The importance of Settled Doctrine                   


Elder John (Pat) Young

Written for The Primitive Baptist - Christian Pathway – Gospel Appeal, in September, 2017 Editor




Colossians 1:23 “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;”

First let us establish, what the term settled means; both from the standpoint of the Scripture, and from the understanding of the translators: To the translators, according to Webster's 1828 Dictionary, it means: “To be placed; established; determined; composed; adjusted (all of which are past tense, which indicates the condition of being settled, placed and established, already exists).” In Scripture, according to Strong's it means: “Sedentary, immovable and/or steadfast (which seems to indicate it has a seat and cannot be moved).”

Many times we read a passage of Scripture and overlook what a word or phrase “infers” or “refers” to: Like the phrase, “If ye continue.” Paul infers here with this phrase, that the Colossian brethren were already “settled” and grounded in the faith which was once delivered to the saints; they were already blessed with a knowledge and conviction of the truth, and the true gospel, full of the hope of life and immortality, which the Lord Jesus brought to light among them through the gospel which Paul preached: “That they were reconciled (to God), in the body of His flesh through death, to present them holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” See v. 21, 22. What a settled position to be in; what a blessed doctrine to hear; what a drink of pure water from the wells of salvation; what a true message of the hope in Christ welling up in them through the preaching of the gospel! How could they not desire to remain settled, in the grounding of such truth, which their hearts have believed; and there being no other well from which to draw, nor any other house but that which God has built and consecrated to the service of His true worship, which our mouths can confess.

Yet, with all the many wonderful things we can say about the blessings the Colossians had received through the gospel worship of the Lord Jesus Christ; we must acknowledge the conditional nature of the phrase; “If ye continue.” If ye continue in the faith (one faith) grounded and settled, AND be not moved away from the hope (The object of hope preached) of the gospel, which is not another gospel than that which was preached by the the apostles to all the churches as commanded by the Lord Himself. Then and only then, will you be able to return to the well time after time, with the sweet and full assurance of faith, that the water drawn out will be that which fills the thirst for truth, and will be the same pure drink which Christ preached; called His apostles to preach, and yet calls men of like passion to preach: Not to preach the values, capacities and thoughts of men, but the settled, sure and immutable truth of God our Savior.

Precious brethren; it cannot be said, “we should not settle for less” (implying negotiability where there is none): But that there is no less we can have and be settled, as the apostle is here directing. If we will not continue in the present truth (which is also the past and future truth of God); grounded upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with the Lord Jesus Christ as the Chief Cornerstone; we can never be settled; but will be carried about with every wind of doctrine, having no place of sure rest: But if we are grounded and settled we will not be able to be moved away from the hope of the gospel, which is in Christ our Lord.