“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Col. 2:6-7
The most distinctive characteristic of the gospel message is faith. Not only a faith response to the work of the historical Jesus on the cross, but a continual faith response to the living Christ of today! The christian life is not an effort to do the right things, as biblical as those things may be. The christian life is a “walk in Him” based solely on faith. This was clearly the message of the apostle Paul and the one with which he continually instructed believers.
The christian life that is lived only with the goal of doing the right things for God will only result in one of two things – pride or frustration. Either we will get good at doing the right things and that will lead us into pride or we will try our hardest only to realise that we can not get it perfect enough and we will become frustrated and disillusioned. Instead, the christian life is one of ever deepening faith and trust in Jesus whereby we are rooted and being built up in Him. This is a life that trusts only in the life of Christ within to accomplish all that God desires for us. As we walk in faith believing that Jesus is living in us, His life in us will transform us into His image and manifest His life in and through us. When we experience the reality of His life in us and through us as the result of faith it leads to an “overflowing with gratitude” towards Him who is able to do far beyond what we can ask or even think.
Faith must be at the centre of all instruction for christian living. When it is not, we succumb to mere religious activity. This type of life is void of the power to transform us and to fill us with the gratitude that comes only when we experience Christ as our source of life.