So Walk in Him
Colossians 2:6-7 ESV
“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.”
Believing in Jesus Christ is not about just being saved from our sins so that when we die we get to go to heaven. For, the whole reason Jesus died on that cross for us was to deliver us from our slavery to sin so that we would now be slaves of righteousness (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
Therefore, we don’t just receive Jesus Christ into our lives and then that’s it until we go to heaven. In the same way we received him, if in truth we did, we also walk (conduct our lives in practice) in him. This means we walk in obedience to his commands, we forsake our sins, and we submit to him as Lord of our lives.
For, the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who WALK not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we have eternal life (Rom 8:1-17).
Jesus didn’t die on that cross just to forgive us our sins. He died to change us, to transform us, to make us new creations in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, and created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10; Eph 4:17-24).
Not According to Christ
Colossians 2:8-10 ESV
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.”
What is the predominant gospel message being taught in today’s church here in America? It is not the gospel Jesus taught or that Paul and the other apostles taught. It is a half-truth gospel (a lie) which was conceived in the minds of human beings who wanted to destroy the true gospel.
These human beings are those who are taking people captive by philosophy and empty conceit, according to human tradition and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Thus, they altered the gospel to make it more appealing and acceptable to human flesh.
But that is not all they did. For, this wasn’t just about making a gospel which would be acceptable to a broader audience, but this was about leading people away from the truth of the real gospel so that they would deny Christ, not die to their sins, not submit to him as Lord, and not obey him.
Therefore, they would also not be saved from their sins, and they would not inherit eternal life with God, but they would die in their sins because they did not die with Christ to their sins, nor did they walk (in conduct) according to the Spirit, but they walked according to the flesh, by permission.
You were Circumcised
Colossians 2:11-12 ESV
“In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”
If you are believing in Jesus Christ with God-given and God-persuaded faith, you have died with Christ to sin, you have been resurrected with Christ, of the Spirit of God, to newness of life in him, and the life you now live you no longer live according to the flesh but by the Spirit.
This is what it means to be circumcised with a circumcision made without hands. We were buried with Christ in baptism to death to sin. We put off that body of the flesh so that we can now walk according to the Spirit. So, we died with Christ to sin that we might live to Christ and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24).
For, Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For, if we hold on to our lives of sin, we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our lives (die with him to sin), we will have eternal life (Lu 9:23-26).
And God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs (trains) us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return. For, Jesus gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (Tit 2:11-14).
Nailing it to the Cross
Colossians 2:13-15 ESV
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
None of what we have talked about so far here is possible in our own strength or willpower. We can never be good enough in our own flesh to be acceptable to God. Only by the grace of God and because of Jesus’ blood sacrifice on a cross for our sins can any of us be forgiven our sins.
So, how did God make us alive together with him? By dying for our sins so that we could die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And by calling us and leading us to Christ, and by persuading us to believe in Jesus according to God’s will and purpose for our lives.
Thus, by faith in Jesus, we were crucified with Christ in death to sin and resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him now to be lived to his glory. We were delivered from our slavery to sin so we would now by slaves to righteousness. All this comes from God.
And by God’s grace, and in his power and strength, we are now to walk (in conduct) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, because Jesus set us free. For we have been delivered from the control of sin and Satan so that we can now come under Holy Spirit control.
The Great Redeemer
Lyrics by Francis Foster, 1915
Music by Samuel W. Beazley, 1915
How I love the great Redeemer
Who is doing so much for me;
With what joy I tell the story
Of the love that makes men free.
Till my earthly life is ended,
I will send songs above,
Then beside the crystal sea
More and more my soul shall be
Praising Jesus and His love.
He has purchased my redemption,
Rolled my burden of sin away,
And is walking on beside me,
Growing dearer day by day.
That is why I sing His praises,
That is why joy is mine,
That is why forevermore
On the everlasting shore
I shall sing of love divine.
Glory be to Him forever!
Endless praises to Christ the Lamb!
He has filled my life with sunshine,
He has made me what I am.
Oh, that everyone would know Him,
Oh, that all would adore!
Oh, that all would trust the love
Of the mighty Friend above
And be His forevermore.
He is everything to me, to me,
He is everything to me,
And everything shall always be;
I will never cease to raise
A song of gladness in His praise;
Here, and in the world above,
My soul shall sing of saving love;
Life and light and joy is He,
The precious Friend who died for me.
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