Walk in Union with ChristFrom The Heart
Publish date: 11/22/2009
As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. 7 Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah). Colossians 2:6-8 AMP
There are many religions in the world; each preaching a doctrine of do’s and don’ts—even some who claim to be Christians. Which voice should you listen to? Because God created us and ordained us to worship Him, man—even fallen, sinful man—has a need to worship something. For thousands of years, man has worshipped various gods and idols and deities and forced others to do the same: bringing offerings, doing acts of service, humiliating themselves, severely disciplining and, in some cases, mutilating their bodies, and even sacrificing their children to appease a god of their own creation. Will all this work and sacrifice ultimately please God? What does God require?
With what shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:6-8 AMP
If we want to please God, then we need to look at what Jesus said and did and we need to follow Him and do what He did and what He told us to do. He is our example. Jesus Christ came—not only to show us, by example, the way to serve and please God—but also to die for us. In His death, He not only purchased our freedom from sin, fear, guilt and death, but He demonstrated to us the great love the Father has for us!
Let no one defraud you by acting as an umpire and declaring you unworthy and disqualifying you for the prize, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions [he claims] he has seen, vainly puffed up by his sensuous notions and inflated by his unspiritual thoughts and fleshly conceit, 19 And not holding fast to the Head, from Whom the entire body, supplied and knit together by means of its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. 20 If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world’s crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? [Why do you submit to rules and regulations?— such as] 21 Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them], 22 Referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines. 23 Such [practices] have indeed the outward appearance [that popularly passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion and delight in self-humiliation and severity of discipline of the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh (the lower nature). [Instead, they do not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh.] Colossians 2:18-23 AMP
The Lord does not want a sacrifice made out of religious duty. Outward acts, such as fasting, depriving yourself, punishing your flesh, or praying so many hours a day, by themselves won’t make you a better person or be pleasing to God. Above all else, God wants our heart and our love. We demonstrate our love by our obedience and submission to Him and to His word. We cannot actually do much to serve God Himself apart from serving one another and being kind and loving toward one another. It’s not about what we do to ourselves and our bodies; it’s about what we do for others. If you are mean to others while you do your religious duties; you obviously missed the point of serving God. True religion cares about others and reaches out to help one another. Do not get lost in the maze of your works program and lose your own way with God in the process.
But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]. Romans 7:6 AMP
For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another. Galatians 5:13 AMP
Our new life in Christ is a life that humbly follows and submits to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit on a daily basis—being both restrained and prompted by Him—as we walk in love, grace and mercy toward others.