Rooted In Christ.
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. – Colossians 2:6-7 NLT
You can’t ever get enough of Christ. I realize that might sound a bit heretical, but it is completely and solidly biblical. We are never to grow satisfied with a basic knowledge about Jesus. While a deep and intimate knowledge of Jesus is not necessary to enjoy a saving relationship with Him, once we have come to faith in Him, we are to grow in our knowledge of and relationship with Him. Peter put it this way: “…you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 NLT). That’s a command. And in another one of his letters, Peter wrote, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2 NIV). Both of these passages are fascinating if you take the time to think about what they are saying. In verse six of Colossians 2, Paul uses the word, “rooted.” It is a Greek word that actually means “to take root” or “to strengthen with roots.” It conveys the idea of a plant sending down a healthy root system in order to receive nutrients for growth, but also strength for future adversity. Paul tells us we are to sink our roots down into Christ. We are to be rooted in Him. In other words, we are to grow in our knowledge of who Christ is and what He has done for me. We are to grow in His grace and in the knowledge of who He is. Peter uses the term “grow” and it means “to increase or become greater.” We are to grow in our knowledge of Christ. We are to grow in our salvation. But what does all this mean?
Think about when you came to Christ. How much did you really know and understand about Jesus and His gift of salvation? You probably had a fairly basic knowledge of who He was and what He had done. When I accepted Jesus’ free gift of salvation at the age of seven, I had a very elementary and basic understanding of what I was doing. I knew and believed that Jesus was the Son of God. I knew that I was a sinner – from my own experience. I also knew that I couldn’t be good enough to live the kind of life God expected of me. I couldn’t even please my own parents. And I knew that Jesus offered me forgiveness of sin and eternal life, if I would simply place my faith in who He was and what He had done for me on the cross. So I did. But that was 51 years ago, and my knowledge of Jesus is far greater than it was then. I know so much more about Him, intellectually and, more importantly, experientially. I have a much more robust understanding of just how significant His death on the cross really was. I appreciate His grace and mercy far more than I ever did at seven. I have a much more sophisticated understanding of my own sin nature and my need for grace than I ever did. Because I have grown in my knowledge of Jesus and of my own salvation.
Paul tells us that if we will sink our roots deep down in Jesus, holding firmly to who He is and feeding regularly on the truth of what He has done, our faith will grow strong and we will experience an overflowing thankfulness for all that He has done and is doing in our lives. This is so important, because the world will constantly attempt to distract us from becoming rooted and grounded in Jesus. The enemy will try to get our eyes off of Christ and on to something or someone else that promises to give us hope, joy, peace, fulfillment, and happiness. Paul knew that the believers in Colosse were going to be bombarded by the temptation to buy into “empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world” (Colossians 2:8 NLT). These humanly, worldly alternatives to Christ would never be an adequate substitute for Christ. “For in Christ dwells all the fullness of God in a human body” (Colossians 2:9 NLT). Christ was all they needed. But they needed to grow in their knowledge of Him. They needed to continue to root their lives in Him. And so do we.
A growing knowledge of who Christ is and the significance of what He has done for us will help us discern false teaching, reject the accusations of the enemy claiming we haven’t done enough, refuse the condemnations of others demanding we need to do more, and allow us to rest in the all-sufficient work of Christ on our behalf. “You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world” (Colossians 2:20 NLT). My roots continue to grow deep down into Christ. I am continually learning to root my hope and strength in Him and what He has done and is doing for me. I didn’t save myself through self-effort and I cannot sanctify myself through self-effort. He saved me and is sanctifying me. He loved me enough to redeem me and He loves me enough to renovate me. He is all I need.
Father, thank You that Jesus is sufficient. I don’t need to add my hard work and human effort to the equation. I don’t need to keep a set of rules and live up to some human set of standards. My roots are set down into Christ and what He has done for me. It is all about Him, not me. He is my salvation and my daily source of strength. He not only saved me, but is sanctifying me each and every day of my life. Show me how to continually sink my roots into Him and build my life on Him, so that my faith will continue to grow and prosper – even in the midst of adversity. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men