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The Big IF

The Big IF

Words of Faith 10-15-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Colossians 1

[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. 


    Sometimes we fail to realize that most of the promises of God are conditional. There are many examples.  Jesus said: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Mt. 21:22).  Jesus said: "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you" (Lk 17:6).  Jesus said: "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples" (Jn 8:31).  Jesus said: "I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death" (

John 8:51).  Jesus said: "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God" (Jn 11:40)?  Jesus said, "Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure --- pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you in return" (Luke 6:38). 

      Even the offer of unconditional grace is conditional in the most basic sense-- we must receive it by faith!  The peace treaty has been penned and put before us, but we must receive it.  We "sign" it as an act of our faith.

     The big truth here is that we were alienated from God and we were enemies toward God in our minds and behavior-- but He has reconciled us by Christ's death.  The benefit of this is magnificent.  We are presented as holy in His sight without blemish or accusation… IF.  That is it. The big IF.

      What is the big IF?  If we continue in our faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. 

     One of the pervasive errors of religion is that we start to think that our life with God is something, anything, other than an ongoing life relationship with our Creator.  Somehow, we drift into the religious idea that once we have our ticket punched, our life with God is over, and we can go back to business as usual in the way of the world.  Or we get the notion that this is all about the benefit and has nothing to do with the continued work of God in our lives.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

      This is not an issue of position related to eternal security, loss of salvation, or any of the other human phrases that we so often pin onto a text.  This is simply about defining the ongoing work of God in our lives and the relationship that is at the core of that work.  

       We are not called to make a statement of faith; we are called to continue in our faith.  We are not asked for a quick profession of faith-- though it starts there; we are called to walk in that faith.  We are called to be established, and firm such that we are not moved from the hope held out in the Gospel. 

     Paul was clear-- this is the Gospel that you heard and was proclaimed to every creature under heaven.  This is nothing new.  This is and always has been the Gospel of Christ.

       So, the big question is this-- Are you continuing in your faith?  Are you established and firm?  Do you remain unmoved from the hope?  This is the fruit of a relationship that is alive.


      Father God, I rejoice in the knowledge of what You have offered to me in Christ Jesus.  I celebrate You as the Lord and God of the universe who had reached out to me in reconciliation.  I rejoice in the knowledge of Jesus and His saving grace.  I affirm a continuing and growing walk with You.  Cleanse me and keep me clean.  Wash me so that I might be without blemish and free of any accusation.  Keep my walk close and pure.  In Jesus' Name.


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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