Article: ROOTED AND BUILT UP IN CHRIST LEADS TO THANKFULNESS | Jacob Varghese

As the Bible teaches in Colossians 2:6-7, we read, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving”.
Paul used the terms “rooted” and “built up” to emphasize that those who have professed faith in God should seek to grow in the Christian fundamental faith and to establish themselves in biblical truth and practices of the Bible. The word “rooted” is equated to the roots of a tree which go deep into the earth, having a firm grip and being able to grow, flourish and bear fruit in its season. “Blessed man shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1: 3).The life that is founded on Christ as his/her personal Lord and Saviour ought to see that his former life is one of disaster compared to this present blessed life. He should seek to grow in the Word of God and meditate on it daily. The result is promising. On the contrary, those who refuse to walk with the Lord bring destruction upon themselves. The second term “built up” is compared unto a building which has a strong foundation. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24)

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe writes, “Rooted is an agricultural word, once and for all having been rooted.” “Christians are not to be tumble weeds that have no roots and are blown about by “every wind of doctrine” (Eph.4:14). Nor are they to be “transplants” that are repeatedly moved from soil to soil. Once we are rooted by faith in Christ, there is no need to change the soil!” Do you know for sure that you have been rooted in Christ? We must know that we are rooted in Jesus Christ. When we are rooted in Jesus, we don’t have to try and find meaning, purpose, and direction any place else. We now have an anchor for our soul. Our identity is complete in Jesus. Our longing for purpose is fulfilled, and our quest for meaning has come to a life-changing conclusion. The nutrients that we need for a healthy Christian life come as our roots stay planted deep in Christ. The roots draw up the nourishment so that the tree can grow. The roots also give strength and stability.” Are you a rooted believer? What is the depth of your roots? Jesus shares a parable of the sower and the soil (Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23). The Scriptures warn us of what happens to those who are not deeply rooted in Christ. “They are like the seed fell on the rock when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13). In what Jesus taught about being rooted in the truth we find that there are those who start the journey in Christ in a good way. We find they receive the truth with joy. Yet, the truth is not rooted in them deeply enough. Thus, when temptation arises, that person falls away.

We must desire growth to pursue growth. What do you sincerely long for in your walk with Jesus Christ? The lesson above, which was taught by Christ in the “Parable of the Sower”, shows us the importance of being deeply rooted in the word of our Lord. We all know that falling away from Christ is a serious threat and can happen to any one of us. We are supposed to have Christ in our hearts and be rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3:17). If we are not rooted, we will find that we will just wither away (Matthew 13:5-6). Thus, we have to desire the truth and grow strong in Christ (I Peter 2:1-2). This process is not an overnight process either. The process of being rooted, grounded, and settled in Christ requires a continual work for each one of us to do. Our being rooted and grounded in Christ keeps us settled, firm, unmovable, steadfast. Rather than being tossed to and fro (Ephesians 4:14), anyone who begins the journey in Christ must be secured firmly by roots or they will fall away. What we also need to understand is that we are talking about falling away, not just someone who forgets to study his or her Bible one day. We are talking about someone who just forgets about the Lord and the commitment they have made to Him.
It is easy to look back on the Israelites and pick at how soon they forgot the works of our Lord. Now, it is time for each of us to use this study for ourselves. Ask ourselves some questions like these: Am I rooted enough not to allow my family to stand between the Lord and me? Am I rooted enough not to allow my worldly friendships to stand between the Lord and me? Am I rooted enough not to allow false doctrine to be taught and thereby ruin my relationship with the Lord? Am I rooted enough not to “fall for” the wrong person because of that guy or girl? Am I rooted enough not to follow the wrong leaders?

