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 (Manna 92: Be Rooted and Grow)
Be Rooted In Christ (Part 1)
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Michael Chan—Leicester, UK

The Bible tells us that, in the end time, our lives will become increasingly complex and the world more chaotic. Although we are not of the world, we will still face the same trials and tribulations. But we live by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). By having our faith fully rooted in Christ, we can face whatever challenges that come our way.

Every physical structure, be it natural or manmade, requires a foundation. For that object to grow or expand, this foundation must be deeply rooted. So if we firmly root ourselves and our faith in Christ, then we can not only withstand the storms of life, but we will thrive and grow spiritually.

The question is, what steps must we take to become rooted in Christ?


No matter our circumstances—for example, our age or the country we live in—we will undoubtedly meet challenges to our faith. These are not limited to specific periods of our lives, and they do not come only in the form of physical illness or career problems. They could be either physical or spiritual issues, or both.

In Matthew 7:24–27, Jesus describes two houses—one built on the rock and one on the sand. Both houses face the same wind and floods, but only the one founded on the rock remains standing. We will all face the same challenges in our lives; the important thing is to build a solid foundation of faith and take root before such matters arise.

What kind of challenges will we have to face?

A.      External Challenges

“Woe to the world because of offenses: For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Mt 18:7)

Jesus confirms that offenses are caused by people and things in the world. These external challenges are unavoidable and may cause us to stumble. Whatever, or whomever, these external challenges turn out to be, we must be aware and prepared to face them. Here are some types of external challenges we may encounter:

1. Heresies and ideologies

We must mature and no longer be swayed by the influences of society (Eph 4:14). In this end time, more heresies will arise (2 Pet 2:1), but they will be nothing new. They will be ideas we have heard before, either from the Bible or from human ideology, but tweaked slightly to make them seem like fresh revelations. In broader society, many concepts seem good and have changed the hearts of men, but they are not biblically founded.

2. Temptations and deceptions

In this world, we will face temptations of the flesh, such as lust and greed (2 Tim 3:6; 1 Tim 6:10). Satan will use these temptations to deceive us, and others will play on the desires of our hearts for their own gain.

3. Evils and unrighteousness

Jesus tells us that lawlessness will increase worldwide, causing love to decrease (Mt 24:12). This is manifested in how people conduct themselves. Evil and unrighteousness abound, and unfairness and injustice are part and parcel of life. This is the state of the world today.

B.      Internal Conflict

“Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man. …But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” (Mt 15:11, 18–19)

When talking about cleanliness or purity, Jesus emphasizes that it is what comes out of man’s heart that defiles him. Whether good or bad, a person's actions are controlled by his thoughts and feelings (Prov 4:20–27). Our heart determines whether we are deemed acceptable in God’s eyes, as someone who either conforms to the teachings of the Bible or the behaviors of the world. External challenges can affect us and enter our hearts. But at times, the conflict comes from our own heart or mind, which is not yet fully mature. When we allow internal conflicts to fester, there is a danger of giving place to the devil, of letting bitterness and anger erupt into evil speaking and sin. Our words become corrupt and contrary to biblical standards (Eph 4:25–31). Here are some forms of internal conflict to be aware of:

1. Self-centeredness

In the end time, people will become “lovers of themselves” (2 Tim 3:1–2)—individuals will become more self-centered. We can see this playing out in the increase of protests, strikes, and complaints. These may be justified but ultimately arise from discontent and self-interest. When we are not content, we immediately complain and challenge the situation. As Christians, we should not be self-centered but God-centered. Unfortunately, we are still susceptible to being self-centered, whether we are conscious of it or not. This could be when we dwell on a frustrating situation or feel embarrassed or undermined by others.

2. Comparative mentality

Why is there strife? Because we lust for pleasures and covet what we do not have (Jas 4:1–3). We live in a competitive world that influences us to compare ourselves with others, not just in physical or material terms, but also in our achievements. We may even look at how much honor we receive within the church compared to other brethren. These comparisons generate pride, jealousy, and imbalanced feelings.

3. Insubmissive behaviors

Often, when we hear something we dislike or feel challenged, we retaliate. Sometimes we feel oppressed and bullied, and these become our internal conflict. However, Paul tells us we should do all things without complaining and disputing so that we can remain blameless and shine as lights in the world (Phil 2:14–16).

