Walk In Him
Thank Loran for preaching. Several folks have checked on me. Nothing wrong, but it did give me some time to think. I don’t multi-task well: I usually think better when I stop talking. When I think better, I tend to speak better — and live better. Don’t you want to live better?
- A sentence to get into our thoughts and into our walk.
It’s been said that these two verses neatly sum up the entire letter of certainly wouldn’t want to discourage you from reading the whole letter, but I do want to underline this little sentence that is packed full of good stuff.
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.
“As you received Christ Jesus the Lord” - The language here, I believe, is calling to mind a believer’s baptism (detailed in verses 12-13), as well as the foundational teaching believers were instructed in. What we received then has implications now. You were buried with him, and raised, “made alive together with him,” so “walk in him.” You confessed Jesus as Lord then, so now let the Lordship of Christ govern your life (i.e. live “just as you were taught.”)
One’s “walk,” of course, is a metaphor for the way one lives his / her life.
Rooted in Him
Rooted in Him
Paul gives us a series of mixed metaphors for how we ought to walk. First, a metaphor from horticulture: “rooted,” bringing to mind that hidden part of a plant that goes deep to the get the stuff that life depends on.
First, a metaphor from horticulture: “rooted,” bringing to mind that hidden part of a plant that goes deep to the get the stuff that life depends on.
- The good life can’t be found or sustained apart from the source.
If you aren’t a Christian: there is a thought that what matters is being a good person (and I too believe that God wants us to be good persons), but trying to be a good person without Jesus will in the end be like a tree without it’s roots in the Source.
Most of us believe this, and have united ourselves with Christ, yet sometimes we don’t walk “rooted”?
Digging up little shrub in my yard. Discovered a giant root ball. Seemed like I dug up half the yard and nearly got a hernia getting that root out. There was more underground than there was above ground.
I don’t want to press the metaphor too far, but I’m confident in saying that Christian life depends on a giant root-ball of hidden life with God.
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.
but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Don’t neglect this principle: A good life requires a good root-ball sunk deep in Christ, nourished on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Built Up in Him
Built Up in Him
Mixing metaphors: from the world of horticulture to the world of architecture. Paul moves from thinking about the foundation of a life, to the construction of it.
God intends for us to progress in Christian character—Christlikeness.
We are all under-construction. God is the builder, but we cooperate—we “make every effort” to grow, mature, and become like Christ.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
2 Peter 1:5-
What parts of your character need work? (Three Stooges)
Three stooges build a house.
C.S. Lewis - Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself. (Mere Christianity)
Christian life is a life of becoming.... and the work is not done yet.
Speak to my elders: So much of Christ is evident in you; but the construction of your life isn’t yet complete. What area of your life would the builder like for you to be more cooperative in?
Speak to our youth: Some of you are about to reach that point where, physically speaking, the building is done. Now the real construction begins. Let God shape your habits, your choices, your pursuits, your thoughts.
Established in Faith
Established in Faith
“Established in the faith, just as you were taught” — with this Paul shifts to a metaphor that comes not from horticulture or architecture, but from the law courts. It carries the idea of something being verified or confirmed (It’s official.). It also has to do with something being “strengthened” toward that end—so as to become more solid.
Get a solid handle on the things you were taught in the Christian faith.
God intends that we get a solid handle on the things we were taught in the Christian faith.
Established neighborhood. It’s been here a while; the trees are “established”, the neighborhood has stood the test of weather, changes in the economy, city development and growth, etc.
We aren’t to be people who merely dabble more than most in things like virtue, self-control, knowledge of God, godliness, and love… we are to be established in it.
I am reminded of - where it’s predicted that through the ministry of Jesus, the poor, brokenhearted, the captive, and those who mourn, would not only receive good news, be mended, freed, and comforted, but they would be “oaks of righteousness.”
to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
Isn’t that a solid picture! We’re becoming “oaks of righteousness.”
Don’t give up trying to do all that Jesus has taught us to do. Let’s aim to be established in all his ways.
Abounding in Thanksgiving
Abounding in Thanksgiving
The NIV says it plainly: ‘overflowing’. It’s a metaphor that needs no explanation: Have you ever known someone whose just couldn’t keep their gratitude contained? Somehow, no matter what their circumstances are, gratitude is spilling over the brim.
Saundra’s grandmother: We set out for a road trip on slick roads. Her comment when pulled into a gas station: ‘Well, at least the lines are short!
The most mature Christians I know are not proud, haughty, know-it-alls who have there stuff together—they are joyful, humble, thankful people who have seen how very much the Lord has done for them.
The most mature Christians I know are not proud, haughty, know-it-alls who always have there stuff together; they are joyful, humble, thankful people who have seen how very much the Lord has done for them.
Even as Paul has laid out these metaphors for us, in his use of the Greek language he has retained a passive element which implies truly it is God who makes us rooted securely, who build us, and who establishes us in the faith.
The more we grow, the more we know that God has done the heavy lifting—even our most vigorous efforts have been inspired and empowered by God.
Gratitude is a crazy. The more you give thanks, the more thank-full you are. It’s not like you just give thanks until you run out of things to be thankful for; once you begin, you can’t find the end. And joy wells up and spills out at every bump.
I want to be such a man.