Sermon Transcript


Well, recently my wife Cathryn asked me to transplant a few bushes, two to exact, from the front of the house to the back of the house. Now, for Farmer Jones that shouldn’t be too difficult.  And I say “Farmer Jones” because you may have heard me say on occasion that I’m just one generation removed from the farm.  My father grew up on a farm in Iowa.  I didn’t grow up on a farm, but my roots go deep into Midwestern soil.  I grew up in the great state of Indiana.  I’m a Hoosier by birth.  And not far from my home were some farms and agriculture and all of that.  So it should be in the DNA somewhere, but you never know, right?  So I took on the project.  I went into my garage.  I got my shovel.  Yes, I own a shovel, and I know I kind of how to use it.  The bushes were not very big on the surface.  But I knew enough to where, you know, I kind of had to get down there and get some of the roots up.  The problem was, when I drove that shovel in and started, I don’t think I went deep enough into the root system.  And what came up was…well, I got the bush and a few of the roots.  And I did my best to plant them in the backyard, but you can imagine what happened two or three days later after a lot of water and a lot of prayer and fasting.  Those two bushes shriveled up, and they died.  So much for Farmer Jones, right?



Well, I learned the lesson again about the importance of deep roots and how even though you might have a little bush that isn’t very big above the surface, some of these plants and bushes and trees have deep, deep root systems. Well, I’m not here to give you an agricultural lesson this morning.  I want to talk to you about the deep roots of your faith.  I think that’s where Paul is going here in Colossians 2:8-15 that I just read.  That’s our text for this morning.  And just as deep roots are important for a bush or for a tree—and there’s a lot happening below the surface that we don’t see unless we dig down in there—so it is in our faith.  The deep roots of our faith are very, very important.  Let me say it to you this way.  The deep roots of your faith will steady us in trials.  It will sustain us during those difficult, stormy times.  And deep roots are there to nourish our spiritual growth.  And I want to talk to you about how to develop and grow deep roots in your faith.



In the text that I just read I find three ways to do that that I want to highlight.  The first is this- you have to decide you want to go deep.  You have to decide to mature in your faith.  Actually, I want to go back to verses 6-7.  We ended there last time, but let’s pick it up in verse 6 and 7 against where Paul says, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,”—here it is—“rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”  Paul uses two analogies here to talk about maturing faith.  One is an agricultural one.  He says “rooted.”  That’s the word there.  And then the other is a construction one- “built up in the faith.”  What he has in mind here is a faith that is maturing, that is growing deeper.  He wants us to grow deep roots into our faith so that, as we receive Christ Jesus the Lord, we can so walk in Him.



Here is the problem that I see in the church today is that we have a lot of Texas tumbleweeds.  These are people who are not very deeply rooted, and their faith did not grow deep, deep roots.  And every wind of doctrine that comes along, they get blown over here and blown over there.  That’s the nature of a tumbleweed, isn’t it?  Don’t be a tumbleweed.  Grow deep roots.  We don’t need more tumbleweeds.  We need deeper and deeper roots in the faith.



To change the analogy a little bit, when you came to faith in Jesus Christ, when I came to faith in Jesus Christ and we were born into the family of God, we arrived as babes in Christ.  There we were in our spiritual diapers, sucking on our spiritual pacifiers.  We didn’t arrive mature in Christ, with deep roots into the faith.  I’m mixing my metaphors, I understand.  But we were babes in Christ.  At some point you’ve got to decide.  You’ve got to make the decision to go deeper, to grow up in Christ, to lay aside the spiritual diapers, to lay aside the spiritual pacifiers.  Because spiritual babes in Christ, they go, “Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah,” every time the trials come and the storms come.  Tumbleweeds just blow from this wind of doctrine to that wind of doctrine.  When the storms come, when the trials come, they don’t have a root system to steady them and to sustain them.



But maturity and growth don’t happen automatically.  You know, it doesn’t happen automatically in that bush in the front yard.  You’ve got to water it.  You’ve got to fertilize it.  There is something that God even created in terms of the relationship between that bush and the sun and photosynthesis and all of that kind of stuff that happens.  It doesn't happen automatically.  And likewise, your spiritual growth and my spiritual growth doesn’t happen automatically.  You want to grow deep roots?  You’ve got to say, “Today I’m deciding no longer to be a tumbleweed, no longer to be a ‘wah-wah’ baby in Christ, content in my spiritual diapers, content sucking on my spiritual pacifier.  I want to go deeper in my faith.”  Because you know what?  The trials are coming.  The storms are coming.  And you need deep roots to steady you in those trials and to strengthen you and sustain you in those difficult seasons and overall to nourish your faith.  Hebrews 6:1 says, “Let us lay aside the elementary things in Christ and go on to maturity.”  And that’s what Paul is talking about here.



