What Does The Word Of God Mean In Colossians 1:23, “If Ye Continue In Faith”?

by David J. Stewart | March 2020

Colossians 1:20-23, "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;"

       This passage of Scripture speaks of faith in the Gospel. At first glance it appears that perhaps salvation can be lost, if someone who believes stops believing. Is that what this Bible passage means? Let's take a look. The key phrase, in my humble opinion, is “and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel,” which simply means that we are saved when we hear the Gospel, and believe (rely upon, make it our own) what we hear.

I don't think Paul is saying that some former professed Christians turned apostate; but rather, notice that he says, “WHICH YE HAVE HEARD.” They only “heard” the Gospel, but it wasn't mixed with faith in them that heard it. We read this concerning the Jews in the Wilderness, unto whom Moses preached the Gospel. Hebrews 4:1-2, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” I think Hebrews 4:1-2 well explains Colossians 1:21-23. They HEARD without BELIEVING! So we see that a person does not get saved just by HEARING the Gospel preached, but in the HEARING OF FAITH (believing what you hear).

Again, carefully notice that the apostle Paul didn't say, “WHICH YE HAVE BELIEVED,” he said, “WHICH YE HAVE HEARD.” Just as many of the Jews in the Wilderness who wandered for 40 years, you can HEAR the Gospel preached again and again, and yet it benefits you nothing if it isn't mix with faith when you hear it! Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”

Paul says something very similar to Colossians 1:20-23 in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” Again, it would be easy to mistakenly conclude that salvation can be lost, if a person loses faith in the Gospel; however, carefully notice that Paul didn't call them “SAVED,” he said: “YE ARE SAVED, IF YE KEEP IN MEMORY WHAT I PREACHED UNTO YOU.” Notice that important proposition: “IF”! Clearly, being saved is conditional upon BELIEVING THE GOSPEL!!!

At salvation we are JUSTIFIED by faith in Jesus' blood. In Heaven we will be GLORIFIED with our suffering Savior. Between those two events, every believer is being SANCTIFIED, being conformed into Christ's image day by day. I do not believe in the “Perseverance of the Saints” doctrine in the heretical sense that Calvinists do, that true believers WILL turn from their sins and live for Christ. Some believers are slothful, choosing not to serve Christ. However, I do agree with Pastor Harry Ironside's view of the “Perseverance of the Holy Spirit” in the believer. The difference is that Calvinism places the responsibility upon the SINNER'S FAITHFULNESS; but in true salvation, perseverance is based solely upon GOD'S FAITHFULNESS. Colossians 1:23 does NOT mean that salvation can be lost if someone stops believing the Gospel. Paul is simply saying that if you hear it and don't believe it, then you have moved away from the hope of the Gospel.


“Faith is the only righteous thing that I can do!”
—Pastor Jack Hyles, a quote from the MP3 sermon titled: God's Reversal Of Psalm 51

1st Corinthians 16:24, “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

Eternal Security


Confession Is Never A Requirement For Salvation

'The Gospel' In Just One Minute (by Pastor Max D. Younce)

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

“As a blind man has no idea of colors, so we have no idea of the manner by
which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.”
—Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Another Gospel Which Is Not Another (a red-hot MP3 by Dr. Curtis Hutson exposing Lordship Salvation)

Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

“If you have to look at your life to prove that you are saved, it proves that you're not!”
—Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold; an excellent quote from the awesome YouTube sermon titled, “Why Lordship Salvation is WRONG! | MP3.”

Ye Must Be Born Again!

You Need HIS Righteousness!

Believe The Gospel