Online Bible Commentary
Are You Really Saved?
Colossians 1:19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (NIV)
Paul continues in his letter to the Christians at the church in Colosse. It is about 60 A.D. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch about 43 A.D. (Acts 11:26). It has been about 23 years since Paul’s conversion and about 30 years since Jesus was crucified for our sins on April 7, 30, according to “Smith’s Bible Dictionary.”
This passage begins with a summary of the previous verses of how the fullness of the Godhead rests in Jesus Christ (v.19). God the Father is not only pleased with that but also is pleased that things (v.20) and people (vv.21-22) are reconciled to Christ. To reconcile means to restore to a right relationship. All things on earth and in Heaven were reconciled to Christ some thirty years earlier on the cross.
When sin entered the world, through Adam and Eve, all things and all people were corrupted and the right relationship with God was broken. Prior to that, God fellowshipped with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden every day. Sin broke that relationship. The fact that animals get sick, have pain, and die means that they also suffer from the affects of sin. The whole creation ages, showing the affects of sin. Even the ground was cursed by God, after mankind sinned, creating thorns and weeds. Not only that, but the stars (Job 25:5) and things in Heaven (Hebrews 9:25) needed to be purified.
All things, on earth and in Heaven, were restored to right relationship with Christ when He died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin. That reconciliation is available to every person. However, it must be received individually. Each person must receive reconciliation through confessing with his mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in his heart that God raised Him from the dead (Ro. 10:9). This reconciliation will make us “holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (v.22). God will see us as being holy and, therefore, qualified to enter His Holy Place, Heaven, even though we are not because we still sin. This is called “imputed righteousness.” God sees us as being righteous, even though we are not. He puts righteousness upon us, through His grace.
When we are restored to right relationship with Christ, He sends us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells every person from the time that he becomes a Christian. It is the Holy Spirit that helps us continue in the faith (v.23).
The “if” Paul mentions (v.23) is a small word with huge consequences. It has to do with whether or not we have truly made Jesus our Lord. If we have, the Holy Spirit has indwelled us and changed us. If there has been no change in your behavior, if you still embrace a sinful lifestyle, you have not made Jesus the Lord, the boss, of your life. You see, God knows if your confession was genuine or not. If not, you are living a lie. You were baptized which is your announcement to the world that you have become a Christian. But you really are not a Christian.
Millions of people in the world claim to be Christians, but they are not. They still embrace a sinful lifestyle on a daily basis. Eighty percent, or more, of Americans claim to be Christians. However, at least fifty percent embrace a lifestyle of sin, including entire so called “churches” and denominations. That is why these “ifs” are seen throughout the Bible. The Bible is clear; “Once saved, always saved” (Eph. 1:13-14). The question is “Are you really saved?”
In other words, are you a repentant sinner, one who has turned from a lifestyle of sin, or an unrepentant sinner, one who embraces a lifestyle of sin? We all sin, but there is a huge difference in what kind of sinners we are. That difference is the difference in being a Christian or a “CHINO”, a Christian in name only. “CHINOS” do not go to Heaven. They are not reconciled to Christ. Jesus will tell them “I never knew you” because they did not do “the will of God” (Mt. 7:21-23).