Rooted in Christ

What does it mean to be rooted in Christ?

What does it mean to be rooted in Christ? Pretty much everything when it comes to the Christian life.

The Apostle Paul tells us that every spiritual blessing from our God and Father comes to us in Christ (Eph. 1:3). If we were to use a hole puncher to remove the preposition “in” from the opening verses of Ephesians and hold the page up to the light it would look like Swiss cheese.

That’s because “in” roots us to Christ. Every aspect of our salvation is connected to Him – from our election to our adoption to our redemption to our place in glory.

Theologians call that union with Christ. All God’s blessings are found in Christ. If we are united with Him by faith, all those blessings bound up in Him abound to us.

Union with Christ speaks not only to the grounding of grace, but also to growth in grace. Both aspects are reflected in Paul’s call to the Colossians: “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6–7).

Rooted and built up. Grounded and growing. Being rooted in Christ will result in the fruit of life in Christ.

Jesus gives us a metaphor for how this works. He speaks of Himself as a vine – the vine, the true vine – planted by the Father. Life is found through being united to Him. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Jesus says that we must be united to Him for spiritual life. Moreover, we must abide in Him for our spiritual health, growth, maturity, vitality, and fruitfulness. Only by abiding in Him will we bear fruit that is authentic (actual versus artificial), abundant (much versus meager), and abiding (fruit that will last rather than be a flash in the pan).

The question is, what does being rooted in Christ look like and how are we to go about it. That is what will occupy our attention in this weekly column.

I hope you’ll find our time instructive, practical, and transforming, as we look to know more of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Questions for reflection

  1. What does the image of being “rooted” convey?

  2. What would fruit of being united to Christ look like?

    God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we ask that your Spirit would grow us in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. Form Christ in us. May we decrease and He increase. Amen.

If you’d like to interact with the various posts or suggest topics for the queue, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and nine grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.

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