Col 2:6-7 “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
Established in the faith….a word that makes you think of strength, something solid and fixed… Established: to make stable; make firm; settle: — Syn. - secure, fixed, stable, set, entrenched, settled, well-established, rooted, vested, officially recognized, old-line, deep-rooted, ingrained, unshakable, permanent
When we are rooted, built up, and established in Him, we are at peace in Him, knowing that our roots are settled and fixed in Him and not in our own works. We are strong, steady, and unshakable because our faith is in Him, His permanent sacrifice, His perfect love, His justice satisfied. It is because of Who He is we are established, not because of what we are or are not. Only faith will establish us in Him. No praying harder, reading our Bible more, or trying harder, or doing more will establish us in Him. But faith in His finished work will make us firmly rooted in Him as we walk in Him.
When were are established in Him, we are not easily shaken by the world’s events, by our circumstances, sickness, trials, or anything else. I don’t mean to say we won’t always feel the emotional pain that goes with those things. We will feel them perhaps more deeply than before, but we won’t be shaken by them. We know we stand firmly in Him, and He is our life, strength, and all we need as we walk through this life. Jesus felt strongly the pain of the cross, the humiliation, the anxiety of Gethsemane as He prayed “Father, if it is possible, take this cup from me, nevertheless, not as I will but as You will”. Yet, He was firmly established in His Father as the Son. Just like a tree deeply rooted in place, when the violent storms come, though we feel the wind and pounding rain, we are not moved from our place in Him. We have the strength in Him to remain firm and strong through it all, in Him. If we depended on our own strength, we would be like a tree with no roots that would easily be blown over in the slightest storm.
We too will have our Gethsemane’s, as we face the cross we must bear many times in this life, in this world that is contrary to Him and all the holiness that He is. We will feel the pain, we will feel the sorrow, and we will also know the joy of sharing it with Him, as we walk, rooted, built up, and established in Him.
It is only from that place that we can truly know Him, as we share a oneness with Him. This is a place of intimacy that is not known to the religious person that depends on their works to find acceptance from God. It is a place of intimacy where our own pride falls away, and we see ourselves as we really are, unrighteous, weak, helpless, and lost unless we cling to Him as our salvation and life.
We go through many lessons as we are being established in Him. When we first come to Him we still haven’t learned that from being established in Him is where we walk. We have many ups and downs and doubts and fears, and finally we are brought to the end of our flesh, at His cross, as we see there is no other way but in Him for us to live out our Christian life. Some, unfortunately, come to the conclusion, rather, that the Christian life cannot be lived as it was in the New Testament and settle for a nominal Christian walk of a “religious life” denying the power in Christ.
I wanted to share some verses that I hope will encourage you as they have me, in being established in Him:
Rom 16:25 “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began”
2Co 1:20-22 “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
1Pe 5:10 “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
Jud 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy”
The picture I see is the one Jesus portrayed in John 15, of the vine and the branches…
Joh 15:4-5 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
May our hearts be truly rooted, built up, and established in the faith in Christ Jesus alone, our Lord and Savior as we face uncertain days ahead.
2Pe 1:2-4 “Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue, through which He has given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, so that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
What a wonderful promise! In Christ, we have “all things” that pertain to life and godliness. We need to look no further but to Him. By our knowledge of Him, His divine power working in us, we find grace and peace, glory and virtue, and partake of His great and precious promises by faith. In doing so we escape the corruption in the world. We have all we need to live as He purposed us to live in this world.
Darby: “The apostle describes his brethren as having obtained the same precious faith as himself through the faithfulness of God to the promises made to the fathers, for that surely is the force of the word "righteousness" in this place. The faithfulness of the God of Israel had bestowed on His people this faith (that is to say, Christianity), which was so precious to them. Faith here is the portion we have now in the things that God gives, which in Christianity are revealed as truths, while the things promised are not yet come. It was in this way that the believing Jews were to possess the Messiah, and all that God gave in Him, as the Lord had said. " Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. There are many mansions in my Father's house; I go to prepare a place for you." That is to say, " You do not visibly possess God; you enjoy Him by believing in Him. It is the same with respect to Me: you will not possess Me corporeally, but you shall enjoy all that is in Me -righteousness, and all the promises of God-by believing." It was thus that these believing Jews, to whom Peter wrote, possessed the Lord: they had received this precious faith”
By the faithfulness of God we live. By faith in all He has provided we walk. We are equipped with all we need through faith, not strife, not philosophy, not works, not any other way but through faith, by our knowledge of Him through His divine power. We do not “own” Him but we “partake” of Him through faith.
As we walk by faith the rest is added to our walk. When by faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love follow, by His divine power working in us that He has given us, then we walk in full assurance and fellowship with Him and we have peace and oneness with Him.
