“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him; rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith …” (Colossians 2:8-9)
Sometimes in our fervor to herald forth the wondrous “good news” that people may be saved, we fail to follow up with what God actually does in saving a soul. What is the condition or position of the one who is saved by God’s grace? What is contained in salvation other than being rescued from eternal separation from God? The answer to these and many more questions is included in the standing or position God gives and assures to the one who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. However, it is necessary for the believer to understand that it is important how he or she lives after being saved in order to attest to the fact of salvation. That is what we mean by “Stating (what we do for God) Our Standing” (what God has done for us).
When God saves a sinner He renders that person just or righteous on the basis of His own judicial decision. This decision is based on the righteous and perfect work accomplished by the Lord Jesus in His death for sin. We could never be justified on the basis of our own goodness or merit. Truly, our self-righteous acts are considered as “filthy rags” in His sight. Romans 3:23-24states:
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
After being declared justified, God can impute or literally account many things to the believer such as, redemption, sanctification, and glorification. Also, of utmost importance, it must be seen that by the baptizing of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13), the believing person is placed into the Church which is Christ’s Body. Now, since we are taught that Christ is in heaven as head of the Church (Ephesians 1:19-23), we can see that we are “positioned” in the “heavenlies.” Certainly, we could have never accomplished this for or by ourselves. This is entirely a work of God. This work of God procures and secures our standing before God! This standing or position never varies. This standing is perfect. This truly is the meaning of the expression, “in Christ”, used so many times in Paul’s epistles, especially Ephesians.
However, there is another side to the coin. In studying Scripture we are always confronted with the order of God’s Word. Doctrine or teaching is always put first or emphasized first. For instance, in the book of Ephesians, chapters 1-3, are mainly doctrinal while chapters 4-6 are mainly devotional, The first chapters teach us of what God has done and how, whereas, the latter chapters emphasize what and how we are to walk, worship, and work for Him.
Our lead Scripture, Colossians 2:8, teaches us that:
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.”
We “received” the Lord Jesus by giving up or completely trusting the Lord to save us. In like manner, we are to “walk” in Him by giving up our own puny efforts and trust Him! This isn’t easy. This, however, is what is taught us in Philippians 2:12,13. We are told to “work out our own salvation.” We know this doesn’t refer to the saving of our souls, because we are taught so clearly that, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His. mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5). “Working out” means we are to bring it to its goal. We cannot perfect the salvation God has so freely given. It is already perfect as God is perfect; however, we work at fulfilling what God desires in our life of salvation. In other words, we should be working at making our earthly lives match the heavenly gift of God. This isn’t easy, either. Our state isn’t always perfect. We live in and are surrounded by the world and its worldliness. The world’s effect on the believer can be devastating, yet, we cannot underestimate the power of God’s Word to give us victory. When the Apostle Paul had accounted his frailties and faults as a natural man, he wrote:
“O, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of death?”
He then exclaimed:
“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:24-25)
The “walk” of the believer should encompass the life to be led by the Word through the ministration of the Holy Spirit.
It is hard for our finite minds to understand we are “citizens of heaven” (Philippians 3:20-21) and at the same time still physically live here on earth, yet this is what God’s Word teaches us. Now, our work is laid out for us. God’s work is completed and we are declared “complete in Him” (Colossians 2:10). But what about our work for Him? We need to be about Stating our Standing.