Walk in Christ just as you received Him

March 19, 2010 | by: Craig Johnson | 0 comments

Posted in: Encouragement

Paul says in Colossians 2:6, "Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him." This text is essential for understanding and enjoying our completeness in Christ as believers.

How to have stability in our faith

In verse 5 Paul tells the Colossians how much he wants them to be stable in their faith in Christ. "Therefore" in verse 6 indicates that what he says in verse 6 is instruction on how a Christian can remain stable in their faith in Christ and avoid being sucked in by the "persuasive argument" of false teachers.

How did we receive Christ?

The word, "receive," is significant. It helps us to understand a few things.

When a person is saved, he comes before God empty handed. He does not “give.” He has nothing to give. He comes to God to “receive.” Humility is required. Brokenness is required. All self-confidence is ruled out. Confidence in God is required.

We can't give; we must receive

Eternal life is not gained by “giving it your all.” Many people think this way. They say, "I’ll just do my best and hope that it's good enough." No. Eternal life is not gained by “giving.” It is gained by “receiving.”

Man is not naturally good that he has something to give. He is not overflowing with goodness that he is able to give something to God. On the contrary, man is an empty vessel. He needs Someone to come in and fill him. He cannot trust in himself. He must trust in something outside himself.

To be sure “receiving” requires more than merely seeing yourself as an empty vessel, a needy person, and a helpless person. It requires also that you see value in that which you receive. You must see some reason to receive that which is offered to you. To receive Christ is to receive something of value. If you do not see Christ as “valuable” you have not received Him. You are still helpless.

We must take action to receive

We must be clear on one more thing. To receive Christ means more than understanding Who He is. It requires more than understanding facts about Christ. You must act on that understanding. You must see that He is valuable, and receive Him. You must take Him as your own.

It does no good for me to recognize that Christ is a Savior, unless I receive Him, confessing Him as “my Savior.” I may know of His blood which was shed on a cross, but I must receive Him so that His blood cleanses me of my sin. I still have a list of offenses against God on my account unless I have received Christ and have His righteousness credited to my account. His righteousness must be my righteousness if it is going to secure for me eternal life – true salvation.

Have you received Christ? That is the question. Perhaps you have received “a Christ” but not “the Christ” of the Bible. To have eternal life you must receive the Christ of the Bible.

The Colossians received Christ Jesus the Lord. They received the man named Jesus who was sent from God to the world. This man is the Messiah – God’s anointed One. He was sent to earth to be a servant of men, to fulfill all of God’s righteous law, and to die on the cross bearing the iniquity – the sin – of men. God the Father was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief. As God’s Annointed One He was raised from the dead, justifying the many (Isa. 53.11), and now has been exalted as the King of Kings. The Colossians knew about this Christ. They received Him. They embraced Him as their appointed Savior. They embraced Him as the Lord of all. They knew His power and exalted position over all, and they accepted the truth about Him. They submitted to Him and gave Him grateful adoration.

Have you received Jesus Christ the Lord? If not, Paul’s further instruction is useless to you. There are no safeguards against error and no "stability of faith." To reject this Jesus, the Savior of men, and Lord of all is to reject the truth. The only thing left is error. God offers you salvation right now. He offers you freedom from your sin – He offers you Jesus Christ, the only One Who can save you from the penalty of your sin and the power of your sin. You must see your helplessness. You must acknowledge your need of Him. You must acknowledge that He is your Master. Receive Him today. Call on His name begging Him for His mercy, asking Him for His grace, turning from your sin, entrusting your life to Him, and determining to follow Him no matter the cost. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Walking in Christ

If you have received Christ, then you must continue to walk in Him. You must live the Christian life the same way you got it.

Are you walking? You were saved in order to walk. You are not to stand or sit. You are to take action.

You were saved to continually walk. Paul communicates this truth in the tense of the verb he uses. You are not to walk for a little, but then stop to pet the animals. Walk. Continually. That is your responsibility.

Your continual "walk" is your life. It is your conduct.

How do we walk IN CHRIST?

Here are some practical ways to walk in Him:

When you come to God, come in Christ. When you pray, pray in Christ.

When you received Christ, you received Him as the only acceptable way to God. Come boldly before God knowing that you come through Christ.

When you do good works, don’t try to merit God’s favor. Enjoy the grace that is found in Christ. To be in Christ is to have all the grace we need to stand before a completely holy God. We need not add our own good deeds to impress God so that He will love us.

You will wear yourself out trying to impress God with your good works. He isn’t impressed anyway. He demands perfection. But don’t worry – He has provided Christ as your perfection. He sees you as perfect because you are hidden in Christ. Let your whole life be a huge sigh of relief. He loves you without reservation because you are perfect in Christ.

Seek joy in Him. True joy is found only in Christ. Don’t assume He is not able to satisfy you and then go elsewhere searching for joy.

When you received Christ, you received Him as your all in all. Remember when you first saw Christ? Everything else paled in comparison. Just as the “stars are hidden by the light of the sun”[1] so all that the world had to offer lost its brilliance.

Seek wisdom in Him. Wisdom is found only in Him.

Realize that true insight which allows you to enjoy your relationship with God and others can be found only in Christ. Look to the Word of Christ. Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you. Don’t try to make life work apart from Christ.

Find your hope in Christ.

Have you been feeling hopeless lately? Are you hopeful that you can make changes in your life? Are you hopeful that you can handle a difficult responsibility in your life? True hope is found in Christ. Hope in Him.

Don’t count on your own strength. What strength do you have apart from Christ? Don’t hope in your own wisdom. What wisdom do you have apart from Christ?

Is Christ strong enough to help you? Yes. He is Lord of all. Does He love you enough? Yes. We saw that you are loved without reservation. Is He wise enough to help you? Yes. He is wisdom! All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Him.

A safeguard against error

Walk in Christ continually. Walking in Christ is a safeguard against error. How is it a safeguard against error?

There are some people that skip meals in order to lose weight. I have tried that, but it usually backfires. I have on occasions tried to go without breakfast or go light on a particular meal in order to lose weight. The obvious problem is that I get really hungry. Then, when I am offered a Snickers bar at work by Brian (my wonderful co-laborer), I can hardly say, “no.” So, I need to eat good meals so that I have no room for junk food.

You may find error appealing if you feel a void in your life. Voids should be filled by Christ. He is sufficient to meet your every need. Feed on Him, so that you have no room for anything else. If you don’t feed on Christ, a Snickers bar (error) may deceive you.

Paul gives us this command as a safeguard against error. He tells us to walk in Christ.

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[1] The Autobiography of Charles H. Spurgeon, p.109

 

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