Receiving Christ and walking in Christ are completely different. All Christians receive Christ when they confess and believe in Him, but those who understand who they are in Christ will abound with thanksgiving in their daily walk in life.
Colossians 2:6-7 “6 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
When I ask Christians if they believe in Christ they look at me funny and say “of course I do”. I then ask them again and am asking you now, “do you really believe in Christ” We all can say yes because that is how we received our salvation in the first place, Romans 10:8-10. The problem with Christians today is the same as it was in Paul’s day. We do not take the time to fully understand what has happened in the spirit realm the moment we become born again.
We receive our salvation without having done anything righteous to deserve it. We didn’t have to fast and pray for it, we didn’t have to read a certain number of chapters in the bible to earn it because it is a free gift. We sure didn’t become saved on our own holiness because the word of God says that there is none righteous, so we had to be saved by God’s grace through faith, Ephesians 2:. Ask yourself this question, “If I was saved by faith why do I act like I do in trying to gain God’s blessings by worrying myself with my own actions” When it comes down to brass tacks and we take a close look at our personal actions in our walk with God, many Christians do not live a life of faith but one of sight and personal actions trying to justify that they even have faith. I believe a majority of Christian’s today live a life with a mixture of faith in some areas, worldly philosophy in others, and a whole lot of works and legalisms in their misunderstood effort to gain or maintain God’s favor and blessings. If this were not the case, the churches would be full and people would be more joyful in their everyday lives. Look at Paul’s response to the Galatians in 3:1-, “Oh foolish Galatians, having begun in the spirit are you now made perfect by the flesh”
Here are some additional litmus tests to determine if you truly live by faith. What is your first reaction to an adverse situation? When you feel a sickness symptom do you reach for medication or call a doctor and then pray When you believe you heard from God to give a certain amount of money or it’s time to make your tithe offering, do you look at your check book and think of all the other things you need or want to determine if what you thought you heard was truly from God? How enthusiastic are you about sharing your belief with those who may not be Christians or really don’t know about Jesus Do you freely invite your friends or neighbors that do not go to church to come with you? I am concerned the answer to these questions for the majority of Christians today is no. As a whole we truly do not fully believe, because we do not fully understand the power of God’s grace in our lives. With the exception of a few of the “mega” churches around the world, why are there so many empty seats in your church. News flash; It’s not because everyone else is going to one of those mega churches. I hear many Christians say that if a person wants to know about Jesus then they need to go to church to hear about Him. Church is not for the unsaved to go to become saved; the church building should be a Christian’s favorite filling station. If you want to take a drive on a long vacation what is the first thing you do before you get fully underway; you go fill your vehicle up with fuel. Then as you are traveling you are always keeping an eye on your fuel gage and comparing your distance traveled to the next fuel stop. Christians that go to church and wait for people to come to them to ask about Jesus are like the traveler that goes to their favorite fuel station to fill up, but never leave. They just sit there with their motor running afraid to drive away from the gas pump. Face this fact; Christians as a whole do not go out and tell their friends and acquaintances about Jesus because they are afraid that they will be rejected; or worse yet, their friend will come to church and the word will not work for their friend. The reason Satan can keep this fear alive in a Christian is because there are times when that same Christian did not receive what they asked for so they have their own doubts. Rampant sin in the streets is not the cause of the decline of the church today; doubt in the heart of a believer is what has allowed sin to become rampant in the streets.
I had to come to this very truth in my own life several years ago and accept that I didn’t really believe what the word of God says about my blessings, health, and acceptance from God, because my actions did not prove it. The only reason I did not truly believe in all areas of my life is because I had not made the preached gospel my own. There are also a lot false teachings and legalistic teachings that need to be weeded out from the true gospel. Don’t confuse taking the time to read your bible with making His word real in your life. Why are you reading the bible, to learn about your relationship with God or to gain brownie points? I use to read because I was told that is what I was supposed to do as a Christian. Just because something is spoken from the pulpit does not always make it true, because it is preached from a clay vessel. When I realized that the gospel of Jesus Christ was God’s love letters to His children I could not read enough. Even if scripture is used during the message until you search out what is preached from the word of God and make it your own you are at risk of being misled or not gaining the full truth of the preached word for yourself. We come to Jesus just as we are and He accepts us, we fall back into religious works and efforts to keep our salvation or gain God’s blessings because we are not “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith as you have been taught abounding in it with thanksgiving”. Verse 7 was Paul’s answer to the Colossians back then and it is still true today. Without studying God’s word and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal it to your spirit, you will never understand that “Christ is in you the hope of glory” Colossians 1:27. This is the great mystery that the profits of old looked into, but never understood and could never obtain. Because of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross over 2000 years ago, God now lives in us and He is our hope of glory. Unless you establish in your heart the true deity of Jesus Christ and realize that He is everything you need, you will be tossed about with every wind and doctrine and compounded with your own doubt.
“6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man unstable in all his was.” (James 1:6-8)
Establish your faith, become rooted and built up, and never let go of your thanksgiving.
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