There is the initiation of our relationship to Jesus Christ and there is the continuation of our relationship to him.
The relationship was initiated when “God made us free from the power of darkness. And he brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). We acknowledged that we are sinners, we repented of our sins, and we accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. As a result, we passed from citizenship in the kingdom of darkness into citizenship in the Kingdom of God. As the Apostle Paul put it in a href=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2 Corinthians 5:17″>2 Corinthians 5:17: “When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new!”
Our relationship to Jesus, however, continues beyond its initiation. We aren’t supposed to stay the same way we were when we first believed. Rather, we are called to “grow to be like Christ in every way” (Ephesians 4:15). Indeed, God takes the lead in making sure that we will grow to be like Christ. Paul tells us that “those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29). God took the lead in freeing us from the power of darkness and He also takes the lead in conforming us to the image of His Son.
We can cooperate with the work of God in our lives by continuing to follow Jesus, depending on Him only, and drawing our strength from Him. Since we no longer live, but Christ lives in us (Galatians 2:20), we should forsake life in the power of our own strength and embrace the life of Christ dwelling within us. We should continue to learn as much as we can about this new life we have in Christ.
And we should never stop giving thanks to God. Given the initiation and continuation of our relationship to Christ Jesus, we have a lot to be thankful for.