“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6).
Here Paul is saying to the Colossians, “Look, this Christian life is not difficult. You continue it just like you started it, by doing NOTHING but trusting your Heavenly Father for everything, just like a little child. Is that not how you began your Christian life? So, just keep on keepin’ on.”
This means that everywhere we go, as we walk by faith in this manner, we are following directly in the footsteps of our Savior, the Son of Man, our pattern man. Jesus was baptized and received the Holy Spirit for the first time and began to walk by faith in the Spirit within Him from that point on, just as we are called to do.
Then, after His Father led Him by this Spirit to be tested and battle-hardened by Satan’s temptations in the wilderness, He began His public ministry with these words: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
Wherever Jesus went, the kingdom of God and its law, love, forgiveness, and power went as well. Jesus Himself said (at least twice) at the end of His ministry, that after He was gone, the same thing would be true of us:
“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (His prayer to the Father just before His death in the Garden of Gethsemane – John 17:18).
“So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you’” (Jesus’ words to His disciples just before His ascension – John 20:21).
So, just as with Jesus, some we touch will respond and eventually repent and some will not, but, in any event,“the kingdom of Heaven is at hand”— through men/women who bear the image of the Son of Man, and who are like little children who do nothing but trust their daddy.
This is not a casual, nebulous, undefined activity. As we have seen in previous postings, God has created a systematic, organized plan for His kingdom to grow, and He has let us in on His vision. He’s using, primarily, His three ordained institutions, designed specifically for this task, two of which we have discussed in detail. The third, the civil government, is the most ignored one today in many Christian circles, and I want to investigate what the Bible says about it for the next few weeks.
As we do, we must REMEMBER that by learning to “keep on keeping on” (walk by faith instead of obedience), we are learning, surprisingly, to do nothing, the hardest thing for performance addicts to do! Can I simply trust God alone? That is the only thing God gave Jesus to do (John 5:19, 30; 8:28), and the one thing He says is “the work of God” (the only one!) for us to do as well: “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29).
So, we “keep on keeping on,” doing nothing, because, just as the Father sent Jesus to do nothing, Jesus sent us in like manner (John 20:21). We are trusting the Holy Spirit in us, just as Jesus did, and there will come a time when we cannot contain ourselves. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:14: “ For the love of Christ compels us….” We do not pursue the kingdom; the kingdom of God is pursuing and capturing us!
Then we will, unconsciously, discover that we are extending the kingdom of God, our eternal purpose for living, ourselves, because we can’t keep from it! Can we not trust Him to do as Paul says He will do in Philippians 2:13? “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” It is our faith in this fact that makes us all warriors who destroy the gates of Hell every day, as we simply go about our day’s tasks, wreaking havoc on those gates wherever we go!
Robert, two highlights for me in your blog today.
“…who bear the image of the Son of Man.”
The Holy Spirit says that we are being transformed into Jesus’ image, from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor 3:18) This is why every Christian place of worship should have images (Greek = ikon) of Jesus and the saints. These are reminders of Jesus taking on human nature, his rising from his own death, his ascension to Father’s right hand, and our own resurrection and progressive transformation into his image (Greek = ikon). And you speak well of the reason for this….to participate in Jesus extending his kingdom.
Recently, the Holy Spirit spoke in my interior: “I am pursuing you.” So..thank you for your additional encouragement that Jesus is pursuing me, to transform me into his icon, to extend his kingdom.