“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2: 6
Key words for the Christian life: received, continue, live your lives, rooted and thankfulness! What is not a key word for Christian living and leadership? Worldliness!
Let’s look at what is going on in American society at this time. We have a former gold medal Olympian, 1976 decathlon, male, who thinks is a woman, and society cheers for him or is it her. Then, we have a major African American NAACP leader who as it turns out, is Caucasian, society jeers for her (really, no one noticed? A commentary that liberalism is not only stupid, it is blind). And the irony is missed as both want what they are not, and to be what they want to be, regardless of what they truly are. One is hailed the other is hated. Why can’t a white person be black if a man can be a woman, what is the difference? We have a society that is, what is, well, sin, steeped in sin. And church leaders who want us to take in that sin and own it as ours are missing the mark of the Gospel.
The Church must not take in the culture as its gospel; instead, the Church is to trust completely in the Gospel–the Word of God–and be examples of the Gospel. We are to be countercultural! Remember, anything that is of God will cause controversy; those who do not know the Truth will hate the Truth.
Paul wrote to correct and to instruct people to stay away from what is false and rather embrace God’s effectual empowerment and true Truth. Thus, the overarching call of God is to have a correct view of Christ, so our lives are aligned with His precepts and character. This way, we can be on guard, and live in a proper, pleasing way to glorify our Lord, so that people will see Christ exhibited in us. If we are worldly, what is the point of Christianity (2 Pet. 2: 12-16; Rev. 2: 1-7)?
Received Christ Jesus as Lord, means receiving God’s saving. Because the Gospel is our good news, which means ‘victory’ as in “God delivers,” and that salvation is from, and only from God, Christ as Lord. We receive the benefit of the person and Work of Christ, how He delivered us out of sin and into our new life. That by His life and sacrifice that we have the Kingdom and abundance of life here and forevermore. So, that is what we continue in (Rom. 10:9-10; 11:6; Eph. 2:8-9; Col. 2:6-8; Titus 3:5-7; Heb. 2:3; 4:6).
Continue in them refers to forming a good habit and being constant. In context, this is about taking God’s saving grace and trusting and obeying His precepts, not man’s sin, agendas and traditions!
Walk or Live in Him. Means going about the business of God or walking in righteousness, to “halakah” (Lev. 26:3; Ezek. 36:27) as to regulate your life to behave according to what you believe. It is to know Christ, live for Him, and pursue Christ further beyond our salvation. To abide in His strength and not ours. We are to be obedient and constant with our learning and growth in Christ, so it is the tradition of God empowers us, learning His precepts or living and relating to God, self, and others, not the traditions of men, who deceive us (Mark. 12:38; Rom. 6:4; 8:1; 13:13; 1 Cor. 7:1; 2 Cor. 5:7; 10:3; 12:18; Gal. 5:16-25; 6:16; Eph. 2:10; 4:1, 17; 5:2, 8-15; Phil. 3:10-18; Col. 3:17; 1 Thess. 2:12; 4:1, 12; 2 Thess. 3:11; 1 John 1:6-7; 2:6; 2 John 6; 3 John 3-4).
Rooted. This is an agricultural image meaning God is the planter and Farmer; we are to take root in Him, meaning we are to obey Him. We have to grow by learning and applying and sharing God’s principles and love. This was also a Jewish metaphor for receiving God’s blessing for being obedient. If they followed God, He would allow the people to take root in the promised land (Ruth 4:11; Psalm 28:5; 51:18; 69:35; 147:2; Jer. 1:10; 18:7; 24:6; 31:4; 45:4; 1 Cor. 3:5-17; Eph. 3:17).
Let’s look at another key word, Worldliness is the attempt to make sin normal and righteousness strange.
Worldliness is an excuse to rationalize sin and evil and condemn goodness, and Who and what Christ is and came to do. That your heredity of sin has changed to His heredity? That Jesus has formed and renewed you (Gal. 1:15-16; 4:19; Titus 2:12)? If not, why?
The Church is called to be counter-cultural; we are NOT TO succumb to the ways and worldliness of the world.
Instead, the whole Church–the entire body of Christ–is to be the example of Truth and live out the faith. That means the leaders too! It is imperative we heed the instructions of God’s Word, live worthy, grow in our faith, never compromise the Word and pass it on to others! How much are we influenced by our culture and new or old philosophical ideas and trends? Do they influence our churches? If so, what are we to do? God’s Word is not outdated, it is for us now and needed more than ever! The Bible does apply to us today just as it did to the original audience and the situation (Col. 2:18)!
If a Christian leader states it is OK to accept the ways of the world, two things are happening. One, they are not Christian in theme, as they are not following Christ as Lord. Two, they are not a leader, as a real Christian leader points people to Christ, not to themselves and not to the world!