The Beginning, Not The End
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." - Colossians 2:6-7 NIV Salvation is the beginning of a thing, not the end! All people come to Jesus (when they come) with great passion and enthusiasm. Unlike any other experience, known to man, the joy of laying your true burden down effects every fiber of your being. A supernatural zeal overtakes us and we proceed to wade neck-deep into the waters of God's word, Christian living and hopefully a good church. However, and ironically, the journey often ends far sooner for many. Somewhere in between surrender and obedience. I'm sure we could all speculate and point fingers at the cause, but no matter what, it remains a problem. You see, we often think too binary as Christians, too much in terms of "in" or "out". Although there's clearly a sense in which we are "saved" (past tense) the Bible goes far deeper. In scripture, we don't read the story of Israel that says, "God chose Abraham and his descendants... the end." Not at all! Instead what we read is a grand narrative, the story of a people called for a promise to live by faith in obedience, both in the confession of the Lordship of YHWH as well as full evidentiary submission. Simply put, a people that trust God enough to obey Him. In the church today we're rightly told that "faith without works is dead" but the second you mention a passage like that of today's reading you're accused of "works based faith" or "trying to earn your salvation." When the real truth is, God has called us to a narrative, an ongoing story, to live by faith. (And that's yours by the way) "Just as you received Christ as Lord (past tense), continue..." Our faith is both a trust in what Jesus did for us and a motivating factor that leads to a life of ever maturing obedience. Again I say, salvation is the beginning of a thing, not the end! Questions to consider: Did your faith in Jesus seem to cool off in the days and weeks and months following your salvation? If so, why? What do you make of the repeated call in scripture to "hold fast", "stand firm" or to "endure until the end"? What is your definition of faith? What does Hebrews 11:1 say?