I have children who are currently in college and also one who has recently graduated. I’ve learned to prepare myself for their first days back on break. So much growth happens in those years. They are in a radically different environment, and they are learning so much that it shows plainly through their actions and speech when they return home. They have changed, and it is obvious. A similar but much more profound shift happens when an individual surrenders to Christ. Their speech will change, their actions will change, and they have confidence in something solid. The difference will be obvious and continual, because they’ve passed from death to life.
6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
If you are born again, you have received Christ, and along with Him, the knowledge that He is God. The Holy Spirit of God dwells within you, and oh, the difference He can make. The result of your salvation needs to be change and growth, and that change shouldn’t be a secret. Our walk, everything we do, should be radically altered when we walk with the Lord because “His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways.”
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Roots enable us to stand. As believers, we stand on those truths that God has put in His word and refuse to compromise them. We are built up, or strengthened in our resolve that He is in control and we can fully rely on Him. We are established in faith that nothing on earth or under the earth is able to remove us from His hand and that we are children of God saved from all sin. We abound in thanksgiving, full of the joy and energy that comes from giving God praise in every situation, knowing that He has a plan and He will faithfully perform it.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Believe it or not, the majority of religious-sounding teachers are false. That’s why the Bible describes a broad road that “leads to destruction.” A believer has been given what he/she needs to make it all the way to Heaven without needing “expert” opinions of man. We have been given the blood of Christ to cleanse us, the Spirit of God to instruct us, and the Bible to discern truth from a lie, but many will pervert the truth of God for their own personal gain or glory. They’ll add to scripture their new interpretation or combine God’s word with the current thinking of our age to raise themselves in the esteem of others. Paul says, “Beware!” He wouldn’t say this if it were impossible to be deceived. There are many things that “sound right” to us that are in fact “antichrist” or the opposite of what God desires for us to think.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
If you desire to know the will of God in your life, look no further than Jesus. Christ is entirely God. Every word and action was an instruction and a demonstration of the heart of God the Father. When we are in Christ, dead to our former lives and alive in Him, we have all that we need. Christ is first the creator and also the sustainer of all things. He is the highest idea, He is the beginning and the end, He is Lord of all, and we have been given permission to come to God boldly through Him at any time.
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
In coming to Christ, old things have been cut away. The dead thinking, sinful actions, and corruption that we came to Christ with must be removed. In the Old Testament, circumcision was a cutting away of the flesh to demonstrate a committed covenant with God. After the cross, we have the fullness of that idea, our hearts are circumcised by Christ. He does more than change the outward appearance, He changes us entirely and spiritually, and He alone has the ability to do so.
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
The longer I am a Christian, the more beautiful and the more thankful I am for the resurrection. Jesus was first, but all believers, in their turn, will experience the resurrection. We’ll exchange this brokenness of body for perfect, radiant, eternal life. When we are baptized, we show what Christ did and what we know will come in our future. Our death, our burial, and our resurrection to life. When I was saved, the old man died, a new man was born and will live forever in the presence of God.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
We were dead, it was impossible for us to save ourselves. God made us alive and permanently removed our sin and forgave us. All the charges against us, charges that were accurate and punishable by death, were placed on Christ on the cross and permanently removed from us. He did all of that while we were still His enemies. He owed us nothing, we owe Him everything.
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Jesus didn’t just win, He triumphed. There is more than enough victory in Him for the whole world to share. He left nothing undone, He completed the job and more than that, allows us to rejoice over the enemy’s defeat without fear.
6 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Therefore, if Christ has won the battle, why do we allow the enemy, in the form of religious experts, to try and put us back in bondage over things that He has already taken care of. Our freedom in Christ is sure our lives should demonstrate that we are no longer crushed under the weight of the obligations and demands of this world, but we are set free in Jesus to accomplish the will of the Father.
18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
Culturally we are obsessed with the “supernatural.” We study angels, ghosts, demons, witchcraft, etc., with a desire to have knowledge of and to be in awe of something powerful or to be entertained by something terrible. Our instructions are to regard all other spiritual beings as less than nothing in light of the power of Jesus. Do not be tricked into obsessing over evil, but stand on the fact that God is good. Those who pretend to have a “deeper understanding” of spiritual things are often followers of a spirit that is not from God.
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
We don’t usually equate evil spirits with religious legalism, but the word of God does. Teachers of both seek the power that comes from controlling others in order to promote themselves. Both focus on what is dead and defeated and have no knowledge of the source of life. We who are saved by Jesus Christ, are no longer living under, but we are triumphing over all the powers of this world. In a sense, our citizenship has already been changed. We are subjects in Christ’s kingdom and no longer need to focus on the trivial and meaningless things that the lost focus on down here. The world’s religions have a look of wisdom, but they are all foolish, because simple faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. The trappings, practices, and ceremony of both the “super religious” and the occult lead mankind away from the truth and to their own destruction. We have received Christ, He has won the war, now we are to walk with Him daily, ignoring the confusion of the world and fully confident that He is able to see us all the way home.
Thank you for studying with us! God bless!