Many Christians live in spiritual poverty – daily defeated by their sin, not knowing why. I think a primary reason is we’ve failed to see this life-transforming connection: the same gospel that saved us is also the same message that sustains us. Put another way, the gospel is not only “the power of God for salvation” (Rom. 1.16) at the moment of conversion – it’s also the power source for the entire Christian life (cf. Romans 6).
Today’s quote by Andrew Murray captures this wonderfully. He is commenting on Colossians 2.6-7, which says, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
“In these words the apostle teaches us the weighty lesson that it is not only by faith that we first come to Christ and are united to Him, but that it is by faith that we are to be rooted and established in our union with Christ. Not less essential than for the commencement is faith for the progress of the spiritual life. Abiding in Jesus can only be by faith.
“There are earnest Christians who do not understand this; or, if they admit it in theory, they fail to realize its application in practice. There are very zealous for a free gospel, with our first acceptance of Christ, and justification by faith alone. But after this they think everything depends on our diligence and faithfulness. While they firmly grasp the truth, ‘The sinner shall be justified by faith,’ they have hardly found a place in their scheme for the larger truth, ‘The just shall live by faith.’ They have never understood what a perfect Saviour Jesus is, and how He will each day do for the sinner just as much as He did the first day when He came to him. They know not that the life of grace is always and only a life of faith, and that in the relationship to Jesus the one daily and unceasing duty of the disciple is to believe, because believing is the one channel through which Divine grace and strength flow out into the heart of man. The old nature of the believer remains evil and sinful to the last; it is only as he daily comes, all empty and helpless, to his Saviour to receive of His life and strength, that he can bring forth the fruits of righteousness to the glory of God. Therefore it is: ‘As ye have therefore receive Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted…in Him, and established in the faith, …abounding therein...’ As you came to Jesus, so abide in Him, by faith.” – Abide in Christ, “Fifth Day”