What does Colossians 2:6 mean?
ESV: Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
NIV: So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,
NASB: Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
CSB: So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him,
NLT: And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.
KJV: As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
NKJV: As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
Verse Commentary:
In this brief verse, Paul makes a grand statement about the believer's walk with Christ. The Colossians, like all other saved believers, received Christ by faith (Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9; Ephesians 2:8–9). Paul's implication is that those who accepted Christ in faith ought to "walk"—to live and think—by faith, as well (Colossians 2:7). The false teachings confronting Colossae emphasized works and personal sacrifice as the means to pleasing God. It is true that works are a vital aspect of the Christian's life (1 John 3:17–18), but these are the results of saving faith, not the source of it. Our walk with God must be rooted in faith—and therefore rooted in Him, not us—just as salvation is. Otherwise, our spirituality is based on human performance and is destined to fail.

Though Paul lived a highly motivated Christian life, he knew faith was the only way to please God. A certain type of works without faith can be accomplished by non-believers. However, a person who has received Christ as Lord will live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). This kind of faith will lead to many good works, but our salvation remains constant despite our actions because it is based on Christ and what He has done.
Verse Context:
Colossians 2:6–15 describes Christ's superiority in defeating sin. This is shown in stark contrast to the failure of the unbelieving world. Paul encourages the Colossians not to be tricked by deceptive arguments. This passage also explains the drastic nature of salvation. Those who put their faith in Christ are ''spiritually'' circumcised and are identified with God through their faith. This act of forgiveness by God frees us from the eternal penalty of sin, restores our relationship, and defeats the evil forces fighting against us.
Chapter Summary:
In this passage, Paul warns Christians not to be taken in by deceptive arguments. These claims are attractive, but are merely tricks: they sound true, but they are not. Arguing for self-denial, legalism, visions, and other practices only looks good to observers. None of these are the real source of spiritual growth. Paul emphasizes the way Christ accomplished everything we need to be justified before God. As a result, there is no reason for believers to pursue these false, shallow ''shadows.'' We have the real substance: Jesus, so we should follow Him.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 1 introduced Christ as supreme over all of creation. Chapter 2 refines this argument by showing how the salvation offered through Jesus is superior to false, alternative systems. Paul specifically refutes several ideas, such as legalism, asceticism (self-denial), and mysticism. These are not how God intends us to grow, spiritually. Later chapters will contrast these false, external attempts with the true, inner spiritual growth which comes only by faith in Christ.
Book Summary:
The book of Colossians describes Christ as superior to all other teachers, faiths, and philosophies. In this letter, written from prison, Paul once again tackles false teachings. Among these errors are claims that Christians need to give up all physical enjoyments, that they should worship angels, and that they need to rely on the wisdom of an elite few. These problems are consistent with an ancient heresy known as Gnosticism. In response, Paul explains that Christ is supreme, and sufficient for our salvation.
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