How to Live a Full Christian Life

As Christians, we all desire to live out and practice what we say we are. Here’s a brief study of God’s word from Colossians 2:6-10 that provides a sound Biblical perspective on how we can do just that.

Colossians 2:6 – As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord…”

How did you receive the Lord Jesus Christ? That is exactly how you should “walk” in Him. There was nothing good in us that offered any appeasement to a righteous God when we came to Him in faith. We could not earn the favor of God by good works. We could not offer holiness to God who, by the way, requires absolute sinless perfection in order to receive the gift of adoption and eternal life. We came as needy sinners with the inability to satisfy God. We could not clean up our own life then, and we certainly cannot do it now.

This is very basic “doctrine” in the Christian life. Those of us who have been “redeemed” and “justified” know that we simply “believed in” and “received” the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. He alone is the propitiation (He satisfied the Holy and just demands of God) for our sins. His blood was effectual then and it still is. That’s grace. That’s justification. That’s reconciliation. And it’s all by Christ alone.

“…so walk ye in him…”

But what does the Apostle Paul exhort us to do now that we have come to Christ and have been united with Him through spiritual rebirth? As, or in the same manner, you received Christ Jesus the Lord, “so walk ye in him.”

In other words, you and I still cannot do anything apart from Christ to please God…get that, brethren. We still have nothing good to give God apart from Christ and His righteousness. We are still needy. We are still fallible, mortal, weaklings who require His grace and power (ability) to do what’s right. We still need the “Good Shepherd” that will guide us in the paths of righteousness. Jesus Christ is the only person who can live the genuine Christian life.

That is the point—don’t miss it. We are each called to a new “walk” in the Christian life. There are indeed things to learn, apply, and do. We are all pressing toward the high mark of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. But we have a choice on “how” we will grow and apply Biblical truths.

One option is that we can compile the long list of (Biblical) things to do and turn our full attention to it (the list) and try our hardest to walk in them. Here is the danger with that approach. If we have some limited measure of “success” we most certainly will develop pride and self-righteousness, we will start judging others who are not living up to the same high standards we are, and worst of all, we will fail to truly understand and grow in the grace of God which is in Christ Jesus. We will fail to live in the liberty and the freedom that Christ gives us. Liberty and freedom to do His perfect will.

Again, the thrust of what I’m saying here ultimately involves our “focus” of faith. What is the object of your faith? Are you focused on the steps of bettering yourself or are you focused on the Saviour? Are you consumed with the methods for improvement or are you consumed with the Master? Think about that. And just so you’ll know, it’s not BOTH!

Another option

is to simply love Christ by faith, walk in Christ by faith , live

the genuine Christian life the same way you enter the Christian life, which is by faith, and have total reliance on His ability while remembering that it’s none of me and all of Him.

Faith is keeping my eyes of spiritual understanding specifically on the Lord Jesus Christ, following Him, listening to Him, and obeying Him. We cannot separate our Christian walk from Christ. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” Don’t drift from Christ but draw near to Christ. Our devotion to Him results in fulfilling duty for Him. Walk in Him!

Colossians 2:7 – Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Rooted in him…”

Now we expand this thought. First, we are rooted in Him. This “rooting” must be done right. The seed must be right. The soil must be right. Or the rooting will not take hold. It will shrivel away. Perhaps this pseudo seed will show the promise of a godly life. It may even demonstrate to others an outward newness of life or temporary changed behavior. But when the thief comes (and he will) it is snatched away because it was not rooted in Christ. It is a life founded on the shifting sands of humanistic doctrine rather than the pillar of truth which is settled in the word of God and firmly positioned in Christ. Start here. Receive the unfeigned word of truth—the true gospel seed, the correct doctrine.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

You must be born again of incorruptible seed. The true gospel “seed” is Christ Himself and Christ alone. Not only did we receive the true gospel seed, but the soil of our heart was prepared and cultivated by the power of His word. The stony and hard heart rejects the seed of His gospel and the word of the Lord. So what happens? The Holy Spirit, through the word of God, prepares the ground of our inner man to receive the gospel seed. The word of God pricks our heart and conscience.

You heard. You understood. You received Him. Do you remember?

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Do you remember being awakened to your need of salvation by the sharp shears of His word? Do you remember realizing the great need for spiritual rebirth? Do you remember the call to receive Christ? And do you remember the chains were loosed, the great burden was lifted, and new life sprung forth when you said YES to Jesus? Do you remember that Christ was all you knew and He was enough? Rooted in Him alone by faith…not rooted in formulas, methods, or processes; but rooted in Him!

Be honest. Do you have a genuine desire to grow as a Christian? Do you really want to know Him? As we walk in Him by faith we hear His voice. As we walk in Him by faith we know His will. As we walk in Him by faith we walk in truth. As we walk in Him by faith we pursue righteousness. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him” (Colossians 2:6).

