The book of Psalms begins with a beautiful word picture of the man who delights in the law of the Lord. He is likened to a tree planted by streams of water – a tree who bears much fruit and whose leaf does not wither. The roots go down deep and get nourishment from the ground and from the water. When the storms come (and the storms ALWAYS come!), that tree will stand strong. It has “deep roots.”
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:1–3, ESV)
That’s my prayer for everyone who has “received Christ.” My prayer is not only that we would know Him in salvation, but that we would abide in Him, get nourished by Him, and grow abundant fruit through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6–7, ESV)
Paul speaks of “walking in Christ” as a four-fold process. The first step is being “rooted.” The word ‘rooted’ is past tense and it’s also passive. We do not ‘root’ ourselves. He does it for us. He plants us in good soil, and by the power of His Holy Spirit he anchors us in salvation. He gives us ‘roots.’
The second step is present tense, but it is still passive. We are being “built up in him.” Our sanctification is still His work. We cooperate with the Holy Spirit, but it is His work in us that builds us up in Christ.
The third step is still passive. He establishes us in the faith. He confirms the reality of our salvation, and He preserves us to the end.
The fourth step is our ‘active’ response. On the basis of His work in “firmly rooting us, building us up in him, and establishing us in the faith,” we are to ‘abound’ (or overflow) in thanksgiving.
He alone is worthy of praise for what He has done in both our salvation and our sanctification. It’s His work… from beginning to end, and our only proper response is thanksgiving.
My prayer is that RootedandEstablished.com will in some small way be a blessing to you as you seek to “walk in Him.”
See also: Sermon: Walking in Christ (Col. 2:6-7)