Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him
Colossians 2:6 (ESV)
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul is here urging them to stick with the Gospel they heard. That Gospel was Christ-centred. Paul points out it was all about Him, and that there were no bells or whistles – Christ was simply more than enough.
Paul urges them here to continue in the Christ-centred Gospel they started in. Not to wander off after other gospels, other more “exciting” teachings and so walk on serving Him.
This is an important truth, and one we should not lose sight of. But I want to draw something else out of this text today.
Other translations render this verse essentially as – so as you received Christ, continue on in the same manner. So how did we receive Christ exactly? While everyone’s story is different, it comes down to the fact that someone told you of Christ, and you put your faith in Him. It wasn’t about you, and it certainly wasn’t about what you had done to deserve Christ, rather it was about what Jesus had done for you.
Imagine someone coming to your church and asking any of the following questions:
- How many times do I need to come to church in order to be saved?
- How much does it cost to join the church?
- How many hours a day do I have to read the Bible in order to get right with God?
You would likely be quite shocked. You would tell them they just need Jesus! It’s not about what you have done or can do for Him, rather it is recognising we cannot save ourselves and we need a Saviour!
But does anything change after we come to Christ? How do you approach God now, when you have a specific need?
Let’s say you are seeking God for something (it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s biblical!). Do you come to God, asking Him for it, and giving Him a list of reasons why He should do so? “I’ve been to church every week, sometimes twice, for years! I’ve prayed four hours a day for eight months! I’ve read the Bible and confessed the Scriptures over and over – yet I’ve still not received my answer!” If that’s you, then you are not approaching God in the way you did to receive salvation. Instead of trusting in Him and His grace, you are piling up works of the flesh – your own actions and efforts – to try and convince God you deserve an answer.
If you have a need, irrespective of what it is, you must approach God in the same way as you did to receive Christ.
Don’t go to God trying to twist His arm into giving you what you want. Instead, seek His will in this area. If the Bible says it is something God has promised or provided, then you can seek Him for it.
When you pray and ask God to meet this need, look to the cross and what Jesus has already fulfilled. It can’t be about what we deserve, as we surely don’t deserve anything from God. But rather, it is about Jesus’ perfect sacrifice and Him purchasing for us everything we do not deserve.
Grace and faith must stand and work together. I’ve heard it said that “Faith takes what grace makes.” Put simply, we cannot use our faith to “make” God do something for us. Instead, we use our faith to receive what God’s grace has already provided.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
Faith gets a bad name when there are those who try to use it to get whatever they want. Faith does not move God, it only enables us to receive what God has provided through grace. Put it this way, you cannot use your faith to get anything God has ot promised to give you.
So, we must continue on in faith just as we started our relationship with Jesus. We must refrain from trusting in our own good works and instead rely totally on His grace to sustain us. If you find yourself more focused on your own actions/works/efforts, and not on Christ, then chances are you have strayed away from the Gospel. Keep Christ at the centre of your life, and continue on in Him.