What It Means To "Receive Christ"?

What It Means To

              Text:  Colossians 2:6                


     1.  Paul said the gospel had come to them at Colossae as it had gone into
          all the world.  

          In Colossians 1:7 he says "As ye also learned of Epaphras..."  The word
          translated "learned" in v.7 is the Greek word for "disciple".  They had
          been "discipled" by Epaphras.  
          Jesus had commanded the apostles in the great commission in Matthew
          28:19 "Go ye therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing
          them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit"

          What is involved in becoming a disciple?  What are the steps?  
          When we look at the book of Colossians we can see what the steps were
          in being "discipled" by Epaphras. 

     2.   But let's notice another verse, in 2:6 we read "As ye have therefore
          received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him." 

               The Colossians had "received Christ", what does that mean?  
               What is involved in receiving Christ. 

          In this lesson we want to notice what the Christians at Colossae had
          done in "receiving Christ" and in being "discipled" by Epaphras. 


The good news of the Gospel was not native to their city.  It had been
brought to them by Epaphras.  He was himself a citizen of Colossae (4:12-13),
but he had come in contact with Paul and had been converted to the
Lord Jesus.  

     This was probably during Paul's great three year ministry in Ephesus (Acts

     Once Epaphras had received the gospel he shared this "good news" with
     his relatives and friends back home.  

          Perhaps it would have been exciting for him to stay with Paul in
          Ephesus where so many wonderful things were taking place, but his first
          responsibility was to take the Gospel to his own home city.  (Compare
          Mark 5:19.)

     The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ has solved the problem of
     sin through his death, burial and resurrection.  Paul says in verse 5 that
     they had "heard" the gospel."  

          The gospel, or good news they heard, was "the word of truth."  This
          means that this message came from God and can be trusted.

     "Thy Word is Truth" (John 17:17).  There are many messages and ideas
     that can be called true, but only God's Word can be called "TRUTH".  

          Satan is a liar; to believe his lies is to be led astray into death (John
          8:44), but Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6).

     Paul says in verse 5 that they heard the word of God, and in verse 6 that
     it brought forth fruit.  The word is likened unto seed in the parable of the
     soils in Luke 8:11.  

          Seed has life in it, and the Word of God has life in it (Hebrews 4:12). 
          When the Word is planted in good fertile soil it brings forth fruit as it
          did at Colossae.


     It is possible to hear and not believe.  Jesus spoke of many who have their
     ears closed to God.  He spoke of the seed falling on the wayside soil, and
     on rocky ground.  

          But the Gospel brought forth fruit at Colossae, Colossians 1:6.  They 
          became believers.

     Paul said in verse 3-4 that he gave thanks to God when he heard of their
     faith in the Lord.  They (1) heard the Gospel, and (2) they believed in the
     Lord Jesus.


     At one time these Gentiles at Colossae were aliens to God (1:21).  In time
     past before they obeyed the Gospel they participated in "wicked words"
     but now in Christ they were changed men.  

          They had turned from their former ways of sinful living, and were not
          reconciled to God.  This is what repentance is, turning away from sin,
          and turning to God.

     Another evidence of their repentance is found in 3:5-7, where Paul names
     a number of sins they had once participated in, "fornication, uncleanness,
     inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is

          Then Paul says in verse 7, "in the which ye also walked some time,
          when ye lived in them."  They had lived in these sins in times past, but
          what about now?  

          "But now ye also put off all these"  (3:8). 
          They had put these practices aside, they had turned from them, and that
          is repentance.

     What do we see in the steps of conversion for the Colossians so far?  

          1.  They heard the Gospel from Epaphras;  
          2.  they believed the truth which they heard;  and  
          3.  they turned from their sins, or repented.


     What else did "receiving Christ" (2:6) involve?  What else did their being
     "discipled" by epaphras involve?  

     It included baptism, an immersion in water in the likeness of the death,
     burial, and resurrection of Christ  (Colossians 2:12,13).

There are three points Paul makes in 2:11-12 in regard to baptism and their

     First in verse 11 he compares baptism to a kind of circumcision.  
          In circumcision there is a removal of the flesh.  
          In baptism, (this circumcision made without hands) there is the putting
          off of the sins of the flesh.

     Second, in v.12, in baptism we are buried and raised with Christ.  
          God raised the Lord from the dead, and when we are baptized, we are
          raised from the death brought by sin, raised to a new life.  
          (Paul uses this same language in Romans 6:4-5  "Therefore we are
          buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up
          from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk
          in newness of life.  5.  For if we have been planted together in the
          likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his

     Third, Paul's point in verse 13, is that we are dead in our sins, but in being
          baptized into Christ, we are made alive together with him, and forgiven of
          our trespasses.

     Now what is the relationship of baptism to salvation?  

          First, we know that it is not the water that cleans us, we are forgiven by
          the washing of the blood of Christ (1;14).  

          But baptism pictures the time element, the point when our relationship
          to God changes, from being OUT of Christ to being IN Christ.  

          The water does not save us, but before baptism we are DEAD in our
          sins, AFTER we are alive in Christ.

     Baptism is pictured as a death, burial and resurrection.  
          When we come up from the watery grave, we are raised IN Christ
          Paul wrote of the Galatians (3:27) saying they were baptized INTO


These steps  1)  Hearing,  2)  Believing,  3)  Repentance,  and 4) Baptism,
were not of themselves enough to insure a heavenly home.  

     Paul said that being presented before the Lord, "holy and unblamable and
     unreproveable in his sight" depended on "If ye continue in the faith
     grounded and settled."

     So a steadfast faithful life is an expected part of conversion (1:23). 
     "...walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good
     work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (1:10).

     1.  We must give heed to the way we walk, i.e, the way we live.

     2.  We must be fruitful in good words, (they don't save us, but we are
          saved to be fruitful in good works, and they manifest our continued

     3.   We must continue to grow in our knowledge and understanding of
          God and his will for us.

     Are you converted to the Lord the way the Colossians were?
     Are you steafast in your faith as they were?

-- Windell Gann -- Sermons -- http://home.hiwaay.net/~wgann/sermons.htm

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