In our lives, we will face both external challenges and internal conflicts. If we are not firmly rooted, we will be influenced or tempted by these things, leading us to fall.


A.      Take Root In God And His Word

1. God is the One and only true God

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God.” (Jn 17:3a)

There is only One God, but we make the mistake of seeing God as being separate from His word. When we listen to a sermon, we forget that the message is the word of God—it is from God. God and His truth are inseparable—we cannot say that we believe in God but disagree with parts of the Bible.

In our evangelism work, we meet Christians from other denominations who believe that receiving the Holy Spirit and the correct water baptism are unnecessary—even despite the Bible’s instructions on these matters, including words spoken by Jesus Himself. How can they believe in Christ and not in His words?

We must be careful not to fall into this trap. If there is a biblical teaching that we cannot accept, then we are doubting God. How can we say that we honor and respect God if we do not follow His instructions? If we believe that He is the One and only true God, we must accept that His word is the only truth.

2. Jesus is the only Saviour

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Tim 2:5–6)

Jesus is the only way to the Father (Jn 14:6). This is a teaching we need to hold on to firmly, and it is the only way to take root and be built up in faith.

3. The truth is found in the one true church

Through the church, God revealed mysteries hidden to previous generations (Eph 3:5, 10). The church is the pillar and foundation of the truth, built upon the apostles and prophets (1 Tim 3:15; Eph 2:19–20). Today, when we take root in God and His word and trust in Jesus as our Saviour, we cannot view the church as a separate entity. Once we submit to the truth given to the church and accept baptism, then we are grafted onto the body of Christ (1 Cor 10:17; 12:12–13).

Therefore, the church is more than just a human organization. Spiritually, the church is perfect because it is formed by God’s complete truth—those who accept the truth become part of this church, those who do not believe drift away. If we do not take root in the truth and in Christ as our Saviour, we will be rooted in the wrong place. We may grow and have conviction in our beliefs, but those beliefs will be incorrect. Therefore, we need to renew our minds and take root in God, His word, and Christ our Saviour, through whom we reach the Father. On earth, Jesus Christ can only be found in the true church.

4. The truth remains unchanged

God and His word are not given to change; they will always remain the same (Ps 102:27; 119:89). Today, the true church of God has received the complete truth of salvation—we must hold on to this belief (Eph 3:10). If we do not take root in this understanding, even if we serve in the church, our foundation will be wrong and we will not grow in faith.

B.      Why Should We Take Root?

1. God’s will

It is God’s will to reveal Himself and His truth to humankind, and He desires for all to be saved (1 Tim 2:4; Mt 16:17). God chose to manifest His truth through the church so that we all have a chance to receive and accept His salvation. If God were not willing to reveal, we would have no hope of finding and understanding the things of God, regardless of how much effort we invest. There may be things we do not yet understand, but only through God, and by His will, can we search deeper and discover more profound spiritual teachings (Jn 16:13; 1 Cor 2:10–11).

2. The Holy Spirit’s revelation

God has given us His Holy Spirit so that we can understand the things of God (1 Cor 2:11–13). The Holy Spirit teaches us so that we can comprehend and speak the things of God. The Holy Spirit is not only the guarantee of our heavenly inheritance (Eph 1:13–14) but the One who helps us take root and grow in God’s truth. For this reason, we should cherish the gift of the Holy Spirit and draw closer to God through prayer and meditation.

3. God’s plan

God desires to reveal His truth to humankind and has bestowed the Holy Spirit to enlighten and guide us in this endeavor, but God has His plan and schedule for when these revelations take place. Jesus highlighted this when He told His disciples they were blessed to see and hear things that the ancient saints had hoped to witness (Lk 10:23–24). God has His timing for when His mysteries would be revealed, and He chose His church to be the stewards of these mysteries (1 Cor 4:1). As the true church in the end time, we thank God that we have received the complete gospel of salvation and continue to deepen and clarify our understanding of His truth. God chooses who will receive understanding (Mt 13:11)—if we seek with humility, through the power of the Holy Spirit, He will enable us to comprehend His truth (1 Cor 1:26–31; 2:13–16).

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Author: Michael Chan
Publisher: True Jesus Church
Date: 03/03/2022