FIRM FAITH IN CHRIST - PART 1
THURSDAY 19 MAY 2022
Apostle Paul wrote an epistle to the faithful saints in Colosse addressing their Christian faith, and placing great emphasis on their ability to focus on reflecting Christ because its absolutely inconsistent to live a successful Christian life without being focused on and well grounded in Christ.
Reference: Colossians 2:6-7 New International Version (NIV) "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
It's one thing to receive a packaged gift as a present and its another thing to identify with the present, understand and ally yourself with it, and then enjoy the content. In this case, I'm talking about the best gift from God, Christ Jesus, whom we have received as Lord.
How is this Christian life going to be lived in Christ? By being: 1. rooted in Christ (foundation or bedrock). 2. built up in Christ (formation of body structure). 3. strengthened in faith (fortification or toughening). 4 overflowing with thankfulness (course of manner or attitude).
Today, I'm going to throw light on the first two: Being rooted in Christ and being built up in Him.
Firstly, being rooted in Christ is of paramount importance. The Bible says, "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:19-20 NIV). Indeed there is a foundation and the book of Isaiah referred it as a sure foundation. It reads, 'Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily"' ( Isaiah 28:16 NKJV).
This sure foundation is Christ and nobody can lay a foundation other than the one already laid (see 1 Corinthians 3:11 NIV). And as Christians, we dig deep into this laid foundation, which is the rock of our salvation, by believing, hearing and feeding on the Word voraciously, walking by faith, and exercising faith in it (Romans 10:16-17 NIV). That's how to get rooted on the sure foundation.
Secondly, being built up in Christ is the action of forming or process of being formed and shaped by Christ, in order to fully conform to His image. In Christ Jesus, we are true partakers of the divine nature, and so we are called to demonstrate all of His attributes in our actions or way of life. It's like building a magnificent structure of ourselves with Christ. In Galatians 4:19 (NLT), Paul said, "my dear children! I feel as if I'm going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives." This is exactly the process of being built up in Christ. Apostle Paul, by using the "labour pain" description or imagery, illustrated his longing throes and desire to build those Christians up with Christ, and effect His Word in their lives so as bring them to a complete state of sonship, like an edifice.
Today in a similar manner, as Christians, we are being built up in Christ through a continual process until a perfectly formed "Christ" is established in our lives and His character abidingly expressed through us. So we are to live the Christian life with a thorough consciousness of Christ's constant formation going on within. 1 Peter 2:5 reads, "You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (NIV). This truth is being actualised in us through the gifts Christ gave the body of Christ.
In the light of this, the Bible says, "He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:10-13 NKJV).
Our real transformation and spiritual development become evident when we get deeply grounded in Christ and begin to demonstrate the spiritual character of Christ transparently. Stay tuned for part 2 of this topic. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - John 15:5; Acts 20:32; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 3:17.
Guided Prayer: Gracious Father in heaven, your Word is eternal and life transforming. Thank you for the best gift, Christ Jesus, who is the perfect measuring line, precious cornerstone, sure foundation and righteousness, by which my Christian life is lived as I continually get rooted and built up in Him. Thank you Lord for the existing process of building me into a spiritual edifice to be a holy priesthood, offering you spiritual sacrifices which are acceptable and approved through Christ, in Jesus' Name, Amen!