When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, he forgives our sins and redeems us. We are born again spiritually. That the biggest most important decision you will ever make.
So as a Follower of Christ how do we live intentionally and walk in our new identity?
For a Christian, living intentionally begins with living a life submitted to Christ. In Christ we find our identity and purpose. Knowing your purpose is key, because your purpose determines your priorities. As you seek God, He will reveal your specific calling and purpose to you.
However, as a follower of Jesus Christ your main purpose is to bring glory to God by loving and worshiping Him with your life – all that you are and everything that you do.
That’s where we start. Before your career, financial, and relationship goals can fall into place, you must be intentional in your relationship with God. He will guide you and give you wisdom for your decisions.
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
What’s the secret to living the Christian life? We all start off so well. We receive Christ as our Savior, and we are filled with excitement at the prospect of new life in Christ. Our sins have been forgiven, we have been restored to relationship with God, we have assurance that we will go to heaven when we die, and we know that our whole life just changed. The old is gone, the new has come!
We start off enthusiastic for Christ and ready to take on the whole world. And then many of us seem to struggle and flounder at times. Why is that? We want to live the Christian life. Why is it so hard sometimes? What’s the secret to living the Christian life?
In the Scripture you just read, Paul tells us three things about living the Christian life. The Christian life is marked by faith in Christ, it is marked by freedom in Christ and it is marked by fullness in Christ.
We received Christ Jesus by faith – now we should continue to live in him by faith.
First of all, the Christian life is marked by faith in Christ. Look at verses 6-7:
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” What is Paul saying here? Your Christian life began with faith in Christ, and it must also continue with faith in Christ.
By faith you received Christ Jesus as Lord. Declaring: “Jesus is Lord.”
We confess our faith in Jesus as Lord at our baptism, when we mark ourselves as Christ followers and when we go under the water it is symbolic of death to our old self and coming out of the water resurrection and a new life a new heart..
By faith you received Christ Jesus as Lord. Now Paul says, you need to live in Christ the same way you received him.
The Christian life is not simply faith in a set of teachings but faith in a person. It is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The Christian life is lived in Christ. Christ lives in you, and therefore you live your life in him. Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, you continue to live in him.
First of all, you are rooted and built up in him. “Rooted” refers to the foundation of your Christian life. The Christian life is founded on Christ and Christ alone. It is not founded on your goodness or your works or your merit. The Christian life is founded on faith in Christ and Christ alone.
As Jesus says in John 15: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Jesus is the root and source of the Christian life. You cannot live the Christian life apart from Christ.
Next, Paul tells us you are “strengthened in the faith as you were taught.” The word translated “strengthened” in this verse means “established” or “made firm.” Not only must you have faith in Christ. You must also be well-grounded in your faith.
Paul is telling us to stick with the gospel. Stay grounded in Christ and the Bible. Don’t go looking for new teachings outside of Christ. Grow in what you already know!
He also says a life that is lived by faith in Christ is one that is overflowing with thankfulness. Begin each day thanking God for your life and salvation and for the many blessings he has given you in Christ. Living in Christ means being thankful and grateful every day.
Someone said – How do you know if your bucket is full? If your feet are getting wet.
Don’t be just a little thankful. Be overflowing with thankfulness. You can never thank God enough.
The Christian life is marked by faith in Christ, and secondly the Christian life is marked by freedom in Christ.
Look at verse 8 where Paul writes: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
In other words this is a strong warning to guard your freedom, to stay alert, to be on the lookout for those things that can rob you of your freedom and take you captive.
Things like deceptive and false teaching, the lies of the world, busyness of life
It’s fighting the daily spiritual battle from our enemy, we do that by walking in our true identity as children of God, loved by our heavenly father and bringing glory to HIm
C. True freedom is found in Christ alone
Too many people think the Christian life is all about rules and regulations when Christ really offers us a life of beautiful freedom.
In Christ you are free from condemnation, free from guilt and shame, free from fear, free from sin. We are constantly attacked in those areas, but we must remember who we re and whose we are. Children of God, deeply loved sand accepted.
in Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
The last thing is this:
1) The Christian life is marked by faith in Christ. 2) The Christian life is marked by freedom in Christ. And 3) The Christian life is marked by fullness in Christ.
Look at verses 9-10: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.”
A. All the fullness of God lives in Christ
This is a remarkable statement. First Paul says that all the fullness of God lives in Christ. Not just God’s attributes but his very essence; not just part but all – all that marks God as God dwells in Jesus Christ.
Not only that, Jesus Christ is also the head over every power and authority. Paul is probably thinking about spiritual beings once again, earlier in Colossians he spoke about spiritual beings as thrones, powers, rulers and authorities. All these powers and authorities were created by Christ, and all these powers and authorities are subject to Christ.
And then there is one more part to this remarkable statement. You have been given fullness in Christ! Christ lives in you; all the fullness of God lives in Christ; and therefore you have been given fullness in Christ.
Paul’s point in Colossians is this. Why give in to the hollow and empty philosophy of the false teachers when you have been given fullness in Christ?
You’ve already been filled! You have Christ! What more are you looking for? As Max Anders writes: “Don’t go looking for treasure you already have!” Everything you need from God you have in Christ.
2 Peter 1:3-8: 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. NIV
CONCLUSION: So what is the secret to living the Christian life? Christianity is not simply living out a creed, but it is living in a person Your True Identity is In Christ!
You are united with Christ by faith, and you receive the strength to live the Christian life every day through your relationship with him. Your Christian life began with Christ, and it must continue with Christ.
The Christian life is marked by faith in Christ, freedom in Christ and fullness in Christ. Anything less is not authentic Christianity. What’s the secret to living the Christian life? It’s simple. The secret to living the Christian life is living in Christ. That’s the heart of Christianity.