In Colossians 1, Paul emphasizes the completeness and greatness of Christ. In this passage he is writing to encourage believers not to buy into the reasonable-sounding arguments that say you still must do certain things in addition to following Jesus in order to receive God’s approval and salvation. Instead, believers are to be rooted and built up in Christ.
Our salvation is totally dependent on Christ, which means we don’t do things to earn His favor and love. We honor God and love people out of a response to how He has treated us, not out of obligation.
Paul shows us in this passage that Christ has no rival. No philosophy, ideology, person or thing can offer what Christ can. This means that if you belong to Christ, in whom God dwells, you have and will receive all of the fullness and blessings of being in God’s family. All other philosophies and power structures can become rivals in our lives to Christ, but nothing else can do for us what Jesus can.
What this means is that Jesus + Nothing = Everything. It’s not Jesus plus not lying. It’s not Jesus plus being a really good person. It’s not Jesus plus not looking at pornography. It’s Jesus, period.
Salvation is a complete work of God through Christ. The good news of the Gospel is that God is not fair. He doesn’t give us what we deserve. Instead, He gives us grace. He took our debt and nailed it to the cross. Jesus disgraced demonic powers by publicly initiating God’s plan of redemption that will one day be fully realized when He creates his new Kingdom. A Kingdom of which we get to take part due to God’s mercy and forgiveness towards us.
All of this means that salvation is received, not achieved. God’s grace compels us to love and honor Him. His free gift of love is not something we earn, but something we receive. That is what makes the Gospel such good news.
In what areas of your life do you feel like you must perform in so God will love you? How does it feel to know that salvation is received, not achieved?
We would like to thank New City Church for providing this plan.