In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Colossians 2:11-12 ESV
What is it to be a Christian? People at Colossae (see Colossians 2:6 – 3:4) were clearly struggling with that question. There appear to have been two camps. One said it is what you know. The other group said it is what you do. Those two groups are still around today. But Paul says it is neither!
Many of us think it’s what we know about Christ that makes us a Christian. Nothing could be more wrong. It’s easy to know a lot about Christ and not know him. If you only learn about him and don’t walk with him intimately on a day-by-day basis—you’ve missed the point!
On the other hand many of us think it’s what we do that makes us a Christian. We go to church regularly, we give to the church and to the poor, we obey the commandments, we treat our neighbors kindly—but that’s not what makes us a Christian.
Paul says that to be a Christian is to be in Christ. It is who you are that makes you a Christian! Are you alive in Christ today by grace through faith? Is he alive in you? Are you “walking” (living your life) in Christ? Now, of course, you will want to know everything about Him that you can. And, of course, you will want to please him by doing what he wants. But don’t let knowing and doing become a substitute for nurturing a love relationship with him. It’s who you are in Jesus Christ that makes you a Christian, not anything that you can gain through your own efforts. The work has already been done for you on the Cross. Rest in that and rejoice.