Are you growing in Christ? Are you making progress in spiritual maturity? Paul gives us insight into what a healthy Christian looks like in Colossians 2:6-7: “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.”
Paul begins by reminding us that we have received Jesus as Lord. If you are a Christian, Jesus is your Lord. You have surrendered your life to Him to lead you and to be your King. You are living under His rule as sovereign in your life. Also, Paul tells us to walk in Him. This means that we have a dynamic and living relationship with Christ where we orient our entire lives around Him. He is more than just an abstract thought or philosophy. He’s more than just something we tack on to our lives. He is more than just a free ticket to heaven. He’s more than just a nice teacher who gives us direction in life. He’s more than just a life coach or wise guru who exists to give us our best life now.
If we claim to be a Christian: it means that we have received Jesus as our sovereign Lord to rule and reign over our lives and that we are to have a lifestyle marked by continually walking in fellowship with Him. What does that look like? What does that produce? What should be the result of walking with Jesus as our Lord?
Paul uses four metaphors or imagery from common daily life to help us understand more fully what it means to walk in intimate fellowship with Jesus. The first is that we are to be “rooted” in Jesus. This is an agricultural metaphor. It’s in a Greek tense that conveys the idea that it means we are “deeply rooted” or “well-planted” into Jesus. We aren’t just causally connected to Him, but we have been united to him with roots that go deep. Jeremiah 17:8reads, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Second, he uses an architectural metaphor. He says we have been “built up” in Christ. What is your foundation? What are you building your life upon? Is it Jesus or something else? If it’s anything else other than Jesus and His Word, it will eventually crumble.
Third, he uses a marketplace or business analogy. He says we have been “established” in the faith. The word “established” was used of a legal guarantee such as a title deed when there was a transfer of property. In other words, Jesus owns us because He has bought us and as a result, we hold fast to the faith. The first two metaphors relate more to how we are interconnected to Christ as a living Person, yet this word picture focuses on how we hold fast to the Word of God.
The fourth descriptor Paul uses is not so much of a metaphor but a result or the outflow. What should flow from us if we are walking with Christ, and we are rooted in Christ, and we are built deeply into Christ, and we are established in Christ? We should be overflowing with thanksgiving. We are thankful people.
Paul provides a vivid picture of a growing, maturing follower of Jesus. One who has received Christ as Lord and is continually walking in a dynamic and powerful fellowship with Jesus. One who is rooted deeply in Him. One built firmly upon the Lord. One who is established in the faith and doesn’t waver. And one who overflows with thankfulness. Does this describe you?