Summary: Exhorts us to live a worthy life.
A Life Worthy
Colossians 1:10-12 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
I. Good works â€œbearing fruit in every good workâ€
A. Of course we know that we are not saved by works.
John 6:28 Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" 29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
Ephesians 2:8-10 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
B. But v. 10 demonstrates that God plans for us to do good works. Weâ€™re not saved by good works, but we are saved for the purpose of doing good works.
Ephesians 2:10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
This is a matter of the cause/effect relationship.
C. Because the effect of salvation (by faith) is good works, James points out that faith without works is dead.
JAS 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
Illustration: â€œFaith without works is like a song you canâ€™t sing, itâ€™s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine.â€ -- Rich Mullins
D. Letters to the Seven Churchesâ€”Jesus often says â€œI know your deedsâ€¦but.â€ Indeed our works are not the valuable thing in and of themselves. But when those works are the result of the inward work of Jesus Christâ€”then they hold value.
The life worthy of God, that pleases God is a life of good works that flows from a heart of love and purity of faith.
II. Growing in Faith â€œgrowing in the knowledge of Godâ€
A. Our faith is not staticâ€”that is it is not a one-time thing and then we stay the same.
Illustration: Babiesâ€”we donâ€™t mind doing everything for a babyâ€”we donâ€™t mind the immaturity of a babyâ€”but we expect that someday that baby will grow up!
B. There is a progressionâ€”just as we go through infancy, childhood, preteens, teens, adult, old ageâ€¦ etcâ€¦ there is a progression in the Christian life. Nobody expects anyone to make it overnight.
C. Just as a baby needs nourishment and experienceâ€”including education-- to growâ€”so we need it spiritually. Nourishment comes from the Word of God and communion with God.
MT 4:4 Jesus answered, "It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ "
D. When we are babies, we are supposed to act like babies. Craving milk.
1 Peter 2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
The baby drinks milk over and over again, while there is a slow process of growth going on. When we are still young in the faithâ€”we must read, hear, study, the Word of God over and over. Not to become deep theologiansâ€”but really feed the basic truths of Godâ€™s word into our spirits.
E. But weâ€™re not supposed to stay babies. Weâ€™re supposed to move on.
HEB 5:13-6:2 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
What is a sign of maturity in children? That they can begin to make decisionsâ€”the right choices. The same is true in Christianity. Our feeding on the milk and then the meat of Godâ€™s word, forms and shapes our character so that walking in the ways of God isnâ€™t something that we have to try hard to do, but it comes naturally.