Reference: Colossians 2:6-7
This is number #3 in our series “Mature in Christ”, and as you’ve seen in the theme our focus this morning is “Walking in Him”; or, “Walk in Him”.
Some people go to the gym to get fit; personally, I’ve felt that like that was self-torture (although I have been to the gym, myself)! But walking is one of those things most lacking, today. We’re too busy; it’s too easy to hop in the car. We lack the exertion of physical effort. We’re too often seated, rather than active. Slowly we become passive – with all the negative health consequences that come with it.
We’re going to have a look at this morning’s passage in Colossians 2:6-7. The command is to walk “as you received” Him. Let’s put this into the context of chapter 2.
“For 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, that 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, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument. For 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.
“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.”
We all need to rediscover walking. The simple joys and pleasures it brings with it; the benefits to our bodies that it brings; and we need to get out there and do it. But this message is not about the physical exercise of walking and its benefits. It’s about the necessity of walking in your spiritual life and making sure you overcome spiritual apathy and the danger of falling for whatever latest fad and deception is being offered in the spiritual realm.
Now the Colossians had started well. But false teaching was creeping in, and Paul was writing this letter to show them how to avoid and overcome such false ideas. These two verses conclude the argument that began in chapter 1 verse 15 where he said of Jesus, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”
The false teachers had been saying that Jesus is not enough; you need Jesus plus. Now let’s pause here. Any time you’re told you need Jesus plus something else, there’s a problem. Because you’re saying Jesus isn’t sufficient. The false teaching that was afflicting the Colossian believers was that they needed Jesus, plus “special knowledge” (I’m not going into the background and details of that in this message, but it’s worth looking into). They said that you need an initiation that only these teachers could give – like the foundation of many of today’s cults.
Paul rejoiced in the Colossians’ unity and their steadfast faith because these proved that they had not given ground to the heresy yet. But he wanted to ensure that they wouldn’t give in, and believe the lies of these false teachers. So he says to them, “walk in Him, as you received Him; therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so, walk in Him.”
They started well; they’d heard the gospel through Epaphras, and received Jesus as Lord and Saviour. So he says that little phrase, “you received Him as Lord and Saviour”…
Listen to the rest of this sermon here:
Neil Ward, Foothills Church of Christ, Sunday 20 August 2017