Walking in Christ
What would you think if you met a Red Sox fan who loved the Yankees? Or a pacifist who loved to shoot guns? There are certain commitments that people make in life that re-shape other commitments… and this is what the Apostle Paul is getting at in Colossians 2:6-7 when he says, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
So what does it mean to “receive Christ Jesus the Lord?” Chances are, Paul isn’t focused on a personal moment of “asking Jesus into your heart.” In the days of the early church, “Jesus is Lord” was the main baptismal vow that new believers would publicly declare, showing that they are now identifying themselves as a Christian. It is likely that v.6 is pointing to their baptism and reminding them to live differently because they are now Christians.
Christians do not simply walk next to Christ, but we walk in Christ. He is our life, and we are hidden in him. This type of phrase (“in Christ”) appears five times in this short section to highlight our union with Christ. Our life is not in philosophy or in circumcision as our saviors. Instead, we find all of our salvation and life and hope in Christ. We have been buried with him in baptism and raised with him in resurrection. Our record of debt has been cancelled because Jesus nailed it to the cross in order to demonstrate the power of God for salvation.
There are times when we trust in worldly wisdom as our savior and rescue, and other times when we trust in our godly behavior. But neither worldly philosophy nor the law-keeping of circumcision was the pathway to finding true life. Instead, we have been brought from death into life by finding ourselves in Christ. Through faith, we are united with Christ and our very life is in Him through the Holy Spirit who makes us one. So stop trying to fix yourself and solve your problems, and find rest in knowing that you have received the full love of God. And when the love of God isn’t enough for you, let that show you where you’re looking for meaning and fulfillment from somewhere that will never deliver.