COLOSSIANS-SERIES NR 7: Colossians 2: 6-7
ROOTED IN HIM
These two verses are loaded with so much dynamite and truth that we could spend hours talking about it, but I shall attempt to say it as briefly as possible.
In a nutshell, the following is written there:
If one has come to faith and received Jesus the Lord, the rest of one’s life exists in a purposeful daily close connectivity with Christ. Such a person’s life is disrupted. It is as if your life has become warped – like a crab it pulls over all to the one side. That is a sure sign that true regeneration has taken place.
And how exactly do you live rooted in Him? Through the life-long daily repetition of FOUR actions over and over and over and over:
1) Rooted in Him, 2) build on Him, 3) cling to the Truth of the Gospel as you have been taught, and 4) abound in thanksgiving for such a great salvation!
Those are the 4 things which are to be done over and over – and that is what being connected with Him means.
But what is the content of these 4 actions?
Before we look at that we must first start at the beginning, as the text indicates the way for us. Before you can live in connectedness with Him, you must first by faith get to know Him as Saviour.
The members of the church in Colosse have all received/accepted the Lord Jesus as LORD (The Greek verb means accept/receive).
That is exactly what the Apostle is saying: “As you received/accepted Christ Jesus as Lord”.
He is therefore convinced that the members of the church have done so. Now they are Christians, they are saved people.
That is exactly how any NT church is supposed to be put together. All the members are supposed to be people who have received Jesus the Lord into their lives. A church consisting of people who have received the Lord together with their children.
The children of believers are from birth part of the public life of the church (Acts 2:38-39). They are not pagans and should not be regarded and treated as such. They are baptized as a sign of being part of the church. But they should be helped and taught to get to know the Lord themselves. They are not automatically on their way to heaven because they are, together with their parents, part of the congregation/covenant and are baptized. They must also receive the Lord Jesus into their lives and learn to build their hope on His death and resurrection. And later on, when they have children themselves, the cycle is repeated.
Unfortunately, it is not like that in practice, because some parents and children appear NOT to really know the Lord, but in principle it should be like that.
What does it mean to accept Jesus the Lord?
That Jesus is LORD, means that He occupies the highest rank in the universe. The absolute authority. The word Kurios means “the absolute sovereign”. In the time of the Roman Empire the Emperor was also called Kurios.
Therefore, I cannot know the Lord as Saviour without being under His sovereign rule. I cannot separate Jesus from His LORDship. Jesus IS the Lord. If cannot and don’t have to MAKE Him my Lord. No, He IS the Lord. That means that if I know Jesus by faith, I automatically know Him as Lord. They are two sides of the same coin.
The person who reaches this point of faith/trust upon Christ, has already been spiritually brought forth to life by God the Father, as it says in 2 Cor 4:6. Nobody can come to faith without first having been brought to life. Because man is spiritually dead (Eph 2:1) and cannot do the will of God (Rom 7:7). Man needs first to be vivified by the Spirit before there can be repentance and faith.
The inevitable fruit/result of someone who has supernaturally been brought to life by the Spirit, is that such a person will most certainly receive the Lord as Saviour.
It is not an action or work of MAN that makes it “work” or makes it successful. One cannot do certain things right enough or become “truly” reborn. The rebirth takes place as a powerful action by God, and OUT OF THAT man becomes spiritually alive and desires to receive Christ.
If I then accept/receive Jesus SINCE I’VE ALREADY BEEN MADE ALIVE, in principle I give up the say I have over my life and bow down to His authority over my life. And it is a process that lasts all life long.
I let go of what I have in my hand to henceforth trust Christ in stead. I turn 180 degrees. I suffer remorse over my sins, my guilt, my self-centeredness and I confess it to Him and I subject myself to Him. I let go the grip that my heart has on whatever, and I receive CHRIST into my life! I transfer my trust over onto Him alone for salvation.
It is interesting that the NT uses different words to express the action of faith/faith-trust.
In essential and principle, faith means to trust God: To – based on the Word of God – begin to trust Christ’s death on the cross for salvation. Faith is to put trust in the promise of God.
But now look at the words the NT uses to describe this action of transferring faith-trust:
LOOK > John 3
BELIEVE > several Scriptures
CALL > Acts 2:21; Rom 10:13
CONFESS > 1 John 1:9
BELIEVE > John 1:12
COME > John 6:37
RECEIVE > Col 2:6
OPEN > Rev 3:20
FLEE TO TAKE HOLD OF THE HOPE > Heb 6:18
KNOW THE WAY > 2 Pet 2:21
REPENT > several Scriptures
OBEDIENCE > Rom 1:5
ENTER (the door) > Matt 7:13
To sum up: The Apostle is saying that a lost sinner who has bent the knee before Christ Jesus and placed his/her hope for salvation in Christ’s death on the cross alone, SUCH a person is a Christian and is saved from the wages of sin forever.
But now: How does such a believer go forward? Answer: The saved person lives a life rooted in Jesus. Literally: WALK with Christ. The question is how!?
The Holy Spirit says (through Paul) that there are FOUR things that happen simultaneously and daily:
1 ROOTED like a tree. The Greek points out that it is not a rooting which has to take place over and over. It is a rootedness that happens and is completed only once. A tree does not grow roots over and over. Only once and then it is rooted. The tree is anchored. The already-saved person must daily carefully attend to this rootedness. Be daily assured of it anew. We must re-assure ourselves of it everyday.
2 Built up like a building is built on a foundation. The building process is on-going. One brick upon another. It is not only once and then it is done. It is here where important practical disciplines like prayer, Bible reading, church and witnessing, play a big role. Because we being built up and grow in knowledge as a result of the Spirit’s working in us through prayer. And we breathe out by speaking to others about the Lord. Breathe in and breathe out. It is a daily action.
3 Firmly established in the Truth you were taught. It is very important that a Christian continuously re-assures himself of the content of the Gospel-message. Do not deviate from what you have learned. Do not look left or right. Study it regularly. It is almost impossible to be firmly established without studying over and over and read and look into the Truth! When the Spirit lives in us, we have an insatiable appetite for these things. If the Spirit does not live us, we will not have an appetite for it. These days the internet and the availability of information are a great help for a Christian to have continuous exposure.
4 Abounding in thanksgiving. To a Christian-believer continual daily thanksgiving is to be a habit. Someone who does not have a deep conviction of thankfulness towards the Lord, is vulnerable for doubt and spiritual instability, and is susceptible to error.
But thankfulness does not necessarily come by itself. One must often choose to be thankful and remind oneself of the facts why you should be thankful.
Here are the 4 repeating actions that allow a Christian to live in connectedness with Christ. 1 A re-assurance of being rooted. 2 A process of edification. 3 Established in the truth, and 4 Thanksgiving.
Translated by Marthie Wilson