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Colossians 2:4-7 ASV This I say, that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech. (5) For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. (6) As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, (7) rooted and builded up in him, and established in your faith, even as ye were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Here is the sheer simplicity of the Christian faith "as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him". There are no add-ons, no weird rituals that make one a super-Christian. The Christian life is not a tangled philosophy but a simple faith. It is "from faith to faith" as Paul says elsewhere. (Romans 1:17)
The way we started the Christian life, that is in simple faith, is the way we are to proceed. Its good enough for the whole journey. It is not as if you have to first find Christ and then learn from a philosopher or theologian. Jesus is quite sufficient. It is not as if we start with Christ and graduate to Spong. It is Christ all the way.
There are many persuasive speakers who will tell you that Christ is not quite enough, or is misconstrued, and that their system brings enlightenment in some way. This rhetoric was such a threat to the Colossian church that Paul expressly writes to warn the early Christians away from it: " This I say, that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech. "
Instead Paul was pleased with their steadfast and orderly faith and asks that they may stand strong, not swept here and there by theological fads but established, following what they were first taught. .."joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. (6) As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, (7) rooted and builded up in him, and established in your faith, even as ye were taught, abounding in thanksgiving."
Paul believes in a received faith, a gospel that is from God, eternal, (Romans 16:25,26, 1 Peter 1:25, Rev 14:6) fixed for all time, and not swept this way and that by trends and fashions. Yet Paul was also a pragmatist adapting to culture and using whatever means possible to save the lost. There is a very real tension here. We cannot change the truth in order to please people, so they may "accept Christ". Because if we change the gospel it is not the real Christ that they accept but some other Christ, accommodated to the fashion of the day.
On the other hand, we can change the way we dress or the architecture of the church, such things are generally peripheral to the gospel message. The beliefs must be constant, the methods can vary. Neither can we compromise on morality and justice. We cannot wink at corruption or excuse promiscuity in the body of Christ. The fact that all are sinners does not mean we should be anything less than holy.
The gospel is simple and uncluttered, a gospel from faith to faith, a gospel we can lay hold of at conversion and follow for the rest of our days, needing neither more nor less than Christ. We do not need philosophers or trends. We do not need some extra add-ons. Faith in Christ is all we needed to get saved, and all we need to be sanctified and to know and enjoy God forever.
Asian Internet Bible Institute
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