to abide in Your Word and to stay true to what You have taught through Your Word. In Your Word is that hope of the Gospel by which we are saved; You are the Word of life to my soul.
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5 months ago
Could you please tell me what exactly does it mean that if we endure to the end we will be saved? If we are already spiritually born again and have been adopted in to God's kingdom, what then, does this mean?
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5 months ago
Angela, I believe that verse is referring to the fact that so many people who repented and confessed Jesus as their Lord and Savior actually have walked away from the faith of God through Jesus. And they have turned back to the world ways of living. In that case, they have turned their backs on God and the gospel of Jesus. So they have removed themselves by, what is I think considered backsliding. But if we, who continue to follow Jesus' teachings and ways, being obedient to God and continue and don't give up but stay (endure) in the Word until Jesus comes, then we will be saved. Those who have walked away will not be saved when Jesus comes back because they decided to reject him. So we must continue, without walking away, until Jesus comes back to get us from this corrupted world, and we will be saved.
5 months ago
Amen 🙏
5 months ago
Father please continue to guide me with thy strength to continue in the faith.
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5 months ago
He certainly will Carol. As Paul said in the new testament, fight the good fight of faith. And as Jesus himself said, have faith in God. He will bring it to pass. He will do it because he loves you and will never leave you or forsake you!!!
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