When we fail to partake by faith of those promises, we stumble, have a lack of assurance, though He sees us as His, and has given us His righteousness, we do not fully partake of all that His divine nature has provided for us, and allow that to work in us. We begin to look for ways to “improve” ourselves, and struggle and strive to be better, do better and we look for ways to make our lives more powerful, yet we fail to partake of His divine nature by faith. It is His divine nature alone that will bring about all these things in our life that produce godliness. It is not our striving under the law, or our behavior modification or psychology or anything else, but it is as we partake of His divine nature through faith in His promises and our personal knowledge of Him that we find these Christian virtues. They are already in Him, and He is in us, and we simply need to abide in Him and partake! They are not separate from Him.
All that is in our flesh is not good enough to cut it! Rom 7:18 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing. For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I do not find.”
Act 17:28 “For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also certain of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring.”
Darby: “Now, if these things are in us, the knowledge of Jesus will not be barren in our hearts. But if, on the contrary, they are wanting, we are blind; we cannot see far into the things of God: our view is contracted; it is limited by the narrowness of a heart governed by its own will, and turned aside by its own lusts. We forget that we have been cleansed from our old sins; we lose sight of the position Christianity has given us. This state of things is not the loss of assurance, but the forgetfulness of the true Christian profession into which we are brought-purity in contrast with the ways of the world.”
Abba, Father, I pray that each day we will remember that our life is hidden in You and that You alone through Your divine power, by faith, are able to make us live the way You purposed and that You have provided it all. Enable us to partake by faith daily, and walk in that full assurance.
1 John 1:1-3 - “That which was from the beginning, which we heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
Jesus Christ – as He was the very Word of life, and as we received His Word, and His life, a wonderful fellowship between us and the Son and the Father became possible. Because of that indwelling presence, we also have fellowship with one another as we “sup” with Him, and He with us. As the life of the Father was manifested in the Son, so too, will His life be manifested in those who walk in His light and fellowship with Him.
Darby: “The law promised life upon obedience; but life came in the person of Jesus, in all its own divine perfection, in its human manifestations. Oh how precious is the truth that this life, such as it was with the Father, such as it was in Jesus, is given to us! In what relationships it sets us, by the power of the Holy Ghost, with the Father and with the Son Himself.”
As we are one with Jesus and fellowship with Him, as we gaze upon Him, learning from Him, adoring Him for all He is, His heart, feelings, and thoughts soon become ours. We take on His character. His Spirit lives in us – “we are His seed” – and sin becomes as repulsive to us as it is to Him. As we walk in His light we become conscious that He is always present and all we do is before His eyes. There is a continual communion with Him and we sense how He feels about things in our world every day that we face.
Darby: "Herein our joy is full. What can we have more than the Father and the Son? What more perfect happiness than community of thoughts, feelings, joys, and communion, with the Father and the Son, deriving all our joy from themselves? And if it seem difficult to believe, let us remember that, in truth, it cannot be otherwise: for, in the life of Christ, the Holy Ghost is the source of my thoughts, feelings, communion, and he cannot give thoughts different from those of the Father and the Son. They must be in their nature the same. To say that they are adoring thoughts is in the very nature of things, and only makes them more precious. To say that they are feeble and often hindered, while the Father and the Son are divine and perfect, is, if true, to say the Father and the Son are God, are divine, and we feeble creatures. That surely none will deny. But if the blessed Spirit be the source, they must be the same as to nature and fact.”
As we come to the Father through the Son and enjoy this fellowship we find that we have a special fellowship with one another in this family of God also. We share a common bond that the world does not have or cannot understand. It is not a bond based on common interests or activities in the fleshly realm. People can have a certain unity in friendships, organizations, philosophies, etc., but the bond we have in Jesus Christ is of Him alone by the Holy Spirit He has given us. It is a bond of kinship because His Spirit lives in each of us and brings us to the same Word of life, giving us life, giving us His thoughts, feelings, and heart. It is a bond of light and love in Jesus Christ alone. In this alone is true unity of the Spirit that Jesus talked about as He prayed for us in John 17: 11-21…
Joh 17:11-21 “And no longer am I in the world, yet these are in the world; and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, those whom You gave to Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name; I guarded those whom You gave to Me, and not one of them was lost, except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. And now I come to You, and I speak these things in the world, that they may have My joy being fulfilled in them. I have given them Your Word, and the world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in Your Truth; Your Word is Truth. As You have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world, and I sanctify Myself for them, that they also may be sanctified in Truth. And I do not pray concerning these only, but also concerning those who will believe in Me through their word; that all may be one, as You are in Me, Father, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
This is not a fellowship we strive for or attain by finding common ground disregarding all truth and sound doctrine. It is a unity that Jesus gave us all when He gave us His Holy Spirit, when we were born again and found fellowship with Him and with the Father. The more we live in the Spirit, partaking of that life He gave us, the more we find unity in that Spirit. The more we have this fellowship with God, the more we find it with one another. Together we become a dwelling place of the Father and the Son, where He is manifested among us to the outside world.
