In the Faith: Colossians 2: 6-7x

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   In our last article (“Steadfast in the Gospel”; January 2018), we focused on Colossians 2:1-5 and discussed WALK how Paul wanted the Colossians to be absolutely convinced that ministering on behalf of Jesus Christ was worth any opposition they might face.  He wanted them to be steadfast in the faith so that false teachers could not deceive them into leaving the truth. 

   Paul continues (Colossians 2:6) by telling the Colossians to walk in the same way that they had received the Lord Jesus Christ and were saved.  A very important question is: How did they receive the Lord Jesus Christ?  The answer is that they received the Lord Jesus Christ by faith alone. They heard the message of Jesus Christ and by faith accepted Him as their Savior.  Now the issue is spiritual growth and service.  Paul reminded the Corinthian believers in his second letter to them: “For we walk by faith, not by sight”: (2 Cor. 5:7).  This emphasis on walking by faith went against everything the false teachers were promoting.  They said you had to have Christ as well as abstain from all fleshly pleasures or be able to philosophize deeper truths.  Paul tells them to accept God’s Word and let it permeate their entire lives, which is what the word “walk” means — a lifestyle of faith. 

   “Walking by faith, not by sight” means that we do not expect to see the sign gifts (i.e., speaking in tongues, special revelation not found in the Bible, the ability to raise the dead or heal the sick, etc.) to verify our faith.  The same apostle who writes this letter to the Colossians wrote an earlier letter to the Corinthians. Paul states in I Corinthians 13:10 that when God’s revelation (According to the Greek pronoun, “that which is perfect” is a SOMETHING not a SOMEONE) to him was complete, the sign gifts would fade for the duration of the Age of Grace.  We learned earlier in Colossians that the message given to the Apostle Paul finishes the God-revealed Scriptures (Col. 1:25); therefore, “that which is perfect” has come.  As “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17), we walk by trusting in what God’s Word says, not what outward circumstances and experiences tell us.

   This also means that we shouldn’t think God has failed us when things go wrong or that our faith isn’t strong enough when our prayers seem to go unanswered.  We are promised “the peace of God will guard our hearts” (Philp. 4:6-7) not that our requests will be granted the way we want them to be granted. God knows what is best and works all things together according to His will (Romans 8:28). 

   We need to recognize in times of plenty and times of need, in difficult moments and smooth moments, and in sickness and health, for richer or for poorer that God’s grace extended through Christ Jesus is sufficient for us to live by.  Do not let the smooth talkers tell you that God does not love you as much as someone else. 

   Moving to Colossians 2:7, we learn instead of being tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, Paul wanted the Colossians to be:

   This is a word that means “fixed and firm.”  If you have ever planted trees or bushes, you know that you want them to have healthy roots to keep the plant upright and for the leaves and branches to receive the nutrients that the plant needs.  If you have ever tried to remove a pesky tree or bush, you know the roots can be hard to dislodge.  Paul wanted the Colossians to be fixed and firm, rooted, in THE FAITH.  This verse tells us that us that at a given point in time (when we trusted in Christ), someone else (God) did this to us.  As God has rooted us in THE FAITH, we should stand firm in THE FAITH.

   A word that means “constructed upon.”  We know from 1 Corinthians 3:11 that we are founded on the Lord Jesus Christ, the only durable and eternal foundation that you can spiritual build upon.  Yet this is a continuous process that someone else (God, the Holy Spirit) does.  We have a constant calling to continually be allowing the Holy Spirit to help us grow in THE FAITH.  We will never reach a point in this life where the work is finished.  There will always be more building up that needs done. 

   It means “making stable, strengthen.”  It is also a continuous process that began in the past (the moment of salvation) that someone else (God, the Holy Spirit) does when we allow Him to do it.  For example, a college or business can be established, but it has to work hard through the years to keep its place in society.  If it begins to get lazy and rests on the fact that has already been established, it will weaken.  For us, we need the Holy Spirit to constantly strengthen us in THE FAITH. 

   These three words are not talking about how you get saved or how to remain saved; they are talking about your growth in the Lord.  “The Faith” is not YOUR faith in Christ. The faith is a body of truth. It is not A faith; it is THE Faith that God has established for today. (See Col. 1:25-28.)  The danger for any believer is to be swayed from THE faith, leading the person into error and stunting their growth in the Lord.  God wants to make sure that we allow Him to root us, constantly build us up, and continually establish us in the truth of Jesus Christ according to His message of grace that is in operation today. 

   Even further, we are called to “abound” (“going above and beyond”)  This is once again a continuous action, only this time WE are responsible to abound with thanksgiving. When we allow God to do His part (root, build up, establish), we begin to see how much we have to be thankful for in the Lord Jesus Christ.  So, get into God’s Word, know The Truth, allow the Holy Spirit to work on your hearts according to The Truth, and abound with thanksgiving in the Truth. 

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