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;
Note 20 at Col 1:23: The word "if" used here makes our being holy, blameless, and unreproveable conditional upon us continuing in the faith. This has led some to believe that we may have been saved by God's grace, but our actions keep us saved. That's not so.
It's our faith in what Jesus did for us that saved us, and our faith must continue to be in Christ, not in ourselves, to maintain salvation. Our holiness, righteousness, and justification are gifts that we receive in our spirits through Jesus. These things are not irrevocable. We can't lose our salvation through not being good enough, but we can reject it. We weren't forced to be saved, and the Lord won't force us to stay saved. We have to hold on to faith in Christ as our only hope of salvation (see note 4 at 1Co 15:2, note 4 at Ga 4:11, and my note at Heb 6:4).
Note 21 at Col 1:23: The Greek word that was translated "grounded" here, "THEMELIOO," literally means "to lay a basis for" (Strong's Concordance). It was translated "founded" in Mt 7:25 and Lu 6:48 in Jesus' parable of the man who built his house upon the rock. The house withstood the flood because it was "founded" upon a rock.
This same Greek word was translated "hast laid the foundation" in Heb 1:10, speaking of Jesus laying the "foundation" of the earth. It was translated as "settle" in 1Pe 5:10 and "grounded" in Eph 3:17.
Paul was describing someone who has a good foundation in and is well established in the faith.
Note 22 at Col 1:23: The English word "settle" was translated from the Greek word "HEDRAIOS," and this Greek word means "sedentary, i.e. (by implication) immovable" (Strong's Concordance). This is not describing people who are just acquainted with faith, but those who are so well established that they can't be moved from their faith in Christ.
Note 23 at Col 1:23: Paul's statement that the Gospel "was preached to every creature which is under heaven" is not to be taken literally. This is not the case, because the Lord Jesus said in Mt 24:14, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." The Gospel reaching every person is one of the occurrences that will usher in the second coming of the Lord, and that hasn't happened yet. Paul himself said he tried to preach the Gospel where Christ was not named (Ro 15:20); that means people who had not been reached yet.
This statement is to be taken as a hyperbole; that is, an intentional exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis. This is the same way children speak when they say, "But Mom, everyone is doing it!" They don't mean every single person is doing it, but they are clearly exaggerating to make their point. They would not defend that statement literally.
This is the same way Paul spoke earlier in this chapter in Col 1:6. He was not claiming that every single individual in the world during his time had heard the Gospel. But the Gospel was spreading so fast and so far that even the Pharisees of Jesus' day said, "Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him" (Joh 12:19). They certainly had not "gone after" Jesus, so this is understood to be a hyperbole; i.e., an exaggeration to emphasize a point.
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