Last week we looked at Colossians 1:3-8 and came to a place of understanding how grace and truth coincide in the Christian life. Today we will look at how that grace and truth bring about growth in our lives.
Colossians 1:9-14 ESV “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Paul prayed specific things over the church. Each item dealt with an aspect of growth. When we are first born again, we are babies, we don’t know much, we become toddlers and fall a lot, but the more we grow (sanctification), the less we fall. We will never become sinless, but sanctification does cause us to sin less and convict us not only of the sin that entangles us but the weight also.
Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Colossians 1:9-14 deals with the perfecting of our faith. Sometimes that perfecting process is painful, but its results are part of God’s glory revealed in us. The first thing that Paul prays is that we are filled with the knowledge of His will. So many people want to know specifics about the will of God for their life, but the reality is God gives us all general guidelines and will let us decide what car to drive, what house to buy, and so on. We need to make sure we are walking in obedience to the general revelation found in Scripture and choose which of the two jobs you want to take.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV “Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
We have knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 1 Corinthians 2:13-14 ESV “And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
Paul says the following in Romans about those who walk in the flesh; ” For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5-8 ESV). As believers, we are called out of darkness into the light. Recall the words of Paul to the Corinthians, come out from among them and be ye separate saith the Lord, touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you.
The more we get in the Word, the more we conform our life to it the less a grip sin will have on us. So when we think of the struggle with sin found in Romans six, we need to focus on the one who can deliver us from the body of death; we need to read through to the end of Romans eight, where it says who can lay a charge; against God’s elect? We need to read who can separate us from the love of God? Not famine, not a sword, not the enemy, not anything. When we submit to God, the enemy must flee.
Walking worthily or becoming godly in the Greek, fully pleasing to Him in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. How do we grow in the knowledge of God? First and foremost, do not neglect time in His Word. Holding yourself accountable to daily Bible reading isn’t legalism; it’s relationship. Being in church and being under the Word preached increases the knowledge of God in our lives.
The Christian life is a fruit-bearing life. Yes, there are ups and downs, and yes, there are some terrible times, there are times when you feel like you can’t make it; glory to God! Glory to God for feeling like you can’t make it!? YES! Glory to God! For the sufferings of this present time ARE NOT EVEN WORTHY TO BE COMPARED TO THE GLORY THAT SHALL BE REVEALED!
We are also strengthened with power according to the glorious might for all endurance and patience with joy (hallelujah), JOY! Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the saints’ inheritance, we may fall, but we can endure. We need to be like David said in the Psalms, though my enemy knocks me down, I shall arise! “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Timothy 2:3-4). Our goal in life is to please God and conform to the image of Christ. We aren’t called to get tangled up with the world; we’re called to untangle them.
We have been delivered from the domain of darkness and translated into the kingdom of His dear Son, in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sin. When we look at this, it ought to make hard times a little easier. Yes, we may lose some battles, but our King has already won the war. We have a reason to be filled with joy. We are filled with knowledge and spiritual wisdom. We have understanding, and the Word equips us to walk fully pleasing to God. Do you want to please God? By getting in the Word and obeying it. When you sin, repent, we have an advocate before the father, and forgiveness is available. We can increase our understanding of the Word. We can patiently endure and pass the test.
One more Scripture, James 1:2-5 ESV “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
We can have joy and give thanks through it all because we have an inheritance; we are seated with Christ. Read Ephesians chapter one and see how you have been delivered from the kingdom of the enemy into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. We already have the victory, and that’s why we can have joy as we patiently endure any trial.