Secondly, how do you grow deep roots in your faith?  I’m going to state this in the negative.  Don't let anybody kidnap your thoughts.  Here’s what Paul says in verse 8.  He goes on to say, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”  Remember, Paul was writing this letter from prison.  It was one of four prison epistles that he wrote- Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.  And he had never met these people in Colossae.  He didn’t plant this church.  But word came to him that certain people in body of Christ there in Colossae were facing some challenges.  Some false teachers had crept into the church, and they brought their philosophies and their worldviews.  They brought what Paul called earlier “plausible arguments.”  Remember, a plausible argument is one that sounds reasonable and sounds like that makes sense, but it’s full of deception.



And Paul is looking at these people, and he’s saying, “Go deeper in your faith.  Get rooted in your faith.  Because the trials are coming, and the storms are coming.  And you need a root system that will sustain you and steady you and strengthen you.”  And he says, “Beware those people who come in to kidnap your thoughts.”  Circle the word “captive” there in verse8.  In the Greek language, it literally pictures the kidnapping of a child.  And that’s a sober picture.  It’s a riveting picture.  I think what Paul is saying is don’t let anybody kidnap your thoughts by philosophy and by empty deceit, by human traditions.  He even says “according to the elemental spirits of the world,” probably reference to the occult and to things demonic.  We could talk about astrology and horoscopes and all these kinds of…he says don’t let anybody kidnap your thoughts by things that are not according to Christ.  Do you know the difference between things that are according to Christ and things that are not according to Christ?  A tumbleweed doesn’t.  A babe in Christ doesn’t.  They’re easily kidnapped.  Their thoughts are easily swayed because they’re not deeply rooted in their faith.



I would say to students—middle school to high school and even college students—don’t let anybody kidnap your thoughts by worldly philosophies and worldly views.  Don’t let Dr. Whodaddy at the university kidnap your thoughts by things that are not according to Christ.  And if you think just because you’re at a Christian university…not all things called Christian are of Christ. You have to be discerning and not let anybody kidnap your thoughts.



I wrote down some of the modern philosophies and modern worldviews that are doing a pretty good job of kidnapping our thoughts these days, like secular humanism, moral relativism.  That’s been out there for a decade or more, a generation or more, kidnapping a lot of people’s thoughts.  How about this thing called Darwinian evolution.  You want to talk about something that has kidnapped the thoughts of generations of people about our origins?  But Dr. Whodaddy at the university will never tell you that Darwin himself doubted his own theory, but he did.  It’s presented as fact today, but it’s nothing more than a flimsy theory.  We could talk about the sexual revolution all the way back in the 1960s that was a worldly philosophy of human tradition that casts aside what the Bible says about how we manage our sexuality and where sex is appropriate and where it is not.  Now the sexual revolution, which has captured a generation of people—their thoughts—and kidnapped them has come of age.  Think about it.  What started back in the 1960s a decade later yielded abortion on demand.  And all these years later, now we’re confused about our sexual identity.  We don’t know what man is; we don’t know what a woman is.  And if we do, we can’t say this is a boy and this is a girl anymore.  Don’t let anybody kidnap your thoughts, Paul says, according to philosophies, empty deceit, human tradition or the elemental demonic things of this world and not according to Christ.



I could go on to talk about other –isms.  Communism, socialism.  I’m not getting political, friends.  These godless world systems rear their ugly heads in every generation.  Communism is an atheistic worldview built on the belief that God does not exist.  And it leads to totalitarianism.  Socialism is the kinder, gentler path to totalitarianism.  It just replaces God with government.  Don’t let anybody kidnap your thoughts, take you captive by philosophies, empty deceit, plausible arguments, human tradition, or anything that is not of Christ but of the devil.  We’re talking about going deep in our faith.  The kind of roots that, when the storms come and when the trials of life come, you know what is of Christ and what is not of Christ because your roots your go deep.



Here is a third way to build deep roots in your faith.  And that is to embrace your identity in Christ.  Now, this is where Paul spends the balance of his time in verses 9-15.  He is laying out our identity in Christ, who we are in Christ.  He uses that phrase “in him” or “in Christ” over and over and over in these verses and really throughout most of Paul’s writings in the New Testament.  Who you are in Christ is vitally important to developing deep roots in your faith, your identity in Christ.



