We have all heard the saying, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Little did I know that this saying was actually from Benjamin Franklin’s letter back in 1789. In a world that at times has our tomorrow in doubt, we must cling to an anchor that cannot move. That is where we need to place our confidence. Confidence is the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust. As one person said, “We don’t need self-confidence; we need God-confidence.” So today, we pick up where we left off in Colossians chapter 2. Paul will build on something he just talked about; that is, the “full assurance of understanding.” Or, as we saw in last week’s lesson, the “wealth of conviction” (NEB) or the ability “to have the full confidence” (ETRV). Where the Gnostic mindset and the Jewish influences could rob them of such a hope, Paul encourages them to walk in complete confidence of Christ.
“As you, therefore, have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him….”
Your translation may use the word live instead of walk. The word carries the idea of following. Follow what? What they received concerning Christ Jesus. Paul said to the Corinthians church, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand…” (1st Corinthians 15:1). And again, to the church in Philippi he wrote, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9). It is important to remember the problem they were facing; that is, those influences that were placing doubt about who Jesus is. They learned through the preaching of the gospel concerning Jesus that He is both Christ and Lord. In his first sermon, Peter proclaimed, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” As one commentator put it, “This historical person Jesus…is the Christ who reigns as the universal Lord, subject to no other powers and able to incorporate all his followers into himself as his own body,” the church. Once again, don’t get dissuaded; instead, trust in what you have learned about Jesus. Paul builds on this, saying:
“…rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have
been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”
As they walk or live in Him, remember that you have been rooted in Him. “Have been rooted” is past tense, meaning it has already happened. Paul had written earlier, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13). From what you have learned and come to believe, know you are fixed firmly [the meaning of the Greek word translated rooted] into Christ. Paul now goes from past to present with the words “built up in Him.” Here is the reason for confidence, for as they walk in Christ and His teachings, they will get built up in Him, for He is the One who holds the church together and enables it to grow. The building up all takes place as they walk confidently in the faith as Epaphras taught them.
When one walks with confidence in what Christ the Lord has done and continues to do, one can’t help but be thankful. Thank You, Lord, for giving us confidence. Confidence in where we are; that is, in Christ, rooted in His grace and mercy. Confident in knowing that as we reside in Him, He continues to work on us, making us more like Him each day. Thank You, Lord, for loving mankind as you do. Amen