Lent :: Col. 2:6-7

Colossians 2:6-7 :: “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.”

At first glance, I must admit that there is a heaviness about this verse to me.  “As you received, then walk, root, build up, establish…oh and be thankful in abundance as well.”  It can appear as a laundry list of to-do’s on the basis that I have received Christ Jesus as Lord.

But wait!  Let me dig in a bit further.

  • ‘As you received Christ Jesus the Lord’ – the Colossians Paul is writing to had received Christ Jesus the Lord.    They acknowledged that He is their hope, He is their redeemer, He died to pay a price that they could not pay in order that they would be reconciled to the Father.  This is something that they did.  They received.  A choice was made to believe in the authority of Christ as the Lord.  {And I have to, so this applies to me also.  And you, if you have also received Christ Jesus the Lord.}
  • ‘so walk in him’ – Paul is reminding the Colossians {and me} that since they have accepted that Jesus Christ is the authority & sovereign ruler over them, they should continue to live in such a way that reflects that belief.  To ‘walk in Him’, is to follow His direction, to follow His lead.  It’s not so much a to-do as a caution to stay close enough to Him as to not lose your way, get off course, veer in the wrong direction.
  • ‘rooted and built up in him and established in the faith’ – Paul further explains what it is to ‘walk in him’ with these specific details.  I’m no Greek or Hebrew scholar, but a good search of a few commentaries led me to see that these verbs {rooted, built up and established} are all passive verbs.  This means that they are not items on a to-do list that the Colossians {and I and you} can accomplish ourselves.  These are not verbs for our doing, but more verbs that will be done to us.  These are things that Christ accomplishes.  We receive Him and He helps root us & build us up & establish us while we’re walking in Him {abiding/staying close}.
  • ‘just as you were taught’ – there are about a million different teachings floating around in the world today.  And there were in the times of Paul & the Colossians too. In fact, just a few verses before these, Paul tells the Colossians he’s sharing this message with them so that “no one may delude you with plausible arguments”.  Paul knew how easily we can hop out of the footsteps of Christ onto a different {often seemingly right} course.  Paul wants to make certain that the believers in Colossae {and us} abide in Christ & to His teachings.  {When all else fails, look to the Word.}
  • ‘abounding in thanksgiving’ – while the rooting, building up and establishing are a natural consequence of walking in Jesus and His teachings {something that can’t be accomplished without Christ}, abounding in thanksgiving is very much something that the Colossians could do.  And Paul is instructing them to do so.  It’s almost a cyclical process – walk in Christ, hang on to His teachings, the roots will shoot down strong and the trunk and branches will be built up and established well. so keep on walking and hanging on and the roots will grow and the trunk and branches will grow too.  And the wind that turns this is thanksgiving.  Recognizing, acknowledging and thanking God for all this in turn rotates this wheel even more.

colossians 2-6-7I find such encouragement in these two verses.  So much of my walking with Christ is allowing Him to work.  It seems the heavy lifted in often accomplished by my just being held by Him.  Too often I think I squirm out of His arms to “do it myself, in my way and in my time” when, if I would just abide in Him and thank Him for all He’s already done, He’d do exactly what needs happening {maybe not the way I would have or in the timing I’d chosen}.   To walk in Him…what a visual.  Walk in Him.

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