And before we get into this, you need to know this- the devil is an identity thief.  He doesn’t want you to hear this.  He doesn’t want you to know this.  He doesn’t want you to live out your identity based on who you are in Christ. Remember, we’re talking about things that are of Christ and things that are not of Christ.  And there are a lot of people in this world that’ll tell you you’re this or you're that.  Or there maybe things in your past that whisper into your ear that shape your identity a certain way.  No, you need to know who you are in Christ and how your relationship with Him has fundamentally changed who you are.  That’s a big subject.



But I see Paul identifying five aspects—and there are probably many more throughout the New Testament—but five aspects of our identity in Christ right here in these verses.  Are you ready for this?  We’re developing some deep roots.  And here is one way to understand your identity in Christ.  You are complete in Christ.  Look at it in verse 9 and 10.  Paul says, “For in him,”—that is, in Christ—“the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you,”—in case you’re wondering how this applies to you—“you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.”



Now, here Paul is taking a direct shot at the false teachers.  He is using a particular Greek word, the word pleroma.  And it was a word that the false teachers and the Gnostics love to use.  It’s translated “fullness,” and Paul uses it twice here.  “For in him the whole fullness,” or pleroma, “of deity dwells bodily,” and you have been pleroma-ed in Him, “you have been filled in him.”  The false teachers like to say that pleroma was the totality or the completeness of all things.  But they didn’t see the sufficiency of Christ in all things, that all things were complete in Him.  They were the “Jesus plus something else” crowd.  They were the “you can have Jesus,”…they didn’t tell them, you know, do away with Jesus.  They simply said, “No, just add Jesus to our system of thinking, to our way of doing things.”



It kind of reminds me of people today who say, “I don’t mind your Jesus as long as you add Confucius and Buddha and all these other worldviews and ways to God.  You can have Jesus, but not the Jesus who said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Me.’”  The pleroma says Jesus is enough.  Jesus is all we need.  It’s not Jesus plus something else or plus someone else.  It’s just Jesus.  What they presented was a “less than” Jesus.  What Paul was presenting is a “greater than” Jesus.  Greater than the false teachers could ever imagine He is; greater than we could possibly ever imagine that He is, but consistent with the pages of scripture here.  “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”  You want to know what God looks like in human form?  Look to Jesus, and that’s all you need.



And it dwells in bodily form.  Why does Paul say that?  He’s very precise with his, because, again, Gnosticism, which really reared up in the 2nd century but found its roots in the 1st century, believed that anything material or physical like the body was evil.  And so it led them to teach that Jesus was just a spiritual idea but He wasn’t the incarnate Christ, the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us.  No, Paul is very precise.  And he says, “In Christ the whole pleroma of completeness and totality is in Christ in bodily form.”



And then he goes on to say, in light of that, you’ve been filled in Him.  You’re complete in Him.  You don’t need anybody or anything but Jesus.  You don’t need Jesus plus New Age philosophy.  You don’t need Jesus plus this…you don’t need to dabble in a little Jesus here and dabble in a little this over here and dabble in a little bit of that over…Jesus is all you need.  You’re complete in Him.  I’ve got to move on.



Secondly, you are sanctified in Christ.  Verse 11, he says, “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ.”  Now, what’s all this talk about circumcision?  The false teachers demanded circumcision of Gentile Christians.  This brand of false teachers were known as the Judaizers.  They were deeply embedded in Judaism.  And they said it was Jesus plus Judaism, Jesus plus the keeping of the law, and even demanded that Gentile believers would keep the law, even those who believed in Jesus.  And the law, of course, required circumcision.



Now, circumcision is that physical cut on the male anatomy that marked someone as part of the covenant community of God.  And it also pointed, hopefully, to their inward commitment to Yahweh.  Circumcision dates back all the way to the time of Abraham.  Genesis 17, the Lord called Abraham out of the Ur of Chaldees and said, “I want to make a nation out of (0:19:00.1) you,” and that whole story there from Genesis 12.  And the rite of circumcision came in Genesis 17.  “Because this nation that I will build of you, Abraham, I’m going to put a mark in the flesh of the male anatomy that marks this people out as part of the covenant community of God.”