Built up in him…”

But our new life in Christ is to be built up. Ah, this is the place we usually drift from our first love; Jesus Christ. We erroneously conclude that He was indeed sufficient for everlasting life but when it comes to living the daily Christian life He is not quite sufficient. So we must add. We need more. We must build up. We must grow and expand. We must produce fruit, more fruit, and much fruit.

How may I ask is this accomplished? How will you produce fruit? Will you attend the greatest plant growth seminar and learn the best techniques of growth and fruit production? Will you find other branches and form an accountability group with them? Honestly, can a branch do anything at all? Can a branch produce the fruit? Or does the branch simply “bear” genuine fruit as a spontaneous result of abiding in the True Vine? This of course is THE way, THE truth, and THE life. It contradicts human reason and logic. Read the scripture, beloved. Read it with understanding. Hear what it says. We are specifically admonished to be built up IN HIM, not good plans, programs, processes, or performances! Who is “him” in Colossians 2:7? It’s Christ of course! “Rooted and built up in him.”

How are we rooted and built up in Him? Faith in Christ. Don’t stop believing in the power and preeminence of Christ. “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” This is not a general faith, it is the faith which is firmly rooted, built up, and established in Christ. Keep going on with Christ. Do not replace your gaze on Him with the weak and beggarly elements of pious trends or religious rules. Keep trusting, believing, depending, and relying in the all sufficiency of Christ. The Father is pleased with the Son, Jesus Christ.

And why should we abound therein with thanksgiving? Because the world hates Christ and the world hates those who follow and love Him. When the world hates you it is a mark of true discipleship. “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (1 John 3:13). Persecution will come to those who make Christ known. Your stand for Him will be contended. It is Jesus Christ who makes the difference. Just the mention of His name stirs up the crowd. But keep believing, keep following, and keep proclaiming Jesus Christ. And when the persecution for your stand comes, give thanks. Abound with thanksgiving. Your reward is great. Remember, you are not the first to be persecuted and you’ll not be the last. You’ll be laughed at, scorned, mocked, and excluded from the crowd for believing in Jesus Christ. Even Christians, who are carnal, will reject the message of Christ and those who love proclaiming it.

Colossians 2:8 – Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Watch out! By philosophy the Bible is referring to those individuals who attempt to obtain wisdom apart from Jesus Christ. Traditions of men refer to the teachings of men that direct us away from the person of Jesus Christ. And the rudiments of the world are the fundamental principles of art, science, or disciplines that are not after Christ.

Watch out for those who stand on the shaky foundations of philosophy, traditions of men, and the rudiments of the world, but not on Christ. We are complete in Christ. He fills us to the top. Nothing else is needed. Do you believe that? A disciple refers to a learner or pupil. Are you a disciple of worldly philosophy? Are you a learner or pupil of men’s traditions? Do you live by some type of mantra or religious saying that you chant each day for motivation? If we want to yield genuine fruit and truly glorify God in whatever we do, we must become true disciples or followers of Christ. Learn from the Master Teacher. Become a pupil of Christ. Follow Him.

Colossians 2:9 – For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

I don’t know Greek or Hebrew, but I can tell you unequivocally that the word “all” means “all.” It was my own problem, I know. But I use to feel the need to give equal attention to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I felt the need, in my mind at least, to divide and departmentalize God into three parts. My understanding, however, was illuminated when I begin to understand the sufficiency of Christ and believed what the Bible says. “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” All means all!

If you want to know the Heavenly Father, then purpose to know Christ. “Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:8-9). And do you want to know the works of the Spirit? “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26). And John 16:14 says, “He [the Holy Spirit] shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

Colossians 2:10 – And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

In summation of this verses, we should receive, by faith, the reality that we are complete in Christ. We lack nothing in Christ. What else are you searching for? Jesus not only possesses the specific attributes of love, joy, peace, and truth; He is love, joy, peace, and truth. In Christ we are filled with abundant life. In Christ we are complete.

Would you rather compile a list of duties and through drive and discipline attempt to keep that list? Or would you rather abide in Christ and bear much fruit? Unlike fads this truth will not come and go with another wind of doctrine. It will not disappoint you. You can find a permanent resting place here. Jesus invites all who labor and are overburdened with spiritual anxiety, “Come unto me…learn of me…ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:28–29). Do this: come to Christ and learn of Him.

As we set our affections on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ our attentiveness to Him increases. As we begin to think more on Christ our behavior is altered. Transformation begins to take place as we abide in Christ and truly recognize that our life is complete in Christ.

