Summary: 3 of 5 messages in Colossians. This message deals with spiritual growth and the source of spiritual strength. Several illustrations and thoughts came from Brian Bill - Sermon Central Contributer.

Life 101 Deeply Rooted

Mixed Metaphors

In Colossians 2:6-7, Paul mixes several metaphors in order to describe the process of spiritual growth:

Many commentators believe that this is the theme of the entire book, sort of like the hinge point of Colossians.

Spiritual progress is an orderly process

I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

Colossians 2:5

Our God is not the author of chaos. Look at his universe. Look at his world. Look at the human body.

Metaphors of Spiritual Progress – A Relentless Walker

The word lived means “walk”. This is a verb that is the the Greek present tense.

What is translated here as “continue to live” created in the Greek listener a picture of a man walking steadily toward his goal, never slowing, never stopping, never quitting, never taking a break, never resting, never getting tired, never getting frustrated, never saying, “It’s not fair”, never thinking about how God isn’t meeting his needs and answering his prayers the way he wants – No, he just keeps on walking, one foot after the next, toward God.

We live in a world where we are not people – we’re consumers. This attitude has crept into and saturated the American church. We view God all too often as a kind of divine butler. We look to Him and his church to meet our needs and we’ve forgotten that we are to continuously walk in him.

One part of spiritual growth is just keeping on… Steadily and consistently worshiping, serving, and listening to God.

Preacher and older lady…

Metaphors of Spiritual Progress – A Deeply Rooted Tree

In this agricultural metaphor, just as a tree is “rooted,” we are to be grounded in the soil of God’s Word. “once and for all having been rooted.” It aroist – completed action – tense.

A tree puts down deep roots in order to find nutrition and to provide stability. Likewise, we must go deep with Christ in order to find the fuel we need to flourish.

Metaphors of Spiritual Progress – A Deeply Rooted Tree

No matter what crisis assails you – you can handle it. You are strong and tough – because the roots are deeply placed – in Jesus.

Metaphors of Spiritual Progress – A Beautiful Building

Ephesians 2:20 tells us that at conversion we were “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone.” But it does not end with the foundation. The foundation is important but we need the building not only a slab of concrete. Ministry Center

Metaphors of Spiritual Progress – A Beautiful Building

He longs for us to construct our lives as 1 Corinthians 3:12 states with “gold, silver, and costly stones” The Christian life is not to be a tar paper shack with a tin roof. God wants us to build a life that is made of the best materials of spiritual life – love, joy, peace, patience, long suffering, endurance, integrity, and righteousness before men and God.

Metaphors of Spiritual Progress – A Diligent Student

The next metaphor is found in the phrase, “strengthened in the faith as you were taught.” We’re to be students in God’s graduate school so that our faith can be strengthened, or established.

By the way, Colossians 2:7 is where the 2:7 Discipleship Course gets its name. As students, we must be taught the Word of God in order to grow in our faith.

That’s why we you hear us talk so much about the importance of every believer plugging into a small group. We don’t want to just be a church that has small groups; we are a church that is made up of small groups.

Since a disciple must always be learning, make sure you are putting yourself in an environment where you can study and be strengthened on a regular basis.

The Word of God is critical.

Metaphors of Spiritual Progress – A Mighty River

We picture here a great vast river of gratitude

This word picture of a river bursting over its banks is based on the phrase, “overflowing with thankfulness.” As we receive instruction in biblical truth it should produce inner joy. The more we understand grace, the more gratitude we will have.

Metaphors of Spiritual Progress – A Mighty River

If you don’t feel very thankful today, it’s probably because you’ve taken your eyes off of Jesus and put them on your problems.

One of the hardest parts of my work as a pastor is watching a sheep die. I try to keep them rounded up and together where there is strength and safety but some sheep get separated from the flock and they are torn apart by the world.

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