Not long ago I was watching someone cleaning the back yard of our house. All of the weeds were easily removed. There was one in the passage that would not be removed that easily. He had to pull it out. It was a tough one to pull up. It turns out that the roots of that weed were almost as big as the weed. Let’s be rooted so deeply that nothing can uproot us from the Lord. When you hear the word “rooted” you usually think of a tree. When you plant a tree, it is easy to pull it out of the ground after the first few days. But it will be nearly impossible to pull the tree out once it is properly rooted. Apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossians advises being firmly rooted in the Lord. Anyone who tries to pull us out then will be unsuccessful. Then no spirit can stand a chance against us because we are firmly rooted in the doctrine of Jesus Christ. But this is not always easy because Satan is constantly at work, and he seeks to pull us out of this firm grounding. John the Baptist was a great man, and had been selected by God for a specific purpose. But he was not properly rooted in the Lord. When he found himself in prison he began to doubt, and sent messengers to ask the Lord if He was truly the one for whom he and his followers had been waiting, or whether they should wait for another. He was not firmly rooted. His faith was not strong enough. He gave room to doubt. When doubts arise, let us reject them and pray to our heavenly Father for the necessary strength. If we are disappointed, persist in our own opinions, or no longer heed the word of the Lord, we run the risk of being uprooted, or “pulled out of the ground”. Let us be aware of this danger, because the devil never sleeps. He seeks to uproot us. Let us be firmly rooted in the ground of Jesus Christ and in the teaching of the Apostles. Then we will remain firm and sure in our faith.

Being rooted in Christ means our faith is firm and will hold us in the storms of life, we are being continually fed by Christ through our faith in Him, and that we desire our roots of faith to grow us into a mighty tree for Christ that is visible to the world. The building up is what we refer to as the process of growing more and more like Jesus through His indwelling Holy Spirit. The result of being rooted and built up is a heart that is filled to overflowing with thankfulness. God wants us to grow more and more like Jesus so we can witness to a lost world and glorify Him in our lives. Let us take steps to be closer to Jesus. Just as we received Christ Jesus as Lord – we need to continue to live in Him! How did we receive Him? Was it by our works or by our effort? NO! If we really received Jesus – not a church, not a denomination, not a religion – but Jesus – then we received Him by FAITH in His GRACE! If we did not receive Him by faith then we did not receive Him at all! The more time we spend with Him, the more rooted we become. The deeper and firmer the root – the stronger the tree! As we fill up with the Word – we are built up and strengthened in our faith. The most awesome thing we experience when we first receive Jesus is FREEDOM! We receive freedom from sin and freedom from religion and tradition. We feel the bondage of sin and the world leaving us and we experience the freedom of forgiveness and acceptance.
Are we overflowing with thankfulness? A thankful person acknowledges God as the source of every provision and blessing. As believers, our gratitude should overflow because of the benefits we receive as children of God. In fact, a thankful heart is a defining characteristic of a godly person because it is an expression of His indwelling presence. Our thanksgiving begins when we acknowledge that Christ alone is responsible for our salvation. He chose each of us before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) and gave us the gift of faith so we could believe in Him (Eph. 2:8). Gratitude makes us sensitive to the needs of those around us and eager to help them. When we recognize all that God has done for us, we look for ways to pass blessings on to others. If we are thankful, we are willing to joyfully share whatever we have. Seeing what God is doing in our lives motivates us to tell others and encourage them to trust Him. Thankful people are pleasant and kind to others. A grateful attitude displays the character of Jesus in our lives, and that is very appealing to those around us. Thankfulness prompts us to give, share, and serve. After watching God repeatedly work in our lives, we develop great trust in Him that influences our thinking. Instead of focusing on ourselves, we desire to be used by our heavenly Father to achieve His purposes. Thankfulness is a choice. If it is lacking in us, we must decide to change. As we recognize and acknowledge God’s wonderful blessings and ask Him to give us grateful hearts, He will begin transforming our lives. Then, as we live in Christ, His characteristics of goodness, love, kindness, and generosity will pour through us until we are truly overflowing with gratitude.

JACOB VARGHESE

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