Colossians 2:6-7. Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
I still remember when Colossians 2:6 first clicked for me.
But let me back up. I grew up in a Christian context where it seemed like the gospel was taught as the way into salvation, but from there, any progress in salvation, any spiritual growth, any sanctification happened, not by trusting in the gospel, but in obeying, in being a “good Christian,” and in law keeping. I remember as a kid in church if the pastor said that today’s sermon was going to be a “gospel message” that meant he was preaching to the unsaved. And frankly that meant that I didn’t need to listen, because I already had received the gospel.
Honestly I had no idea that, after years of being saved, the gospel was still for me. Why would it be, since Christians no longer need the gospel of grace. They just need to be well behaved and stop sinning.
And then came what I refer to as my “gospel revolution.” When, by God’s grace, he began to show me how wrong I had been for so long. That the gospel was still for me and for all Christians forever. That we never outgrow the gospel. We never get past needing grace. That faith in God as a Christian, is faith in his grace, apart from our good deeds.
And Colossians 2:6 is what made it all click. The way you received Christ, is the same way you walk in him each day from then on.
So how did we receive Christ?
Every Christian’s answer here is the same. We received him by his glorious grace, and his unmerited favor. We received him as a gift of unconditional love and mercy. We received him by faith, not by effort, training, merit, performance, or perseverance.
And most of us completely understand this when it come to our justification. We are save by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Amen!
But what about in our sanctification? Our daily living? Why do we so easily move from grace to law?
I truly believe that many Christians think it is wrong to be in need of God’s grace after we have been saved for a while. “I should be over this by now,” we think. Or, “God must be so tired of having to put up with my failures after all these years.” Or the classic, “God helps those who help themselves.” As if the goal of the Christian life is to get over needing God’s unconditional love and continuous rescuing.
But is it possible that the complete dependence on Jesus that ushered you into faith is the same complete dependence on Jesus that you still need today, even after years and years of being a Christian?
The false teaching in Colossae that Paul is addressing in this letter, said that there is a fuller Christian life available beyond just trusting Jesus. And frankly it’s the same old heresy that many of us are still believing today. That we must get past sin completely, no longer needing grace, and that there is a deeper spiritual experience available that transcends our union with Christ and his cross.
But there is no spiritual experience greater than dependence upon union with Christ. There is no living greater than to live in constant awareness of our need of God’s grace. At every “stage” of Christian growth, what we need most is always Jesus. His love. His forgiveness. His assurance. His acceptance. Any other way of walking in the Christian life is a pride filled, self-righteous, attempt to add-on to Christ. And that is not the wisdom of God, it is pure folly my friends.
So will today be another day of chasing more rules, more knowledge, more spirituality, more of yourself?
Or will today be the day Colossians 2:6 clicks for you? Will today be the day you go back to the way you began? Will today be the day you walk in the Christ that you once freely received? Today will the same faith in the same grace that justified you be allowed to sanctify you? Today will your life abound in thanksgiving to God for his saving love in Jesus his Son? Today will you “to live is Christ.”
Is it difficult for you to need grace? Why or why not?
You in Christ
Why is union with Christ the only spiritual experience we need, nothing more?
Christ in you
Where in your daily life can you see yourself living from the same faith that saved you?
Playlist: Continuing in Christ.