God was so serious about this rite of circumcision in the Old Testament that when Moses was 80 years of age and he had the burning bush experience and he finally got on board was heading back to Egypt.  The Bible says—read it in Exodus 3-4; I read it this week—God almost killed Moses.  His anger burned against him.  You read the story carefully, and what you discover is it’s because Moses, who is many, many hundreds of years after Abraham, never circumcised his own son, never marked him out as the covenant.  And God said, “Nope, Moses, the plan ends right now.  If you're going to be My leader, do what I say.”  And Zipporah, Moses’s (0:20:00.1) wife, ended up circumcising their adult child there. Don’t say it…ouch.  But that’s what happened.



The Israelites in the Old Testament referred to any non-Israelites as uncircumcised.  Do you remember young David who became king?  And he shows up in the Valley of Elah and he asks, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine,”—referring to Goliath—“that he should defy the armies of the living God?”  Throughout the Old Testament, though, circumcision also had a spiritual meaning to it.  It had a physical act, marking out these people as part of the covenant community of God, but it also had a spiritual meaning.  And uncircumcised heart described the spiritual condition of the person, even an Israel, whose heart was not set apart and fully devoted to God.



And so when the Israelites were in their Babylonian captivity and the Lord sent prophet after prophet, one of the prophets that He sent was a guy named Jeremiah.  And in Jeremiah 4:4 the Lord says through him, “Circumcise yourselves to the Lord.  Remove the foreskin of your heart.”  He is clearly talking about a spiritual thing.  And it’s this sort of circumcision without hands, the spiritual circumcision that Paul is addressing in his letter to the Colossians.  Are you still with me?



Through the New Testament believer and his faith in Christ, the New Testament believer is no longer under the obligation of the law to be circumcised for the reasons that the Old Testament put forth.  There might be medical reasons today.  That’s a whole other discussion.  But for the reasons of the Old Testament, we’re not under law anymore.  But it provides a vivid picture of how we are set apart and sanctified in Christ.  It also reminds the believer of how we are also being sanctified.  Ad how does that happen?  By the cutting away of anything of the flesh, anything that feeds our flesh and gets in the way of us walking as obedient followers and children of Jesus Christ.  That’s the circumcision of the heart.  The cutting away of anything that feeds the flesh, that gets in the way of us following hard after Jesus and in obedience to Him.



And here is what Paul says.  He writes in the past tense when he says “in him.”  He’s talking about your identity in Christ.  “You,” believer in Jesus Christ, “were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands.”  And what he’s talking about here is a separation from, a cutting away from, a putting off of.  In the language of Romans 6, a rendering inoperative of the flesh that is no longer master over you, that is no longer in charge of your life.



I don’t know if you’ve figured this out yet, but you have three enemies as a believer in Jesus Christ- the world, the flesh, and the devil.  The flesh wars against the spirit; the spirit wars against the flesh.  Paul says, “I do the things I don’t want to do, and I don’t do the things I do want to do.  O blessed God, who will deliver me from the body of this death?”  He was describing his struggle as a believer in Christ with the flesh.



Well, something happened when you became a believer in Jesus Christ.  The flesh was cut away.  Now, it doesn’t meant it doesn't exist.  What it means is it doesn’t have power over you anymore.  It’s no longer in control unless you and I put it back in control.  You see, we can choose to either live with an uncircumcised heart, or we can circumcise our heart and cut away anything that feeds the flesh in a way that we are not walking in obedience to Christ.  Are you with me?



So you're complete in Christ.  You’re sanctified in Christ.  Thirdly, you are alive in Christ.  You are alive in Christ.  Paul goes on in verse 12.  He says, “Having been buried with him in baptism.”  Now he goes from circumcision to baptism.  Both are physical acts with a spiritual reality pictured in them.  You have been “buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.  And you,”—he’s writing to Christians here—“you who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him.”  Turn to your neighbor and say, “I am alive in Christ.”  That’s what Paul wants us to know.  This is part of what shapes our identity in Christ.  Now, if you can say as a believer in Jesus, “I am alive in Christ,” being made alive in Christ presupposes that you were previously dead.  And this is what Paul is getting at when he says, “And you who were,” past tense, “dead in your trespasses and sins.”  Let’s talk about that a moment.



In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he says the same thing.  Ephesians 2:1, “You were dead in your trespasses and sins.”  You see, there are really two aspects to us.  There is a physical you, and there is a spiritual you.  We like to think of ourselves as physical beings.  And we kind of have a spiritual side.  That’s why we go to church.  That’s why we read our Bible.  We have this spiritual side to us.  That’s actually not a biblical view.  We are spiritual beings that were created for eternity.  We happen to be living in these physical tents called the body right now.  But it’s not our final resting place.  And one day we will have glorified bodies.  But that spiritual side of us was created to live forever.  But we are born into this world spiritually dead but physically alive.  Follow me here.  We are born into sin.  We were dead in our trespasses and sins.  That means when we arrived in this world, in one sense we were dead on arrival.  That part of us that was created to have a relationship with God was dead.  We were physically alive.  We knew that because the baby is screaming and crying and all that, and that’s a good thing in the delivery room.  But that baby is spiritually dead, born into sin.



