“… rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving.”
If we are not rooted in Christ we will not be built up in Him. There must be repentance before there is sanctification. This does not only apply to the beginning of the Christian life at conversion, but is true and a feature all the way through our lives. We cannot be established in our faith if there is no initial grounding. We need good teaching and good teachers today more that ever because the times are evil. Yet they are few and far between. There is extraordinary falsehood everywhere, and extraordinary claims taken to men who vaunt themselves on the media. But it is so very difficult to find sound, godly Christian fellowship in our local lives. The church of Jesus Christ has been decimated by error and self-promotion. We have become trivial and shallow and wrong.
What are we to do?
We must go back to the beginning and relearn the deep doctrines of the Scripture and remember what we were once taught. Perhaps we were never taught it, and have endured all kinds of false preaching and teaching. We need to revisit the Word of God and find out what God says to us and what His character is like and what He requires of us. This is quite different from the easy sound bite that seems to please too many of us.
To revisit our testimony is a good start and to find out if we are really of the faith of the Scripture and what we really believe. It is imperative that we are trusting in the right Jesus and not our own imagination. Then we must build up our faith as we study the Word of God and put it into practice in our lives. We repent of our waywardness and stick closely to the truth revealed.
If we are established in the faith, taught and keeping to the Word of God, it will cause us to abound in thanksgiving and make us grateful for all the the Lord has done for us. We will cease complaining about our circumstances and be glad for the daily blessings we receive. The striving for the things of this life will stop and therefore we will become deeper and stronger in faith and love.
The basis of it all is Christ. Many have forgotten Him and put him far down the list of priorities in their lives, and some are thinking that they follow Him but it is not the Christ of the Bible. Some are part time and put on the robes of righteousness on Sunday for the church service and then revert to their own clothes the rest of the time. Some are glad to know Him and tell others about what the Lord has done for them. Others do not have a testimony at all, but are relying on their works to be better than others and that they will be allowed into the kingdom on that basis. Some fail because they do not lay straight paths for their feet and fall into temptation.
Only Christ is the bedrock, so let us throw off the hindrances and focus on eternity and the life that is to come. If we feather our nests in the now, we will have no love for Christ, no inheritance in the next life and no thanksgiving to the Lord.
Paul is addressing these issues and building the spiritual knowledge of the saints, so that they will be faithful believers and love the Lord and what He has done for them. Let us also build and get established in the faith and foster the mindset of thanksgiving, and we will be deeply rooted in our faith and stand in the time of testing.