Prayer for a Threatened Church

MEMORY VERSE: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” —Colossians 2:6,7


ALTHOUGH the Apostle Paul had never visited the brethren at Colosse (2:1), that church having been founded by Epaphras (1:7), he expresses concern for their spiritual well-being and steadfastness to the truth in his letter, which was written to them from a Roman prison. Having exhorted the saints and faithful brethren to walk in Christ and to be rooted and built up in the doctrines which they had been taught, Paul warns them against the philosophies of men and the deceitfulness of the world.—2:8

Our Heavenly Father no doubt permitted disturbing issues and circumstances to arise in the early churches that would prompt the great apostle to discuss various points of truth in an effort to assist them, as well as the brethren who would study his epistles all down through the Gospel Age. One of these issues was the tendency to become overcharged with the doctrines of men and the spirit of the world.

Some who had made a profession to “walk in Christ” had not given sufficient evidence that they were walking as he walked. They evidently were not fully submissive to the will of the Heavenly Father, and were not living daily in harmony with the teachings of the Word of God—“even unto death,” as our Lord Jesus did.

Having come unto Christ, and to guard against this unholy disposition which was creeping into the early churches, it was necessary to “walk even as he walked.” This would include the giving up of one’s own will and yielding to the will of the Heavenly Father; a deeper appreciation of Jesus and his sacrifice which was given on behalf of his footstep followers as well as on behalf of the whole world of mankind; a desire to study the Word of God to see if their lives were in harmony with the divine purpose; and a striving to develop the peace of God which passes all understanding, and which would rule their hearts and lives as its controlling influence.

Turning our attention to the word “rooted” as it appears in this passage, and in only one other place in the Bible, we note that it means to become “stable” (Strong’s Concordance) or “fixed” (Englishman’s Greek Concordance). The apostle evidently intended a valuable lesson for the people of God.

As the roots of a tree force themselves down into the soil to obtain nourishment, and at the same time the branches reach up into the atmosphere to receive energy from the sun, even so does the mind of the consecrated child of God grasp hold of the precious promises from the divine Word, while at the same time seeking to build character in connection with his exposure to the varied experiences of life. The roots of faith “fix” or “establish” themselves in the knowledge of the truth, while the branches, which could very well represent the professions of faith, reach out to the sun in their development. Those trees which bear fruit could picture the “fruits of holiness.”

And, as each tree does not receive equal amounts of sunshine or elements from the soil every day, but receives instead a variety of wind and rain in its development, so also does the follower of Christ need different experiences for his growth. The great Husbandman knows just what each of his people requires regarding the sunshine of his favor, the stormy experiences of life, or the pruning necessary in the school of Christ.

The rooting process goes on unseen, and may be detected only by its outward development. However, a tree that has become well-rooted has a firm grasp upon the soil and is indeed very difficult to uproot. Likewise, the child of God who has become well-established in truth and righteousness will not be blown about by every wind of doctrine.

Paul also admonishes the brethren at Colosse to abound with thanksgiving. As the consecrated follower of Christ recognizes his deficiency in the spirit of truth and righteousness he is encouraged to approach the Heavenly Father for assistance to do his will. In proportion to one’s desire to walk in Christ will he make progress in the school of Christ. Whoever realizes this need will come to the throne of grace often, not only to ask for favors, but to give thanks for favors already received. We should be in the “attitude of prayer” throughout our consecrated lives, receive the nourishment necessary for our spiritual growth, and press on in the narrow way “even unto death.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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