Christianity is as Simple as 123 and living the victorious Christian life should be as easy as 123. The truth and the method are obvious. We need to know the Truth and then follow it through. For many of us, the Know and Do seems to be a big gap. Let talk about the simple truth first.
The Simple Truth of 123.
- Jesus Christ is the Greatest.
- You have Christ in You.
- Just live OUT the Christ in us.
- Jesus is God.
He makes God visible so that we can know and relate to God. Col 1:15a
God Himself was pleased to live fully in His Son Col 1:19
- He is the source - everything was created by Him. Col 1:16
- He is the purpose - everything was made for Him. Col 1:16b
- He is the energy that unite all - everything IS held together by Him Col 1:17
- He is above all things. Col 1:18c
- He is the Head of His body - the Church Col 1:18
- He brings Man back to God through His sacrifice on the cross Col 1:20
- He is the Key to God's mystery Col 2:2d. All wisdom and Knowledge are in Him Col 2:3
- He conquered all other powers and make a show of them Col 2:15
- He is all and in all Col 3:1b
- He is seated at the right hand of God. Col 3:1c
The greatest mystery and wonder of all time that is now revealed is "Christ the Greatest dwells in Christians." Col 1:27c "Christ lives in you". Because we have the greatest in us, we are complete in Christ - Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.
How can we have Christ in us ?
- Firstly, it is Christ who make the way possible by His death on the Cross of us. Col 1:20-22.
- Secondly, it is us, who receive Him into our lives by our faith in Him Col 1:23, Col 2:6.
We just receive Christ by faith and we need not do anything else. False teachings and religions err in one main thing - we can save our selves by doing good work or we can make ourselves acceptable to God by doing good things. Christians cults say that Jesus' cross was not complete and you have to complete it by doing some good work. The religious teachings may sound wise but they come from the powers of this world and is of no use Col 2:8. Man's own definitions of good works (not God's, since man don't know God) are typical of 3 types (Col 2:
- Observance of rituals - days. Col 2:16
- Asceticism - abstinence of foods, enjoyments and other self-denial. Col 2:21-22
- Mysticism- special 'visions', deep knowledge, worship of angels. Col 2:18
3-Live OUT the Christ within
Because of the New Man in us (Col 3:10,12), we have a New heart of peace of God, of thankfulness, and wisdom (3:15). Our mind needs to be renewed in with the Knowledge of Christ (i.e. read the Bible) and hen it will result in a changed in outward behaviour. The outward behavior is the fruit of inward changes. An outward act of kindness can be put on show for a short time and for people to see. But an inward change, a new heart, of kindness, will put on acts of kindness all the time, any time, whether people are seeing or not. Col 3:12-14 reads like Gal 5:22-23, mercies, kindness, humbleness, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing, and a special stress of "Love" Col 3:14. The putting off of badness, Col 3:5-8, is again, like Gal 5:19-21, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, covetousness (which is idolatry), anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy words and Lies.
Back to the Know - Do Gap.
How can we address the big problem and struggle of Knowing what to do and yet not able to do it? This is the same story of Paul in Rom 7, especially 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. He provided the answer in 7:25 Through Jesus our Lord. We have the struggle because we are not acting from our inward beings. As mentioned earlier, putting on an act can be done by us for a short-time on occasions because they take great effort. It would be easy if it comes naturally. The old man of the flesh is not able but now we are the new man of the spirit.
The only answer to close the Know-Do gap is to feed the new inner man through the Word and Spirit of God by renewal of the mind and thereby causing a lasting change in external behavior. These inward changes comes by Col 3:15-16 let the peace of God rule in our hearts (someone interprets this as letting peace be the judge of what is right or wrong), be thankful, let the Word of Christ dwell richly in all wisdom, and through fellowship (teaching, admonishing one another, in psalms, hymns, songs), and worshiping of God. Whatever we say or do, we do all in and by Christ as our thanks to the Father Col 3:18, 3:23.
The best practice for various roles of husbands & wives, parents & children, bosses & employees are given in Col 3: 18-4:1.
Our witnessing to pre-believers are to be
- walk in wisdom &
- speech with grace and salt to provide the answers to all queries and
- to redeem the time.