We should all become strong Christians and strive to remain there. Many desire to be, but lack of knowledge, application, zeal and strength bereaves them of it. Living as strong Christians has beautiful results and we know it. Most importantly, it helps us overcome the world and sin time after time resulting in glorification of God and Christ. The stronger we are the weaker the world becomes. Being strong Christians is the way forward and the way that leads to it is most vital. We have a proper road map for it and to remain in that position. Naturally, we must indulge in it as well. Paul in his letter to the Colossian believers said the following of them. “having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude” (Col. 2:7).
The first aspect is being “firmly rooted in Christ.” To be firmly rooted in Him means our mind coincides with His. When we have no other mind than His, we have His personality. Meaning, His principles and lifestyle become ours. Now, we can never be perfect like Him, but we always check our relationship with Him by His principles and the life He lived; and we are never in a wandering or irretrievable state. The way to assess it is by spending some time intimately with Him and reading the Bible with an open heart for an unbiased judgment. While firmly rooted in Him, our heart and mind repeatedly steer us to honor Him in every area of our life. Our longing is for Him and though we may at times miss the mark, our conscious pleads us accountable to Him and we quickly turn to Him. It is the sign we are firmly rooted in Him.
The second is “being built up in Him.” Unless we are firmly rooted we cannot be built up. It’s like a tree that has grown up to be strong and valuable. Because it was firmly rooted in the ground while a plant and since the roots held it up while growing, it became the tree it is meant to be. It may have been weathered by many a storm, but since it is firmly rooted, it grew up. Even so, when we do not relinquish our association with Christ, we grow up, i.e. we are built up by that which Christ supplies for associating with Him. He sends us His counsel, strength, ways and purposes. Over a period of time we become a building with a strong and beautiful structure ready to extend. Now, he who is eager for it more receives it quick. We will know if we are being built up. The change in our behavior toward God and men defines it.
The third is “established in faith” by ‘the instruction received.’ When a person is said to be an established scientist, professor or businessman, it means, in earthly terms, he or she is superior in his or her specialty and is set for life. They are immovable; they conquer in their field. So too is being established in faith. We do not look elsewhere. Our works are God ordained or of faith. God counsels us by faith and He surely leads us to the activities we are to do. As long as we do them, we remain immovable growing from faith to faith. The basis to be established in faith is looking to God for guidance regarding all matters. They appear in our life for His glory, for through them He reveals the works we are to pursue. When we respond duly, He will not fail us. Nevertheless, if one should be established in faith, it largely depends on the instruction from faith and in the Spirit. Anything other than this leads to falsified faith that gives rise to strife, presumptions, self-made religion and unforeseen failure extending to loss of eternity. Not all instructors are of faith. If the instruction is not God-oriented, not selfless and isn’t pure, a hearer can never be established in faith. He constantly disapproves God with his works. For this reason, each one should apply himself to the word and prayer. Then God will strengthen us to beware and dissociate from what is not of faith.
The final aspect is overflowing with gratitude. It cannot appear without the above three. By it we are always thankful to God and to His servants. We do it by prayer, in speech, by giving God and His servants the due respect and by contribution. Hence, we cannot be unfaithful, greedy, jealous, careless or stingy.
Now, a note to a person who desires to be a strong Christian, a sign of a person who is a strong Christian and a mark of an instructor who is of faith is in the following. “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless” (Tit. 3:9). If one aspires to be a strong Christian, he or she must flee from the unprofitable and worthless things. They should practice silence and focus on their personal relationship with Christ. A strong Christian is one who has grasped the value of Christ’s relationship. A person who instructs while relishing on or referring to foolish controversies, genealogies, strife and disputes about the Law is not of faith and an obstacle to God’s purpose. When God does not cause confusion, then there are no controversies from Him and regarding Him. When He is not a respecter of persons, genealogies do not matter. When He is for peace, He is not of strife. When His Law is holy, there are no disputes regarding it. It is only those who do not understand this that go after the unprofitable and worthless things.