Darby: “Moreover, walking in the light, as God is in the light, believers have communion with each other. The world is selfish. The flesh, the passions, seek their own gratification; but, if I walk in the light, self has no place there. I can enjoy the light, and all I seek in it, with another, and there is no jealousy. If another possess a carnal thing, I am deprived of it. In the light we have fellow-possession of that which He gives us, and we enjoy it the more by sharing it together. This is a touchstone to all that is of the flesh. As much as one is in the light, so much will we have fellow-enjoyment with another who is in it.”
It is only through this fellowship with the Father and with the Son, by His Spirit, that we enjoy this light together that we find in Him. My prayer is that we may all walk in this light that He has given us, dwelling in Him and His love for us and for one another more each day, shining that light, manifesting Christ to the dark world around us, until at last we are brought home to be with Him and made that perfect dwelling place of the Lord.
1Jo 4:16 "And we have known and believed the love that God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him"
We know we are Christians by the love of God in us expressed through us to our brethren.
Living the Christian life has always been by faith, from beginning to end. Everything we do is by faith in that which Christ has done and is inside of us, and what we are in Him, abiding in Him, and trusting in Him. I believe the verse I have underlined is the key....we know and believe in the love God has in us, and this faith in that love and the One Who has "shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit" that love, when we walk in faith in, and abide in that love even when our flesh would rise up against it, faith, in that love in us, is what overcomes our flesh, and enables us to overcome. Those who do not have Christ are not capable of that. But too often the church has not understood His love, and they instead try to love in the flesh....(ex. the ecumenical movement - trying to find common ground at the expense of true doctrine)....not judging the false teachers and trying the spirits.....and ignoring the true love of God in their hearts which is first of all His love for us, His love in us, and then His love expressed through us as we abide in His truth and keep His Word. The truth of Who God is, expressed in Jesus Christ and all He did, is kept in those Who have His love.
1Jo 4:2-6 “By this know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. And every spirit which does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God; and this is the antichrist which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world. Little children, you are of God and have overcome them, because He in you is greater than he in the world. They are of the world; because of this they speak of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God; the one knowing God hears us. Whoever is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
1Jo 4:12 “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love having been perfected is in us.”
Darby... "God, he has said, is love; and this love has been manifested towards us in that He has given His only Son, that we might live through Him. The proof is not the life in us, but that God has given His Son in order that we might live, and further to make propitiation for our sins. God be praised! we know this love, not by the poor results of its action in ourselves, but in its perfection in God, and that even in a manifestation of it towards us, which is wholly outside ourselves. It is a fact outside ourselves which is the manifestation of this perfect love. We enjoy it by participating in the divine nature; we know it by the infinite gift of God's Son. The exercise and proof of it are there."
..."God has thought of all: love towards us as sinners, verses 9,10; in us as saints, verse 12; with us as perfect in our condition in view of the day of judgment, verse 17. In the first verses, the love of God is manifested in the gift of Christ; first, to give us life-we were dead; secondly, to make propitiation-we were guilty. Our whole case is taken up. In the second of these verses the great principle of grace, what love is, where and how known, is clearly stated in words of infinite importance as to the very nature of Christianity. Herein is love, not that we have loved God (that was the principle of the law), but in that He has loved us, and has given His Son to make propitiation for our sins. Here, then, it is that we have learnt that which love is. It was perfect in Him when we had no love for Him; perfect in Him in that He exercised it towards us when we were in our sins, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for them. The apostle then affirms, no doubt, that he who loves not knows not God. The pretension to possess this love is judged by this means; but in order to know love we must not seek for it in ourselves, but seek it manifested in God when we had none. He gives the life which loves, and He has made propitiation for our sins"
1Jo 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love.”
Under the law we lived in fear of judgment, but perfect love...God's love in our hearts, and abiding in that love, all fear of judgement is cast out as our hearts are assured in His love and in Who He is....God in the flesh, and His perfect sacrifice, His perfect righteousness given to us. We no longer serve as a servant in fear, by trying to keep the code of the law, and falling into condemnation by breaking it, but in faith in the love in us and working through us and being perfected in us.
This is the law of love fulfilled in our hearts through the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus! It is only in this that we are perfected, not by our own works or trying to keep the law. Only this perfect love, demonstrated through Jesus Christ, and freely received by faith is the mark of a true believer. This is something no human being is capable of outside of Him. It is of Him, it is perfected in Him, and it is given only by faith in Him. It is nothing of works, lest any man should boast. It begins by faith in a perfect Savior, and ends and is perfected, completed, satisfied completely by faith in a perfect Savior abiding in us.
May God fill your hearts today with the realization of that love He has shed abroad in your heart as you abide in Him, and walk by faith.