I ’ve recently taken up cycling, and I enjoy it. I love being outside, and there’s something special about being on my bike with the wind at my back and the bright sun beaming down on my face. It’s refreshing. Of course, it doesn’t always work out quite like that. There are often times when I’m dodging potholes, praying I don’t hit the squirrel that darted out in front of me, and fighting incredibly strong gusts of wind. There was one time when the surface became uneven and I was certain of my doom. Thankfully, I’ve had enough training to know how to handle the bike. My foundation was strong, helping me to be prepared for that change in the road.
Paul gave Timothy a warning about maintaining a strong foundation: “O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and traditions of what is vastly called knowledge, for by professing it some have swerved from the faith” (1 Tim. 6:20–21). You and I have the same warning. The Pharisees loved to build their foundation out of a works-based gospel, and we are still likely to live as though we are under the law. We also must fight against the world and the cultural narratives that whisper lies about who God is. If our foundation isn’t strong—if it is built on our works rather than on the work of Christ—we will surely falter.
So, how do we maintain a strong foundation in the midst of shifting situations and seeing others swerve from the faith? Paul tells us in Colossians: “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” (Col. 2:6–7). We want to be rooted—deeply in Christ. We need to be like the wild fig trees in South Africa, whose roots reach four hundred feet deep into the foundation of the earth. We want roots that are deep in truth—ultimately in the truth of the gospel and what it means to be alive to Christ.
We remember that we have been raised with Christ. The old flesh is gone and we are now a new creation. We are new and must live in this reality both intellectually and bodily—abiding in Christ. This is the reality—we are indeed new (2:11). We have been buried and raised as Christ was buried and raised. Sin’s reign and power have died, and we now have power to resist sin’s alluring call on our life. Christ died and defeated death—miraculously, we share in this resurrection. We were dead in our sin—dead and without the power to resist. We are now alive with Christ (2:12–13).
Our firm foundation is not only in Christ; it is Christ Jesus. The ground may shake and we may stumble around from time to time, but nothing will separate those of us in Christ from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:35–39). Remember your testimony, remember when the Lord first brought you to Himself. Rehearse the gospel to yourself. When the ground shifts beneath you, know that you will not be overcome as you are established in the faith.