The Door and the Way
Colossians 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.
This simple verse changed my life years ago while reading a little book entitled “We Would See Jesus” (Roy Hession, 1958). The author explains that Jesus must be seen as both the “Door” (John 10:7-9) and the “Way” (John 14:6) and that how we enter the “Door” is exactly how we walk in the “Way.”
Christianity is unlike any other religion. It starts with forgiveness, full justification, imputation of Christ’s righteousness, and the gift of eternal life. The “Door” to enter is not too “high,” nor too “low” (Rom 10:6-7). It is right at ground level!
But what does it say? “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the Word of faith that we proclaim);
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
All other religions are based on man-made systems of works. This is due to the human mindset we all inherited from Adam – i.e., if we know “enough,” we can become like God, and if we mess up, we can cover ourselves with the “fig leaves” of good works and blame someone else for the rest.
Even as born-again Christians, we often slip into a mindset of works. We know we entered the “Door” by “grace…through faith…not of works” (Eph 2:8-9). However, we imagine the “Way” to be some “straight and narrow” path of works. We unconsciously attempt to balance any wrong actions with some good “Christian” ones we invent, such as church-going, prayers, Bible reading, helping others, etc.. It’s all good stuff, to be sure, but if we trust in those things to make us more “right” with God, then they are useless “dead works” (Heb 6:1; Heb 9:14) and “filthy rags” (Isa 64:6)!
So many Christians feel condemned because they do not think they are doing “enough” good stuff as they struggle to reach some imaginary religious goal they or someone else has set for them. The worst part is that Christians under condemnation are roadblocks for others to come to Christ!
That is not Christianity! That is definitely not the Good News of the Gospel!
What Colossians 2:6 unpacks for us is such a simple solution! How we “received Christ Jesus as Lord” and stepped through Jesus the “Door” is exactly how we continue walking in Jesus the “Way.”
How did we first receive Christ Jesus as Lord?
How did we first go through the “Door”?
- The Holy Spirit and the Word brought conviction, and we recognized our sin.
- We came to the Cross, broken, openhearted, confessing our sin and repenting – turning away from sin and unto Jesus.
- We believed in our heart and confessed our faith with our mouth – that Jesus is Lord and the only Savior, the Son of God who died to shed His Blood for us, and Whom God raised from the dead.
In that very instant, we were washed in His Blood and made “white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). We were justified – “just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned” – and clothed with Christ’s righteousness and given right-standing with God (see Rom 3:23-28; 1 Cor 1:30-31; Gal 2:16-21; Titus 3:4-7).
No good works. No climbing a mountain on our knees. Nothing but grace through faith, fully trusting in what Jesus finished on the Cross!
But wait, there’s more!
- Water Baptism. We first chose to be “disciples” (Mat 28:19-20) by obeying the Word and being baptized. In birth, we identified with Adam, but in baptism, we identified with Christ. Together with Him, our body of sin that served sin was buried. We were legally freed from the “old man” – the nature of sin we inherited from Adam (Rom 6:1-7). We were freed from slavery to sin to be “slaves of righteousness” (Rom 5:12; Rom 6:17-18).
- Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes to abide in us to lead, teach and empower us to live a transformed life, forming Christ within us – the “new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Col 3:10).
And that is exactly how we “walk in Him”! Nothing more. Nothing less. As children of God, we do stumble and sin. The answer is NOT to “just try harder”! The answer is to return to the Cross just as we did in the beginning, and there we will see Jesus as the “Way”:
- The Word brings conviction, and we recognize our sin.
- We come broken to the Cross to “walk in the light as [Jesus] is in the light” (1 John 1:7) by confessing our behavior as sin – regardless of what it was (lack of love, anger, worry, doubt, temptations). For the Blood of Jesus can only cleanse SIN, not excuses or “weaknesses,” etc.
- We believe in our heart and confess our faith with our mouth that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.
As we remain broken at the Cross, the precious Blood of Jesus cleanses our heart, our mind, and our conscience (Heb 9:14; 1 John 1:7,9). We are clothed anew with Christ’s righteousness, and we are at once in right standing with God.
- Water Baptism. Then we continue in the “Way,” walking in what our Baptism in water accomplished for us just as Paul admonished the Romans. We identify with Christ’s burial, knowing our “old man” is buried – specifically in the area in which the Word convicted us. We “consider” ourselves to be “dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We present ourselves “to God as being alive from the dead, and [our] members as instruments of righteous – as a “living sacrifice” to do His will (Rom 6:1-13; Rom 12:1-2: Col 2:12).
- Baptism in the Holy Spirit. We also continue in the “Way” by walking in what the Baptism in the Holy Spirit provides. The Spirit empowers us from the inside out to “walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4; Luke 24:49). He writes takes the Word that convicted us and then writes it upon our heart and mind (Eze 36:26-27; Jer 31:31-34; Heb 8:10) and this forming Christ within us (Col 1:27; Gal 4:19).
Oh, how precious the Cross and the cleansing Blood of Jesus would become to us! Not only as a past testimony or a message to share with sinners but as our daily experience of cleansing, brokenness, and surrender in Jesus the “Way”!
Water Baptism and Baptism in the Holy Spirit would no longer be fossilized, historical, one-time events. Instead, they would be daily, living, growing, and glowing experiences!
We simply must see Jesus as both the “Door” and the “Way”! That’s what this wonderful verse is all about:
Colossians 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord [the “Door”], so walk in Him [“the Way”].