The All-Sufficient Christ And The Christian Life!
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, Colossians 2:6
The Christian life is full of joys and pleasures in Christ and yet there are so many pitfalls and spiritual dangers in it too. Recently I heard a statement from Dr Sinclair Ferguson which is so true in our Christian lives. He was talking about being united to Christ and how inevitably a believer becomes a target of Satan and is drawn into a spiritual battle when he or she is united to Christ. He said, “Although Satan cannot rob you of your salvation, he will do all he can to steal the joy and assurance of that salvation.”1 One of the ways Satan does this is to unleash false teaching that seeks to draw us away from relying upon the sufficiency of Christ. This could result in us losing our joy and assurance in our lives.
The truth of the Gospel says “You are complete in Christ” and the false teachers say “You need something more to give you that extra confidence in your standing before God.” This was happening at the church at Colossae. They had begun with the true Gospel and were generally doing well in their Christian lives. But there were these voices whispering into the church that they lack “secret knowledge.” They were saying they needed more and “asceticism” to succeed in their Christian lives. Paul saw the danger and took up his pen and wrote this Colossians to remind them about the sufficiency and joy of being in Christ.
As we come to chapter 2:6 Paul has already in various ways reminded them in chapter 1 about the awesome Person and Work of Christ. They already have been reminded that the true and great mystery has been given to them by God through His Apostles. In 1:27 he even stated the great mystery which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” This means in other words that they are the most blessed people of all the earth. If Christ is truly in them then they do not lack any good thing, they will never again fall into eternal condemnation, they can always trust Christ to provide all the resources to live the Christian life. Now in verse 6 Paul makes his first application for their lives but before doing that he reminds them to think again about whom they have received. They had not merely heard of Christ but received Him as Lord. There was a day when Epaphras announced to them the good news of Christ, against the backdrop of the bad news of sin and its eternal consequences. By the Spirit of God, they had become believers and they wholeheartedly received the Messiah who hung on a cross and rose again as the Lord of heaven and earth.
We too need a constant reminder that there was a time when we knew of Christ only intellectually but a day came when by grace, we received Him as a famished person receives a king’s feast. We need to be reminded that the one whom we by grace received is the Eternal Son of God and is Yahweh the Lord. We need to be reminded that He was before all things and in Him, all things have been made. He humbled Himself and took on flesh and, in His body, bore our eternal wrath and condemnation. He was raised for our Justification and is seated as Lord at the right hand of the Father. It is this Christ who is our reconciliation and peace before God.
Paul not only reminds them about whom they have received but also then logically what they should be doing in their Christian lives. If Jesus is all that Paul has been so masterfully presenting in chapters 1 and 2 then there is no other option but to keep walking in Him. We need no other human wisdom, we need no other secret knowledge or dreams and visions given to some leader elsewhere. We only need to come to this Lord who seeks to feed us by His means of grace. We need to keep trusting Him and looking to Him with great expectancy. He alone can cleanse, restore, and strengthen even His weakest sheep. If you have been raised up with Christ then you have the Spirit of Christ. He has paid an unimaginable cost for His sheep; He will surely finish in us that which He has begun. May the Lord help us all to keep drawing near to His throne of mercy and keep feasting on His wonderful means of grace.