Saturday 05 September 2009

Bible Book:

"... so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him - provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard." (v.22-23)

Colossians 1:21–23 Saturday 5 September 2009


A school teacher was looking for cast members for the schoolplay. The notice pinned to the school noticeboard suggested thatcertain gifts were required; the ability to act, or to dance or tosing were all listed. However the quality that was highlighted mostprominently was that of 'stickability'. It may not actually be aword found in a dictionary - but those reading the notice knew whatwas meant. The school play would not be a success if people came toa few rehearsals and then dropped out.

Paul, in today's passage, urges stickability in his readers;stickability to the hope of the gospel (the good news of Jesus). Inurging his readers towards this goal, Paul uses three related butslightly different images:

  • Paul calls on his readers to "continue securely established" -that is to say, built on the foundation which is Christ. Paul sawhimself as a builder working with others in building up the faithof the members of the Church, but Paul is clear that Christ is thefoundation and that the faith of a disciple must be firmly built onthe foundation of a living and dynamic relationship withJesus.

  • Paul calls on his readers to be "steadfast in the faith" - animage which has its roots in the idea of remaining firmly seated inthe correct place, just as a skilful rider might remain seated on alively horse. Remaining steadfast in the faith is not always easy,but we must not allow ourselves to be thrown out of our seat!

  • Paul uses a negative image to conclude this challenge. Faithfulbelievers are to live "without shifting from the hope promised bythe gospel", for they are to remain on the solid rock of faith andnot lose their way in the shifting sands of mistaken ideas.

These challenges are still very relevant today.


To Ponder

How might you develop 'stickability' if you are afollower of Jesus? What factors could work against such an aim?

How might you encourage others to build on thefoundation of Christ and to remain steadfast in the faith so thatthey do not shift from the hope of the gospel?

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