Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7
Have you ever been around someone hard to understand? Maybe they mumbled or spoke too fast. I live with a fast talker. When my daughter, Katherine, gets excited about something and starts telling me about it I can’t figure out what she is talking about. We will ask her three or four times to slow down and speak clearly just so we can understand her story. Many things in life, from the unimportant to critical decisions, can be frustratingly unclear.
This is part of why I love the Scripture. It is clear and understandable. And I am drawn to Paul’s writings because he is both clear and bold. He tells us exactly how we are saved and what that salvation should produce in us. Colossians 2:6-7 is a powerful example. He says that because we belong to Jesus we should live in a certain way.
He reminds us that we have received Christ by faith and it is by this same faith that we are to also live in 3 ways.
1. We are to walk in him
Walking in Christ means that we are to imitate him as we maintain communion with him. We are called to copy his humility, sacrificial heart, compassion and joy as he modeled it for us during his life. But this can only be done by faith. It is believing what he says and what he has promised–especially during dark times. We must always lean on him and derive our strength from him giving all of our affections to him and no one and nothing else. Anything less is a self-centered, self-powered kind of religion.
2. We are to be rooted and built up, established in the faith
To say that we are not perfect is sort of meaningless. Of course we aren’t perfect. But, we have hardly even begun to grow and experience what God’s grace will eventually complete in us! This means we need to grow, and be “built up!” (2 Peter 3:18) For this to happen we must walk close to Christ, doing things that strengthen this relationship. Prayer, reading and studying his word are a few things that we must participate in. Reading other books that help us grow in the faith and attending a gospel centered church are also things that must be part of our lives. We must do whatever is necessary to kill the sin that so rampantly attacks us and there are no short-cuts. We need to put aside the excuses that we come up with for not reading our Bibles or praying. Don’t be afraid of studying theology, which is the study of God. The more we know him the more rooted and built up we will be in the faith.
Being rooted and built up and established in the faith is a slow and ongoing process that won’t be complete this side of the resurrection therefore we must be both patient and diligent.
3. We are to abound in thanksgiving
Walking in and with Christ and becoming more and more rooted in our faith will produce thankfulness because we will begin to see how holy and perfect God is, how lacking we are in everything (Colossians 3:17), and how he still draws near to us. We will begin to understand His great love for forgetful and sinful people, and see that everything in our lives truly is a gift and a blessing. We will also be thankful that we have been given the power to overcome sin and even the world (1 Corinthians 15:57). And with thankfulness comes contentment; a satisfaction with what God has given us and where he has placed us. Don’t you wish you were truly content. I have learned some of the things that trigger my discontentment. It is never a good idea for me to go to a home improvement store and look at kitchens. As hard as I try for it not to affect me, by the time I get home I find myself unhappy with the kitchen that I have. This is a small example, but thankfulness, even in this area of my life, allows me to enjoy “window shopping” without feeling discontent with what God has given to me.
God’s word is clear–as we have received Jesus we should walk in him, being built up and overflowing with thanksgiving. But God’s word is not only clear. It is powerful. God’s word is what the Holy Spirit uses to change us. May we all receive the word, believe the word, respond to the word, and plead with God to cause us to experience these great truths.
Looking to Jesus,
This week’s memory song-