Paul goes on to describe our life in Christ:
You are deeply rooted . . . the roots of your being firmly and deeply planted in him . . . You are well constructed upon Him . . . you are fixed and founded in him, being continually built up in him—becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith—You know your way around the faith . . . Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it!!!! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving . . . Let your living spill over into thanksgiving—draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done . . .
Look at that verse again. “You are deeply rooted . . . you are well constructed . . .” How did this happen? Well, I Peter 1:23 says, “Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s living Word.” You were “born-again” into this new life.Then, as you spend more time in the presence of the Son, the more you will grow. Job 8:6 tells us that we are like a well-watered plant in the sunshine, spreading its roots over the garden. As you do this He will strengthen you and enable you to grow so that when the winds and storms of life blow hard against you, you will be able to stand in His strength.
My friend, your life has been planted in the good soil and you need to water it with God’s word. Spend time in with your Savior and as the fruit of this new life begins to grow, let it continue to flourish and bloom. Allow your roots go down deep and draw from the River of Life. Be in the right place that will support you and encourage you to grow, where you will receive a good, healthy feeding of God’s word. Then, you will as become just like the tree from Psalm 1:2-3, “For you, the Eternal’s Word is your happiness. It is your focus—from dusk to dawn. You are like a tree, planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry. Your fruit ripens in its time; your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun.No matter what you do, you prosper.”
Paul also said that we should be overflowing in thanksgiving. Are you? Are you indeed “overflowing with thanksgiving”? When you go to an apple tree you expect to see apples hanging from the limbs. Well, thanksgiving is a natural fruit of our life in Christ. So what robs us of that? Well as Paul explains it, when we start thinking that our power comes from human knowledge:
Don’t let anyone lead you astray—carry you off as spoil or make you captive—makes a prey of you by his so-called empty philosophy and intellectualism with high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking . . .
Many times I have witnessed this kind of kidnapping when kids go off to college to study—they may have been raised in Christian homes, but they are exposed to the wily, subtle teachings of human wisdom, “programmed” by their teachers and end up losing their faith and turning away from the things of Christ, sometimes, as in the “Prodigal son,” run off into “wild and riotous living.”
Why did this happen? It was because either no one warned them (or they ignored the warnings), to avoid being made a prey of human knowledge. Oh, don’t misunderstand me on this. I know at first that sounds like the Gospel is anti-intellectual. But that is ridiculous. The Bible is not against knowledge. It is against knowledge that does not come under the judgment of the Word of God.
Think about what Paul told the church of Corinth:
Christ did not send me to baptize. He sent me to tell the good news without using big words that would make the cross of Christ lose its power.
The message about the cross doesn’t make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God’s power at work. As God says in the Scriptures,
“I will destroy the wisdom
of all who claim
to be wise.
I will confuse those
who think they know
What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn’t God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish? God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him.
Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach. Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise. But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish. Our message is God’s power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen. Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else.
My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn’t think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families. But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame.
What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important. God did all this to keep anyone from bragging to him. You are God’s children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy. So if you want to brag, do what the Scriptures say and brag about the Lord. (I Corinthians 1:18-31)