In all of life, some truths are essential while others are merely interesting. Our lives as Christians are planted in deep and rich ground. Paul wrote a note to the Christians in Colossae, an ancient town in present-day Turkiye. He taught the foundational actions God has done for everyone who believes in Him:
- He transferred us from darkness to light.
- He bought us out of slavery to sin.
- He forgave us for our rebellion against God.
- He enabled us to understand Jesus’s status and intrinsic nature.
- He paid the cost to make things right even though we were enemies who had wrecked His world.
- He surrendered His right to dignity to take the punishment for our failures.
- He continues to encourage and assure us of the importance and completeness of Jesus’s work for everyone who takes Him at His word.
Why bring up all of that? Paul’s writing to you, Christian, who have trusted God and accepted Jesus and warning you not to think that getting the gospel is a one-and-done affair. It’s not like a driver’s test you take and forget. Once you pass the driver’s test, you drive like a person who knows the rules. Because of the kind of foundation Jesus has given, Paul exhorts, “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so [continue to] walk in Him (Colossians 2:6). When you have taken the first step with Jesus, you must keep taking future steps to live in a manner worthy of Him.
- REFLECT: What could I do today to take a step forward in walking in Jesus, just as I did when I first believed?
If you think your salvation was an event in the past, then you might think you could benefit from some new ideas (maybe from nature or other philosophies) to live a happy, fulfilled life. But in reality, you need to live a life worthy of Christ, “being rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught“ (Colossians 2:7). This means regularly digging into what you initially trusted about Jesus.
- REFLECT: What am I doing to go deeper into understanding and comprehending the God that I say I trust?
We can all settle for a surface-level “Yeah-ok-I’m-good-with-God-now-back-to-real-life” mentality. That kind of thinking minimizes the effectiveness and power of Jesus’s work. Instead of simplifying salvation to a single transaction, you should be actively pondering what it means for today that you’re not in the domain of darkness. You should be rubbing your wrists where the shackles of slavery to sin used to be, rejoicing in God’s rescue from temptation this morning. You should read the Old Testament, enjoying the long-term plan to rescue every nationality. When you regularly ponder the faith that established you, you will overflow with gratitude (Colossians 2:7).
What if you don’t sink your roots deep into all God has done for you? There are real dangers! With only a shallow grasp of God’s work, you could be “taken captive by philosophy and empty deceit according to human tradition“ (Colossians 2:8) — cool-sounding theories and speculations about life and the universe. Putting ornaments on a Christmas tree looks nice, but it won’t keep the tree alive because there are no roots growing. The most interesting theories in books and on Youtube can be dangerous hooks that engage your interest while preventing your growth.
You’ll never experience anyone or anything as functional and astonishing as Jesus because the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ (Colossians 2:9). But don’t let His great nature confuse you; He’s not far away, regal, and uncaring because “you have been filled in Him who is the head of all rule and authority” (Colossians 2:10). How could we expect to get better ideas than Him? Abide in Him! Rely on Him! Go to Him with your needs and emptiness so your roots can grow deep in Him.
- REFLECT: Are you deriving all your life, mental strength, and growth from Jesus? Is there anything else in your life from which you are desiring to find hope and success?