The oldest business in the USA is not the Hartford Courant Newspaper, established in 1764, 254 years ago. It is not the Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Roller Mill in, established 293 years ago in 1725. The oldest business in the USA is not even White House Tavern established in 1673 in Newport, Rhode Island. 345 years old. The oldest business in the US is found in Charles City, Virginia.
Established in 1613, the Shirley Plantation has been run for 405 years by the same family. The beautiful farm, the childhood home of Robert E Lee’s mother, is today an National Historic Landmark. The bottom floor of the home is used only for tours. The Hill Carter family occupies the upper floors.
We are discussing the word established today on Christian Holiness Daily.
This week and next we are looking at salvation and how Good changes the lives of those who are saved. We’ve been drilling down into Colossians 2:6-7, which reads
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
We’ve talked about being rooted, deep and wide, like a tree. We’ve talked about being renovated or built up. Today we look at the word “established.” Established in the faith.
What does it means to be established? Notice I’m not asking how one goes about establishing something – a business, for example. To establish something is the active sense of the word. The Greek word translated established here in Colossians – like the words translated rooted and built – is a passive word. We were established. It is something imparted to us.
It is saying, “The Hartford Courant was established in 1764” as opposed to saying, Thomas Green established the Hartford Courant.
Paul, a gifted Greek writer choose three tenses for this verse, something we would normally not catch. If it was important to Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to choose three tenses, then we should try to figure out why. The first clause, “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord is past perfect tense. It is done. It is a fact. It is over. We received Him, the Lord. It was a one-time event that need not redoing because He never leaves us or forsakes us.
As I said already, the words rooted, built up, and established are passive, and they speak to us about sanctification. Because they are passive, we know that Paul does not imply that the Colossians Church rooted themselves. They did not build themselves up. They did not establish themselves. Rather God rooted the in faith. God built them up. God established them in faith. And He established us, roots us, and builds us up in Christ, as He explains that it is God who established us in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22.
So what does the Greek word mean that is translated here as established? It can also mean to be attested.
So, God has given us Jesus as Lord. He had rooted us so that we may not be toppeled or fall. He has built us up, perfecting our love and our faith. And he has established us, attesting that we are His.
Do you see a trend. These verses speak to our salvation and the sanctification that follows, but it is all about Him. Our job is only to allow Him to work in us.
Holiness is, perhaps, the most misunderstood concept in Christianity. Anyone who has striven to follow the life of Christ can likely tell you that it is impossible to do. No one can match His love, His grace, or His compassion. For no one but Jesus is perfect. Once the believer is filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, though, he or she is filled to the brim with the love of Christ, and desires nothing more than to please God and follow in Christ’s steps. The love of sin is gone. In its place is a love and passion for others. That is Christian Holiness. This is Christian Holiness Daily.