6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul refers many times to the believer’s spiritual union with Christ. For Paul, it is essential for the believer to always be mindful of the presence of Christ in their individual walk of faith. Paul writes, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-2). It’s not always easy to do, but as believers, we must set our mind on heavenly matters instead of falling in love with this world that we live in. The things of this world are temporary but our reward in heaven is eternal.
I turn to this text often to remind myself just how important it is to live for Christ and not for the world, or even for myself. It’s often difficult for us to do so because at present we live in this fallen world. We are drawn to the things of this world and we often are deceived into believing that we can find security and peace of mind here on earth. I believe that Paul’s words are just as crucial for us today as they were for the early Christians. For the believer, our focus and guidance must come from Christ, who died for our sins and who will in the end, raise us to eternal life. Christ’s power and victory over death is something that the “world” cannot duplicate.
There are three things that stand out for me in this passage from Colossians. 1) We are “rooted” in Christ, 2) we are being “strengthened” in our faith, and 3) our lives should “overflow with thankfulness.” If we are “rooted” in Christ, that just means that we look to Christ to lead us in our daily lives and our decision making. Christ, through the Holy Spirit, will start to have us look at daily life differently and we will let go of things that were once important to us. Instead, we will be drawn to the injustices of this world that Christ wants our attention focused on. We will grow to become more compassionate and caring to everyone that we encounter. And as we follow the leading of Christ and the urgings of the Holy Spirit, we will be strengthened in our walk of faith. And finally, all these things should lead us to become overflowing with thankfulness to God for loving us so much that he gave us His only Son as a sacrifice for our sinful nature. I thank God daily for His grace and His mercy upon my life.
If you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and believe that He died for you sins, then the Spirit of Christ lives in you. And because the Spirit lives and dwells within all believers, we are given an incredible power that enables us to say “no” to the things of this world and “yes” to the leadership of Christ in our lives.