Walk Ye In Him

19 04 2020

Introduction: Alice and I discuss the Word of God often. Many times, she will share
what she has read and how it touched her soul. Many times, I will share with her things
that I have read and how it convicted me. Our text today operates from the premise that,
the reader has received Christ. With that in mind let us search the Scripture today and
learn what He expects from us.

Please open to each passage referenced in today’s message. You may want to make
some notes in your Bible.

Colossians 2:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in
him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught,
abounding therein with thanksgiving.

The Colossians were coming under the attack of false teachers. The false teachers
were not giving the person and work of Christ proper interpretation or emphasis. Paul
emphasizes that the full assurance of understanding cannot be had apart from Christ.

Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Since you received Christ by faith; now, continue your Christian life by a constant trust
in Him. Life begins and proceeds upon the principle of faith. We are saved by faith and
we are to live by faith.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to
God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

There is no way our relationship to God can be pleasing to Him unless we trust Him.
God wants us to trust Him. Apart from faith, we cannot please God. So, apart from faith,
it does not much matter what we do.

A very basic and simple fact of life is this: All of our valuable relationships in life are built
on trust. When a husband and wife stop trusting each other, they may continue to be
married, but they can no longer have a happy marriage. When two friends stop trusting
each other, they may continue to see each other, but they no longer have a true
friendship. If that is true in our human relationships, how much more true is it in our
relationship to God?

The Christian life starts with an act of faith. We believe that Christ will save us if we trust
in Him alone for our redemption.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It is a promise that when I believe in Christ, I am given everlasting life. When I come to
the living God as a guilty sinner, who deserves hell, trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone for my redemption, I am engaging in an act of faith. I have never seen God. I have
never seen this place called heaven, or this place called hell.

I have never seen Jesus Christ. But by faith, those things which I cannot see become realities to me. I gain assurance and conviction about things that my eyes cannot see. That is what faith is all about. But trusting God for my eternal salvation is only the beginning. It is the start of a journey that cannot be traveled successfully in any other way but by a growing faith. We must distinguish between saving faith and walking by faith. Many believers have trusted Christ for their salvation, but are not living in faith. They are not trusting God in each and every area of their lives.

How do we grow in faith? There are two main factors which determine the strength of
our faith.

First, is our knowledge of God.

Many of the troubles and difficulties the children of God experience in their lives is due
to a lack of knowledge about Him. That is how to develop strong faith. The more you
know God, the more you will trust Him:

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

We need to study the Word that we may know Him. It is hard to trust someone you don’t know. Sadly, many children of God tend to base their personal relationship with God on
their performance, instead of on His grace. We need to understand that the life of the
child of God is a matter of grace.

We are brought into God’s eternal kingdom by grace, we are sanctified by grace, we are motivated to obedience by grace, we receive strength to live the Christian life by grace, and we receive both things of this world and spiritual blessings by grace. The entire Christian life is lived by grace. Living by grace means that you are free from the “performance treadmill.” It means that you do not have to try to earn God’s approval.

Know this, nothing you ever do will cause Him to love you any more or any less. You
are loved and accepted through the merit of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ rendered perfect
obedience to God, and you have received His righteousness by grace through faith.

In Romans 5:12-21, the key idea in these verses is our identification with Adam and
with Christ. Paul saw two men, Adam and Christ, each of them reigning over a kingdom.
In short, this section is a contrast of Adam and Christ. Adam was given dominion over
the old creation, he sinned, and he lost his kingdom. Because of Adam’s sin, all
mankind is under condemnation and death:

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

That was the position of every one of us, but now all of us who put our trust in Jesus
Christ, by grace through faith, are joined to Jesus Christ. He is our head and His
righteousness is imputed to us:

Romans 5:15-16 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the
offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which
is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift
is of many offences unto justification.

Because we are in Christ, all that belongs to Jesus Christ belongs to us:

Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which
receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one,
Jesus Christ.)

