Okay, so God’s the “prime mover.” He reaches out to man and provides a means of reconciliation. He calls us to Himself. He provides atonement for our sins. He wrapped Himself in flesh and opened the way for us to abide in His presence. Our part is to cease from our own efforts – whether to run from Him or to Him – and rest in the work He has accomplished for us. He loved us before we first loved Him. It’s His kindness that leads us to repentance.
Colossians 2:6 says, “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus, so walk in Him.”
What does that mean? The key is in the little words: “as” and “so.” They both basically mean “in the same manner.” It means the way you received Him is the way you walk in Him. In other words, “The way you get in, is the way you go on.”
Is it not true that you had to reach a place where you realized that you did not, and could not, please God? You needed a savior because you could not save yourself. Before you ever reached that awareness, Jesus had done everything necessary to secure your salvation. So, you ceased from all your efforts to save yourself. You stopped trying to make yourself pleasing to Him. You rested in what Jesus had already accomplished for you. That’s what we all have in common as Christians. It does not matter what your “testimony” is at that point. You may have come from a life of degradation and unspeakable evil. You may have been a murderer, an adulterer, prostitute or frequent customer of prostitutes, or a thief. You may have been cruel and brutal. You may have been a drunkard or drug addict. You may have been a victim of one of those evils. You may have been a little child who never did much of anything wrong. You may have never seen the inside of a church. You may have been in church since you were old enough to be taken after your birth. To become a Christian, at some point, you realized God loves you, and did all that was needed for your salvation. You stopped striving in your own efforts, and you rested in His work. The way you get in is the way you go on.
You went to the cross. You saw that Jesus died for you. It was not only His place of death, it was yours. You died to yourself. Like the seed that falls in the ground and dies, you died to your “seedness” in order to become what He made you to be. You died with Christ. Dead men do not work. The way you get in is the way you go on. Go to the cross daily.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God; not as a result of work, lest any man should boast. By grace through faith. By His doing. Not of works. The way you get in is the way you go on.
God does not intend for you to live the Christian life in your own strength. It is not a life of striving to be pleasing, or acceptable, or to appease God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. The righteous shall live by rules? No. The righteous shall live by faith. The way you get in is the way you go on.
You get in by the cross, you go on by the cross.
You get in by grace through faith, you go on by grace through faith.
You get in by ceasing from your own efforts and resting in His finished work on your behalf; you go on by ceasing from your own efforts and resting in His work.