This is why Jesus said to a man named Nicodemus in John 3…Nicodemus was a Pharisee.  He was a religious man.  If anybody was right with God, according to the Jews in the 1st century, it was a Pharisee.  But Jesus went to this religious man and said, “You must be born again.”  And he didn’t understand that.  He says, “How does a man climb back into his mother’s womb.”  And Jesus had to explain the physical world and the spiritual world.  That you can be physically alive and very much alive, but spiritually dead at the same time.  By the way, that’s the definition of a zombie.



Paul is writing to these believers in Jesus, and he says, “You were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, but God made you alive together with him.”  He brought to life that which was dead in you.  And he draws upon the picture of baptism to illustrate this.  Baptism doesn’t accomplish our salvation.  It doesn't make anybody alive.  But it illustrates the spiritual reality.  Just like circumcision illustrated a spiritual reality, so baptism illustrates a spiritual reality.  We’re baptizing a number of people this afternoon at the beach.  I hope you can join us there.  It’s our annual beach baptism.  And we give all of our baptism candidates a t-shirt, and they have certain words on them.  Like, one is “Forgiven.”  Another one of these t-shirts says “Alive,” because when we baptize somebody, we say buried with Christ unto death—they go down into the water—rise again to new life.  It is a gospel presentation, a sermon, if you will.  And it pictures a spiritual reality.  We were once dead in our trespasses and sins, and through baptism we identify with the death, the burial, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We are alive in Christ.  You’re not longer physically alive and spiritual dead, but you are spiritual alive and physically alive.  Somebody once said, “Born once, die twice.”  That’s true.  You’re born into this world, spiritually dead but physically alive, and you die…the Bible says you’ll die a second time.  It’s called a second death, and that’s an eternal separation from God in a place called hell.  Or in this life you can be born twice and die once.  And if Jesus Christ comes before you die, you won’t die at all.  That’s the best deal of all.  Born twice, born physically, born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are alive in Christ, and eternally you will live with Him in a place called heaven.



So you're complete in Christ.  You’re sanctified in Christ.  You are alive in Christ.  Fourthly, you are acquitted in Christ.  I’m intentionally using a legal term, and here’s why.  Read on in verse 13.  “Having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” There is a lot going on in this verse.  But one of the other t-shirts you’ll see in our baptisms is one that says, “Forgiven.”  Because the Bible says, “Having been buried with him in baptism,” it goes on to say, “Having forgiven us all our trespasses.”  And Paul goes on to define those trespasses as a record of debt.  He is kind of mixing his legal and financial analogy here.  But there was a record of debt against you and me.  When we were spiritually dead, a record of sin debt piled up higher than a Montana sky.  It was a debt so high you couldn’t even come close to paying it off.  Oh, you’d try with your own good works, and you hope that your good works satisfy a holy and righteous God.  But the Lord says, “Listen, you ain’t got enough to pay off this sin debt, so quit trying.”



And Paul says that debt, that record of sin debt was canceled out.  Now, he did it in a way that God was both just and merciful and loving all at the same time.  Suppose you had a debt you couldn’t pay.  And the person to whom you were debt decided, “I’ll just waive it.  I forgive it.  Never mind.”  There is no justice in that.  Because somebody was wronged by the debt you piled up, and justice needed to be served.  The debt or the wrong against society, if that was just waived, well, what about the victims?  There is no justice served.  That’s not what Paul is talking about here.  God didn’t just say, “Abracadabra, your debt is canceled.”  He paid the debt you couldn’t pay.  How did He pay that?  Through the death of His Son on the cross.  You see, somebody had to pay the debt that was so high that nobody could pay it off.  And that person is Jesus Christ.  And when Jesus paid your sin debt and my sin debt through His blood on the cross, God was just.  Justice was done.  But He was merciful and loving at the same time because He could then turn and say, “Okay, now you’re set free.  Your debt is canceled.  Not because of anything you did.  Not because I said abracadabra, no big deal about all your sin.  No, because My Son paid the sin debt.”  That’s how our sins and our trespasses are forgiven.



