March: A Word from the Pastor

joyThe cross of Christ is a source of joy and encouragement.

It brings joy because of the blessings accomplished by the death of Christ. It brings encouragement because of the certainty of the finished work being completed in us. In a very real sense we walk – not to obtain victory in the Christian life – but to obtain the fullness of the victory of Christ on the cross. It is the reason that Scripture reminds us of the sufficiency of Christ to meet all of our needs.

It is the reason Scripture exhorts us –

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude” (Colossian 2:5-6).

The action of this verse is most encouraging.

Based upon the past action of receiving Christ, the Christian is to walk – in the same manner. As you have been saved by Christ, walk in Him.

Do this is the same way – with the same grace – with the same faith – always depending upon Him. And, the following verses are also encouraging because they are stated in the passive voice. This means that the action is happening to the very Christians who are commanded to walk.

It is the same as saying…

You obey the command to walk because of the continuing work Christ is working in your hearts.

You have been rooted and you are continuing to be rooted in Christ.

You are being built up in Christ and you are being established in your faith.

You have been instructed in the truth of Christ.

All of this rooting, building-up, establishing and instructing is the on-going work that Christ is applying in our hearts.

He is truly at work in us so that we can continue to walk as Christians. In other words, the work that Christ accomplished on the cross to save us is the same work that is accomplishing Christ’s work of sanctification in us. This is the reason that we live the Christian life in the very same way we were saved – by total dependence upon the finished work of Christ on the cross.

Our sanctification and glorification in Christ are not works that hang in the balance – depending upon our achievements. No aspect of salvation depends upon us or is worked by us. It is all the finished work of Christ. So, hear and obey the command to walk in Christ – and do so by depending upon Christ alone.

– Gary W. Custis