Heavenly Father, thank You for Christ’s triumphant work!
Read COLOSSIANS 2:6–15
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
New International Version (NIV)
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Growing in Christ means doing and consuming the right things: where he leads me I will follow, and what he feeds me I will swallow.
Theologian Jim Packer once referred to the redwood trees in northern California in commenting on the evangelical church. These magnificent trees are carefully fenced off because they have a very shallow root system. As visitors march round the huge trees, the soil is loosened around the roots and they become very vulnerable. It wouldn’t take too much wind to topple them. Packer commented that, although there have been many signs of growth in the evangelical church, there is also an unmistakable shallowness. It’s as true in the west as it is in the majority of the free world.
Paul’s concern was that Christians grow up into Christ. In today’s passage there is a magnificent sequence of statements that reveal the dynamics of such growth. First, Paul uses a metaphor: we should be “rooted and built up” (7). By faith, I am united to Christ; I am safe in him and I cannot be uprooted. Next, Paul urges us to be built up, brick by brick. It is a call to sustained spiritual growth, the only grounds for stability and fruitful flourishing. Such growth can come only from a life lived in union with Christ. The point is obvious, because Christ is absolutely sufficient, and we have achieved fullness in him (10). Paul reiterates: we are united with Christ (11,12), and so we share in all that Christ has done. That in turn leads to freedom in Christ (13–15). We are liberated from our debts, fully forgiven, and indemnified against God’s condemnation and righteous judgment.
Because of Christ’s triumphant work on the cross and our union with him, we are emancipated from the bondage of sin and self, energized to serve, and equipped to grow into Christlikeness. Being rooted in him brings about a life of stability and fruitfulness!
Built up brick by brick—what area of spiritual growth needs special attention in your life? Pray for the Spirit’s help to make progress.
Lord, root me in the faith so that I settle in as a tree planted by the rivers of water (Psa. 1:3).