You see, there was a legal requirement that went along with sin debt.  And that legal requirement was death.  That was the legal demand of the law.  Somebody had to die, because the wages of sin is death, Romans says, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  He did all of this, Paul says, by nailing it to the cross.  And so you and I are acquitted in Christ.  Isn’t that good news?



We’re complete, we’re sanctified, we’re alive, we’re acquitted, and, finally, we’re victorious in Christ.  Verse 15, “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him,” in Christ.  This describes what happened at the cross of Christ and the victory that was won in Jesus Christ.  When Jesus said, “It is finished,” on the cross, it was a cry of victory.  He didn’t say, “I am finished.  They got me.”  That’s the world’s view of the cross.  The sad ending to a good life.  Those mean religious people and the Romans, they got Him.  “We got Him.” No, you didn’t get Him.  No, He is saying, “It is finished.”  It’s the shout of victory.  The victory was won at the cross.



And Paul has three victories in mind here.  He says, first of all, “He disarmed the rulers and authorizes.”  He stripped bare all that is of the devil and his demons, stripped him bare of all of his weapons.  The devil will make you think he has an armory that he can fire against you and me.  But those weapons don’t mean anything unless we give them power.  Jesus disarmed the devil, took all of his weapons away.



Also he says He “put them to open shame.”  What does that mean?  Well, He exposed the devil for who he really is.  He is a liar, a thief, and a murderer.  And any time you see lying and thieving and murder in our world today, in this fallen world in which we live, make no mistake about it, you’ll see the fingerprints of the devil and his demons right nearby.



And then he says He triumphed “over them in him.”  It’s a picture of something that was called the Roman triumph.  When a Roman general went to war and defeated his enemies, he would bring back his captives and all the spoils of war.  And he would parade them through the streets in a victory parade, a triumphal parade.  Paul uses this analogy elsewhere in his letter to the Corinthians to talk about how we are overcomers in Christ.  We are victors in Christ.  To some, that victory parade and that triumphal parade left behind the stench of death.  To others it was the smell of victory.  And to we who are in Christ, we are victorious in Christ.



So don’t walk around with your shoulders all slumped down like you’re defeated and it’s another “Eeyore” day.  No, you’re complete in Christ.  You’re sanctified and set apart for a holy purpose in Him.  You're alive in Christ.  You’re acquitted of all the trespasses and sins that you’ve piled up.  And you’re victorious in Jesus Christ.  We’re talking about—in case you forgot where we’re going—building deep roots in our faith.  Because the storms are coming.  The difficult times are maybe upon you or right around the corner.  And you don’t want to be a tumbleweed.  You don’t want to be a “wah-wah” baby.  You want to be mature in Christ with deep, deep roots in your faith.



Maybe you’re here this morning and you don’t have deep roots in your faith because, quite frankly, you’re planted in the wrong soil.  The soil is something that is not of Christ.  We’re talking about developing deep roots in your faith in Jesus who is the Christ.  That’s the starting point, maybe, for some of you.  To say, “I’ve been watering and fertilizing that which is not of Christ.  And I don’t really like what I’m growing.  I’m growing a bunch of weeds over here in my life, and it isn’t working for me.”  It’s time to plant your roots in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And that’s maybe where some of you need to begin, to recognize that you were dead in your trespasses and sins.  Maybe you’ve got a life that looks like those bushes I planted in the backyard and three days later they were all wilted and dying on the vine.  That’s what it looks like to be dead in your sins.  Let’s be alive in Christ.  It starts by planting your faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for you on the cross, validated by His resurrection.  And that’s a starting point.



But don’t stop there.  Decide to be mature in Christ.  Decide not to be a tumbleweed anymore.  Decide not to be a baby, baby, “Wah, wah, wah,” in your spiritual diapers and your spiritual pacifier.  And along the way, don’t let anybody kidnap your thoughts.  Go deep enough to understand what is of Christ and what is not, because the god of this world, the devil himself, has philosophies and world systems and worldviews that are not of Christ, that are kidnapping the thoughts of generations and generations to come.  But you as a believer in Jesus Christ, you know who you are in Christ.  You’re complete in Him.  You’re sanctified in Him.  You're alive in Christ.  You’re acquitted in Christ.  You’re victorious in Christ.  And you’re not going to be blown by every wind of doctrine and philosophy, of plausible argument that comes your way, because you know what is of Christ and what is not of Christ.  And you have made a decision today, “I’m going to go deeper.  I’m going to mature in Christ.”



“Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Romans 8:28 MSG