InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Read | Colossians 2:5-7
You Are Built Up in Christ
1For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument. 5For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ. 6Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established [a]in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
8See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
16Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day– 17things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 18Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. 20If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21“Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22(which all refer to things destined to perish with use)–in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
Christians generally associate faith with their salvation experience, and rightly so. By believing in Christ, we enter into a relationship with Him. But that’s not the end—afterwards comes a lifetime of walking with Him.
Since the word walk is used to describe behavior and conduct, we may mistakenly conclude that after salvation, the Christian life is all about performance. But today’s verses clearly state that we walk with Christ in the same way we received Him—by faith. This means we place our trust in Him for every circumstance of life. To help us under-stand this, Paul uses some phrases which describe how confidence in God grows:
“Having been firmly rooted”—At the moment of salvation, believers are “planted” in Christ. Our roots grow deep as we anchor ourselves in the Lord, drawing our spiritual nourishment from Him.
“Being built up in Him”—The believer’s life is built on the foundation of the Savior through obedience. God wants us to choose precious and valuable building materials that will last into eternity (1 Cor. 3:10-15).
“Established in your faith”—In time, as we begin to understand more about the Lord and how He operates, our trust in Him increases, and we experience stability even in the winds of adversity.
In our goal-oriented society, it’s easy to forget that walking in Christ is a process. While on earth, we never “arrive” but are slowly transformed along the way. As we trust the Lord, our hearts will overflow with gratitude for all His blessings and the stability He offers in every circumstance.