Here are some concluding thoughts and how you can make practical application. As you consume the Holy Scriptures, God will impress you with a particular verse, passage, or sometimes even a single word. When He touches your heart with a special truth, it is wise to saturate your mind with every word and allow the Holy Spirit to personalize it. God impresses a specific word or truth on your heart for a reason—He has a divine purpose. Listen for His still, small voice in your inner man as you meditate on His word. Learn what He is teaching. Be still and know that He is God. Look with expectancy to the Lord and you will find strength in Him.

Finally, keep in mind that the Holy Spirit will specifically testify of Jesus Christ and glorify Him. I cannot stress this point enough, it is very important that our thoughts be specifically fixed on Jesus Christ. Make it your purpose to know Him. When you hear a sermon, identify Christ. The next time you read the Holy Bible, seek to know Christ. If you are experiencing a trial, see Christ in it. If God is correcting you with loving chastisement, turn your heart fully to Christ. Learn of Him. Saturate your mind with Christ and remember that every Christian virtue is a revelation of the character and of the person of Jesus Christ. He is the manifestation of all truth. As your knowledge, perception, and understanding of Christ increases you’ll begin to comprehend that He is all you need and He will be all you desire. He will become the delight of your heart and you’ll enter into a productive life of genuine fruitfulness. Your eyes of spiritual understanding will be opened.

And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1 John 2:28).

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6 Responses to “How to Live a Full Christian Life”

  1. Randy Ricks Says:

    Thanks Forrest. This message is a strong reminder of how we need to keep our focus in these end times.

    I would ask a favor of you, that is I would like to quote from your message in a sermon I am working on with respect to the life of Enoch ( “who walked with God and was not….”) This message fits directly with where I want to climax in my message (What Was Enoch’s Secret to Walking With God?). If you have any other insights on the life of Enoch I would appreciate it as well. If you think I am missing the mark with regard to my conclusion about Enoch’s walk, then by all means correct me. Thanks brother. Your an instrumental resource.

    Thanks again,

  2. Don Says:


    Thank you for this practical lesson. It is essential that all believers understand the truth in this matter. If reading this article, one is not convicted that Jesus is the only one we need, then they may want to question their walk with Him! I have found a number of scriptures that the Lord has impressed on me these last 8 months or so. We must try Him, prove Him, and trust Him, as the song says.

    The Lord has given me the desires of my heart recently. Your encouragement in my hour of need was to wait on God. By this command, he has not only brought my daughter in law through heart surgery, but has given me a possible job starting June 1st. May God continue to bless your ministry. What a friend we have in Jesus. What a brother you are to me.

    God bless you and your family,
    In Christ,

    Don DeSimone
    Rom 1:16

  3. Forrest Says:

    Thanks again for your encouragement. Personally, I have discovered that the test of my commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ is when things do not “work out” the way I would like. Will I keep trusting and loving Jesus Christ in the midst of the fiery furnace? What if things do not work just the way I thought they should? God is always faithful even when it does not make things “better” for me. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

    I am grateful that the Lord gives us the desires of our heart. “For me to live IS CHRIST, and to die gain.”

  4. Forrest Says:

    Brother Randy, Of course you can always use anything I share verbally or in writing. And I think there are many ways we can “apply” this truth in the life of a (New Covenant) Christian who is under grace.

    Enoch was not saved the same way we are in my opinion. It’s much easier for those of us who know Jesus Christ…His death for our sins, His burial, His resurrection, and ascension to see the Old Covenant prophecies clearly. We know WHOM they were speaking of. We know atonement, propitiation, forgiveness, redemption, and justification through CHRIST. We know what it means to specifically walk in CHRIST by faith. They (the prophets and people before Christ death, burial, and resurrection) did not. Even in the prophecies of Christ it was a “mystery.” How then were they saved? Believing God.

    Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

    Hebrews 11:5-6 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    They believed God. How great then is our salvation, brother Randy? We see the mystery revealed in Christ. Our spiritual eyes of understanding are opened because we are new creatures in Christ. I have the “mind” of Christ. I am complete in Him. Therefore, by faith, we should specifically walk in Him. Long to know, love, and follow Jesus Christ. What a glorious privilege and honor!

  5. Warren Says:

    ”For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” ahhhh and such a sweet sweet reminder. Brother Forrest I used to be so confused about how should I refer to God as in when I prayed should I say God the Father or Jesus and even should I occasionally mention the Holy Spirit because I didn’t understand that the fullness of God is in Christ.

    I talk with Brothers and Sister often whom struggle with this and one thing I have found in some of their experiences including mine is that when one is struggling with the power and preeminence of Christ, it is very easy and almost a given that He or She will struggle with works. Too embrace the power and preeminence of Christ is to truly have liberty! Thank you so much for this wonderful instruction and encouragement Brother Forrest..

  6. Forrest Wychopen Says:

    Thank you for the encouragement, brother Warren. I am so very grateful that the light of Christ illuminates spiritual truth. Wow! The True Light is in us!