Thursday, August 25, 2011

Walking It Out

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him. (Colossians 2:6)

The Jesus believers at Colosse were holding steady together. Paul encourages them now to continue in the path on which they have begun. They had “received” Jesus the Messiah. The Greek word, paralambano, indicates that Jesus, that is, the message about Him, had been presented to them and that they had taken hold of Him by faith. They had learned the gospel, the “good news” about the Messiah from Epaphras, who most likely learned it from Paul.

Now they were to “walk” in it, or more accurately, in Him, Jesus. “Walk” is a metaphor for how one lives. It is a continuous process, one step after another in a consistent manner. It is progressive, not regressive. That is, it is moving forward, not turning back or straying from the path. It is active, not passive. That is, it is something we do, not something that happens to us. When we receive Jesus, we are in Him. That part is passive, part of who we are. But then, being in Him, we proceed in accordance with who He is and who we are in Him. We walk it out.

This particular construction, “Christ Jesus the Lord,” notes A. T. Robertson, in Word Pictures in the New Testament, is not used anywhere else by Paul. “Hence it is plain that Paul here meets the two forms of Gnostic heresy about the Person of Christ (the recognition of the historical Jesus in his actual humanity against the Docetic Gnostics, the identity of the Christ or Messiah with this historical Jesus against the Cerinthian Gnostics, and the acknowledgment of him as Lord).”

Docetism (from the Greek word dokeo, “to seem”) taught that Jesus was purely spirit and that his physical body merely “seemed” to be real. Cerinthianism made a distinction between Jesus and Christ, teaching that Jesus was merely human but that the Christ descended upon him at his baptism. Paul however, in calling Him “Christ Jesus the Lord,” identifies Him all in one — in His humanity, His divinity and His messianic identity.

It is in the fullness of this Jesus, who is man, messiah and Lord, that we now live. Having received Him by faith, we continue in the truth of who the Messiah, Jesus, the Lord, really it. Hold steady to that and do not allow yourself to be charmed away from Him.

The Focus of Our Faith
The Focus of Our Faith
Paul’s Letters to the Jesus Believers at Colosse
Bite-Size Studies Through Colossians
by Jeff Doles

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