Do you see the emphasis of grace in these verses? Christ came as the King over a new
creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). By His obedience on the cross, He brought in
righteousness and justification. Christ not only undid all the damage that Adam’s sin
affected, but He accomplished much more by making us the very sons of God. Note
the phrase is repeated in verses, 9, 10, 15, 17 and 20. This means that
in Jesus Christ we have gained much more than we ever lost in Adam!

Romans 5:18-19 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to
condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men
unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,
so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Your salvation and mine depends only, entirely, upon the obedience of Jesus Christ and
our faith in Him. The first factor which determines the strength of our faith is our knowledge of God.

The second factor which determines the strength of our faith is the application of
what we know.

A knowledge that never ventures out upon what it knows will never be a strong faith.

Luke 8:22-25 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his
disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And
they launched forth. 23 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm
of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they
came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and
rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying
one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and
water, and they obey him.

The disciples in the boat during the storm were failing to apply their faith, and that is
why our Lord put His question to them in that particular form. He said, Where is your
faith? They had faith, but where was it? Why weren’t they applying it to the situation
that they were in? Their problem was they did not use the faith they had.

They were looking at the waves and the water coming in the boat. They were bailing it
out, but still more was coming in, and they cried out to Jesus, We perish. He said to
them, Where is your faith? They had seen Jesus do the miraculous. They should have
trusted Him.

In Colossians 2:6, received serves to stress the fact and decisiveness of their
reception of the gospel message about the person and work of Christ. The Colossians
had received the gospel centering on the Person of Christ.

Galatians 1:11-12 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me
is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the
revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel which Paul preached came as a result of revelation. That is why he could
announce to the Thessalonians that:

1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because,
when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word
of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that
believe.

The Thessalonians received the truth verbally. In Colossians 2:6, Paul is encouraging his readers to continue following Christ in harmony with the sound teaching that had resulted in their conversion. The expression in verse seven, as ye have been taught adds further support to this idea that they had received doctrine taught them.

When we became a child of God, we welcomed the doctrine of Christ. The doctrine
concerning Christ is sufficient to meet any problem in the Christian life.

Paul is claiming that his teaching is the only place where we can find the truth about the
mystery of Christ. All these false teachers should be easy to spot, because they will
teach something other than what Paul had already proclaimed.
So, they had received Christ through the preaching of the Gospel. It was through the
reception of the truth of the Gospel message that they came to Christ:

Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

The point of this verse revolves around two little words, as and so. The as refers to
the point when they received the gospel of Christ. The so refers to continued abiding
in the truth that they had received.

Walk as you have received Christ as your Savior walk in Him. Do it now, continue to
walk in the Lord. It is literally saying, in Him be continually walking.

The position of  in Him stresses the fact of how we are to walk, in Him. It literally
means: to walk, and conduct one’s life. The term walk portrays the steady
progress of one’s life taken one step at a time. (I can remember my Dad telling me,
“just keep putting one foot in front of the other.) I am told that in Jewish thought, it was
and is the standard term for ethical conduct.

According to Scripture, our walk, our ethical conduct is to be like Christ’s:

1 John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he
walked.

When faced with the dilemmas that confront the child of God in their daily lives, the
guideline should be, What would Jesus do?

So, in verse 6, Paul is telling the Colossians that they had received Christ by accepting
the truth of the Gospel, and they were to walk in that same truth.

Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been
taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Rooted: Rooted means, to cause to take root, to become firmly rooted or fixed. It suggests
the thought of something which took place in the past, but whose effects persist in the
present, and is therefore the first cause of their relationship with Jesus Christ (the received of the previous verse) which is the place from which their experience springs.

Built Up: Built up means, to build up, to build further or build on something. This describes
an ongoing process, a steady growth of the spiritual structure of the believer’s life. Since
the child of God is the recipient of God’s work in his or her life, we then depend upon the
Lord for growth and spiritual change.

The child of God is in the construction business. The image here is that of a building.
We must grow up by building on the foundation, which is Jesus Christ. Jude says that
we build strength into our lives by what we believe.

Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in
the Holy Ghost,

Stablished: The word stablished means: to make firm or make secure, to cause something to be known as certain, to confirm. It describes the continuous establishment or
strengthening that God gives when there is a Christ centered walk. God is the cause of
our certainty.

