âAs ye therefore have received Jesus Christ the Lord, walk in him: rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abundant in thanksgivingâ (Colossians 2: 6, 7) .
Christian life begins with a personal reception of Christ.
Christianity is delivered from the wages of sin and receives the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:23)
It continues through new life reflecting the character of Christ. Paul is talking about believers who are established in the faith by teaching the word of God.
The point is that every new believer should become a member of a local church, believing in the Bible, New Testament by a public testimony of their trust in Jesus Christ followed by baptism (immersion in water) and a determination to live a life that honors Christ.
As the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome: âTherefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: as Christ rose from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we are. must walk in newness of life. (Romans 6: 4).
Because salvation (i.e. the forgiveness of sins and eternal life) is a gift from God by his grace (unmerited favor) and received by faith, and not by our good works (however, as already said, salvation results in good works), we should be eternally grateful to God.
Thanksgiving to God is an important part of our worship and service to Him.
At New Hope Baptist Church, we begin our morning service by singing a mixture of refrains, one of which is âThank you, Lord, for saving my soul. Thank you, Lord, for healing me. Thank you, Lord, for having given me, Your great salvation, so rich and free! (Seth and Bessie Sykes, Great Hymns of Faith)
âAbundant in thanksgiving. It is expressing overflowing thanks to God that you have been saved, familiarizing yourself with the truths and the precious promises of the Word of God. If there is anything we should be thankful for, it is for knowing the great truths about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We are to count our blessings and be grateful for every need that God provides, âto be enriched in everything with all generosity, which causes thanksgiving through us to Godâ (2 Corinthians 9:11).
Thanksgiving plays an important role in our prayers: âContinue in prayer and keep the same with thanksgivingâ (Colossians 4: 2); âPay attention to nothing; but in all, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, may your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus â(Philippians 4: 6, 7).
In the Old Testament, thanksgiving was an important part of worship: âFor in the days of David and Asaph of old there was chief singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God â(Nehemiah 12:46). âSo that I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell all your wondersâ¦ Let us come before him with thanksgiving, and make him a joyous noise with psalms. . . . Enter into its gates with thanksgiving, and into its courts with praise: be grateful to him and bless his name â(Psalm 26: 7; 95: 2; 100: 4).
Our Christian life would be greatly improved and blessed if, in prayer, worship, and our daily life, we continually gave thanks to God.
Roy Delia is pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Ontario. He can be reached in the care of The Argus Observer, 1160 SW Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. Argus Observer’s weekly religious column features a rotation of writers from different faiths and perspectives.