So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col. 2:6-10In one sentence, written by Paul the Apostle, we have a picture of the three levels of maturity in a believer. The three levels can be symbolized by a tree.
In my previous posts I elaborated upon the root system, that first level of maturity that is the foundation upon which the trunk, branches and fruit grow and come forth. Grace is the nutritional root system below ground that emerges as a glorious healthy tree above ground. The second level of maturity discussed was being built up in Christ. To be built up is to grow up. It is a necessary process of believing on Christ unto the fullness of who He is in us. Being built up does not determine your eternal life, but it does determine your abundant life.
Today I will address the third level of maturity; ‘living in Him’. This level is reflected in a daily walk of being led by the Holy Spirit bringing forth the fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:22-25) on a regular basis. It is a life of continually drawing from the root system, growing a trunk strong enough to sustain a glorious canopy of leaves and fruit, and durable against the harshness of everything that comes against it.
In these first levels of maturity you gained knowledge of the Word of God as your primary area of growth. You became firmly rooted in the knowledge and power of grace to establish your position and manifest your strength in Christ. As you grew you learned how to walk ‘according to the Spirit’, i.e. in alignment with the general will of God found in scripture and in obedience to His Word. To ‘live in Him’ is the level of knowing and trusting His voice, testing every spirit for alignment with the Word of God, and quickly discerning truth. To ‘live in Him’ is to continuously be connected to the source of all strength and the producer of fruit; fruit that remains.
John 15 speaks to this idea of ‘remaining’ in Him. We see in John 15 that to live in Him brings forth increasing abundance of fruit, i.e. fruit (vs. 5), more fruit (vs. 2) and much fruit (vs. 5, 8). This is the life of living in His glory and revealing His glory. It’s the stable, abundant, fruitful life that brings forth the fruit of the fullness of Christ; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-25). This is the abundant life Jesus purchased on the cross, the fullness of Christ in you; the glory of God in you, and the love of God through you. This is the mature believer, a tree of righteousness a planting of the Lord (Isaiah. 61:3).
Assess your spiritual maturity. Be honest. Be truthful to yourself and to Him. He is the author of your faith. As you grow He is also the finisher of your faith (Heb. 12:2). You are designed by God’s impartation of righteousness to be that great tree of righteousness full of lasting fruit. It’s in you!! Let it grow, mature and be revealed as you begin to ‘live in Him’.