The Fullness of Life

Key Verse: “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.”
—Colossians 2:6, 7

Selected Scripture:
Colossians 2:6-19

THE CONTEXT FROM which our text is taken shows that the Apostle Paul is contrasting various hopes with the hope of the Gospel. These other hopes might establish a person in some different kind of faith and course in life. Paul, however, is addressing those who believe that God has sent his Son into the world to be the Redeemer of the race of Adam and to deliver mankind from the power of sin and death and into the fullness of a new life. All these who are in Christ Jesus believe this is “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”—Jude 3

Paul urged those to whom he wrote, to continue in this faith, and not to try combining earthly philosophy with this heavenly message. They had received Christ, “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” and now he admonishes them, “Lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.” (Col. 2:2-4) They were not for one moment to think any human teaching could be mixed with the Divine message; for any other doctrine would serve only to confuse the heavenly message in the minds of the hearers.

Having stated the matter in this way, the apostle then uses a forceful illustration to show how we are to progress in Christ. Turning from the figure of a man walking in Christ, Paul gives us the picture of a tree, the root of which goes downward and the trunk of which reaches upward, to obtain that nourishment which will give it strength and stability. A tree that is well rooted in the earth is hard to uproot. The only way to retain our spiritual life is to continue to root ourselves in the heavenly soil—the promises of God—and to remain there.

The Scriptures promise that God purposed to have a seed of Abraham through whom a blessing would come to all the families of the earth. We have learned that not only Christ Jesus, the Head, but also the church, are to be the seed of Abraham, and share in the same faith, the same promise made to Abraham. (Gal. 3:27-29) Each individual called has the opportunity of exercising his faith, and learning more about the Divine will. He is being built up as a member of the body of Christ, and is to grow into fullness of life. The growth must not stop there; fruit must be borne. How careful we should be that our standards of judgment and our estimates of character are fashioned after the pattern of the Master. Let us judge ourselves rigidly along these lines in order that we may indeed become like our Lord and win his final approval.

The apostle urges that we become established in the faith. This term refers to “the faith once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3) Satan will attempt to divert our minds into other channels, to draw our attention to some new thing. The Lord will not accept little undeveloped sprouts for the kingdom; he wants those that have grown and matured—strong, sturdy “trees of righteousness.” (Isa. 61:3) Peter advised us, “make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”—II Peter 1:10,11

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