This stablishing comes as you have been taught. Teaching is the foundation for
stability. As we said earlier, we are strengthened in our faith through knowledge, and
this comes through teaching. Notice that the establishing is in the faith. Keep in mind that the context warns against false teaching and stresses their previous teaching; as you were taught. This refers to the faith, the body of revealed truth or the gospel message. This is a call not to merely hold the faith, but to grow in the knowledge of the faith as it reveals the person and work of Christ.

This is a call for continuous growth in the grace and knowledge of the Savior. The Apostle Paul talking about what we believe, not that we believe but what we believe. He is talking about knowing what we believe.

There is always a danger of false teaching. There was in that day, and there still is
today. It is vital for everyone who knows Jesus Christ to also know what they believe
about Him. You need to know what the Bible teaches about the Christian faith.

Thanksgiving:

Six times in this short epistle Paul focuses our thoughts on the fullness of Christ and our
completeness in Him. Paul emphasizes thankfulness six times, (1:3, 12; 2:7, 3:15, 16;
4:2). Thankfulness takes our thoughts away from our accomplishments and ourselves
as we grow and experience Christ. Thankfulness directs our thoughts to God and what
He has done and is doing for us in and through the Savior.

But we are not to just be thankful. We are to be abounding, constantly overflowing.
Abounding, stresses our responsibility to actively engage in thankful hearts. Overflowing
means, to be over and above, to abound, to be present in abundance. Believers who
are firmly rooted in Christ, being built up in Him, and established in their faith, will
overflow with gratitude to God:

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually,
that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Here we see that praise to God is defined as spiritual sacrifices. Do you spend time
sacrificing to God, how often do you thank him for all his blessings?

Psalms 47:6-7 Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing
praises. 7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

Psalms 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth [his]
conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

Psalms 107:8 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his
wonderful works to the children of men!

We live in the midst of an unthankful people. (Many of them fill our church pew.) Many
people are miserable, and they show it. Some people are even proud of it. But if you’re
a child of God, one of the characteristics of your life ought to be that your heart is
overflowing with thankfulness. When people come in contact with you, instead of seeing
someone complaining, moaning and groaning, they should see someone who says, I
just want to thank God for all of His blessings in my life. He has blessed me beyond
anything I deserve. When people see people who are thankful, they wonder what it is
about that person that makes them that way. It’s Christ! If we know Jesus Christ, we
have so much to be grateful for.

One day someone robbed the great Bible commentator, Dr. Matthew Henry, as he
walked along a highway. Afterwards he told his friends there were four things for which
he gave thanks. First, he was grateful that he had never been robbed before. After
many years of life this was the first time he had been robbed, and for that he was
grateful. Second, he said, Though they took all my money, I am glad they did not get
very much. That was something for which to be thankful. Third, he said, Though they
took my money, they did not take my life, and I am grateful for that. Finally, he
suggested, I am thankful that it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed. There
was a man who learned how to overflow with thankfulness! Gratefulness is a
distinguishing mark of the mature believer.

Conclusion: I opened today talking about Alice and I sharing God’s Word with each
other. It is important to us to allow His Word to be our basis for faith and practice.
How is your walk in the Lord? Are you rooted in Him? Are you building up in Him? Are
you stablished in the faith? We have His Word that teaches us, are you studying it? If
you are doing these things, it will be evidenced by your overflowing thanks for what He
has done for you. You will not be the victim of your circumstances.

The day is soon coming that our life on earth will be through. In God’s appointed time
He will call his children home. You may think, I still have a long time to live. Do not fool
yourself. The graveyard is full of people younger than you. Live for God. Read His
Word. Become stablished in the faith, as we have been taught. (There it is again,
Romans 15:4 ready begin…quote it.) Let us allow our faith to overflow in abundance.
Let us be thankful that others might see something in us that they need. Time is short.
Live for God.

A sermon by Don Thomason, Pastor of McKee Road Baptist Church in Bakersfield, California.


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