In my early years of being a Christian I was told by almost everyone that being saved was great but I needed to now move on to deeper and better things in my relationship with Jesus!
In the letter to the Colossians Paul tells me exactly the opposite. He says that the way Jesus saved me is the way He will grow me in 2: 6 – 7: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
How did Jesus save me? 1: 21 – 22: “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – “
How does Jesus grow me? 1: 23: “if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”
I think that a lot of “deeper and better things” theology is based more on a misunderstanding of the Holy Spirit peppered with “Christian Philosophy” and other stuff rather than a clear understanding of the power of the Gospel of Christ to save and grow us. And although that is not precisely what Paul was writing against it does ring some bells when you read 2: 8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
And even all the teaching that flows from chapter 3 onwards on how to live as a Christian assumes that we understand this Colossian principle in 2: 6 – 7 that the way Jesus saved you is the way He will grow you – see 2: 20 – 23 (I wonder what the implications of this are for the current growing emphasis on spiritual disciplines?)
The bottom line is this: Just as we chose Jesus as Lord to be saved (sure it was the Holy Spirit who enabled us) so we must choose Jesus as Lord every day and in all circumstances and the more we do that the more we will grow (and we need the Holy Spirit for this)! I don’t need anything deeper or better than this!