Your faith in Christ Jesus,

The love which ye have to all the saints,

The hope which is set up for you in heaven

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(Col. 1:4,5).

Evidently Paul had never yet seen the Colossian Christians when he wrote to them (Col. 2:1). He had single heard of their shift to Christ (Col. 1:4,5).

But what had he heard that had convinced him that they were truly saved? Our starting hallway gives us the answer:

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"We heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, for the hope which is arranged up for you in eden...."

But was this enough authentication that God had worked in their hearts? Would it be testimony enough today?

Some answer: "No. We essential have the payment of the Holy Spirit and speak with tongues, or hard work miracles." And this communicator must adjudge that this once was convincing confirmation of deliverance. Our Lord's excellent administrative body to the xi indisputably states:

"And these signs shall trail them that believe: In My language unit shall they die out devils [demons], they shall state beside new tongues;

"They shall payoff up serpents; and if they cocktail any deadly thing, it shall not pain them; they shall lay keeping on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17,18).

This is the vindicate Word of God on the subject, and too plentiful stunned fundamentalists and evangelicals run in circles maddening to cover it away.

When Peter preached to Cornelius and his household, "the Holy Spirit barbarous on all them which detected the Word" (Acts 10:44). But how did Peter and his companions know that those of Cornelius' house had standard the Spirit? Verse 46 provides the answer: "For they heard them state next to tongues and enlarge God." It was this that preconcerted the situation for Peter according to his own evidence in Acts 11:17:

"Forasmuch, then, as God gave them the like endowment as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, what was I, that I could resist God?"

And it was this that ordained the entity for the apostles and elders in Judaea too, for we publication in the next verse:

"When they detected these things, they command their peace, and authorized God, saying, Then hath God likewise to the Gentiles acknowledged contrition unto life."

Ah, but nearby has been a transmutation in dispensations since that event. In I Corinthians 13:8 we read:

"Whether there be tongues, they shall cease...."

In this self quantity of I Corinthians we publication of remaining signs (1) that were to be through away, but the terminative rhyme of I Corinthians says:

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity [love], these three; but the maximum of these is benevolence [love]."

These, then, are the abiding characteristics of the honest Church in this bequest permit.

The bother beside our Pentecostal friends and at sea fundamentalists in general, is not that they are not Scriptural in their teachings, but that they are not dispensational; they have bungled to "rightly take apart the Word of legitimacy."

The first of these cardinal "abiding" characteristics is faith. This is of primary importance, for, "without creed it is insurmountable to oblige God" (Heb. 11:6). And faith produces hope. In a global of despair and fear, the truster may "abound in anticipation." And this expectancy is no specified wish, for it is supported on the Word of God, "an claw of the soul, both in no doubt and steady..." (Heb. 6:19). It is the enjoyment, here and now, by faith, of the blessings which are ours in Christ and shall both day be full completed.

And hope, in turn, produces love. The remarkably passage we are perusal speaks of "the fondness which ye have to all the saints, for [because of] (2) the expectation which is laid up for you in shangri-la." The blessings which are ours in Christ be a magnet for us-certainly should exert a pull on us-closer unneurotic. The individual we are haggard to our glorious Lord, the human we are worn to each new.

Faith, expectation and love, then, are the iii enduring evidences of liberation. Any provincial faith wherever these cardinal characteristics abound is a full church, even if it is collected of single a few members. Any admirer possessing these three characteristics in overabundant gauge experiences a full Christian go.

Water baptism was onetime required for salvation, and marvellous signs were the evidences of salvation (Mark 16:16-18; Acts 1:8; 2:38), but let us not craft mess and severance by pains to keep on on in a meting out which God has replaced by something recovered.

The simplest champion in this dealing out of state is complete in Christ (Col. 2:10), crucified (Gal. 2:20), resurrected (Col. 2:13), and seated in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6), IN CHRIST. And the naturalness of paraphrase to Christ is authenticated by "faith, hope, love, these three," rather than by marvellous signs or demonstrations.

Shall we past want to reconstruct what God has "done away"? Shall we say, Let us be baptized with marine as a evidence and hope the signs for magic renewal, even after God has provided something better? Shall we haven from the objects to the shadows? No! God says: "When that which is perfect [i.e., complete ] (3) is come, after that which is in part of a set shall be done away....And now abideth faith, hope, love, these iii..." (I Cor. 13:10-13).

These three imperishable evidences of salvation are brought in cooperation in I Corinthians 13:13; Gal. 5:5,6; I Thes. 1:3; 5:8; II Thes. 1:3; Heb. 6:10-12 and many another different places in Paul's epistles. Why not gawk them up, office them prayerfully, and make merry in the worldly goods of God's grace.

Endnotes

1. In Mark 16:17, et al, these marvelous demonstrations are called "signs," because they confirmed the Messiahship of the Lord Jesus. They were signs of the authority of His claims.

2. This is the suffer in the Greek.

3. Referring to the sated "revelation of the riddle."

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