Sermons

Summary: Making the commitment to grow in spiritual wisdom and to live lives worthy and pleasing to God.

AT THE END OF EVERY YEAR THE INEVITABLE TIME COMES WHEN WE HEAR COUNTLESS STORIES OF ALL THE MAJOR EVENTS THAT HAVE MADE THE GREATEST IMPACT IN OUR LIVES AND IN OUR HISTORY.

OVER AND OVER AGAIN I NOTICE THAT THE THINGS THAT SEEM TO GRAB THE HEADLINES AS THE "GREATEST STORIES" ARE THE ONES THAT INVOLVE TRAGEDY.

AIRLINE DISASTERS, FIRES THAT CONSUME IN MASS QUANTITIES OF LAND AND MATERIAL AND EVEN COWARDLY ACTS OF TERRORISM AGAINST OUR COUNTRY SUCH AS THE NAVY AND HER SHIP THE U.S.S. COLE.

THESE EVENTS ARE FOREVER SKETCHED INTO OUR MINDS AS THEY ARE PLAYED OVER AND OVER AGAIN BY THE VARIOUS NEWS MEDIAS AS IF TO SAY "DON’T EVER FORGET."

THE SAME IS TRUE AT THE END OF EACH YEAR FOR THE CHRISTIAN. CHRISTIANS SHOULD NEVER FORGET AT THE END OF EACH YEAR TO REFLECT BACK ON ALL THE EVENTS SURROUNDING THEIR LIVES. WE SHOULD TAKE ACCOUNT OF WHERE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD HAS GONE SINCE DECEMBER 31ST OF THE PREVIOUS YEAR.

IN OUR SCRIPTURE PASSAGE IT ALMOST SEEMS AS IF PAUL IS WRITING THIS LETTER ON NEW YEAR’S EVE IN RESPONSE TO THE GOOD NEWS HE HEARS OF THE PROGRESS THE CHURCH AT COLOSSE MADE OVER THE PAST YEAR.

WHEN PAUL PRAYED FOR THE BELIEVERS IN COLOSSE, HE WAS ASKING GOD TO FILL THEM WITH "THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL." HE ASKED THAT THEY WOULD KNOW HIS WILL IN EVERY ASPECT OF THEIR LIFE EXPERIENCES —WHAT THEY THOUGHT AND WHAT THEY DID—SO THAT THEY WOULD LIVE A LIFE WORTHY OF THE LORD AND PLEASE HIM IN EVERY WAY.

OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST MUST AFFECT ALL AREAS OF OUR LIFE IN SUCH A WAY THAT WE ARE TO PROGRESS NOT REGRESS IN OUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOD.

PAUL IS TELLING US HERE THAT THERE IS NO WAY THAT WE CAN LIVE A LIFE THAT IS PLEASING TO GOD IF WE KEEP OUR FAITH LIMITED TO JUST BASIC SURFACE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR FAITH.

BEING A CHRISTIAN IS TO BE AN ENDLESS EXPERIENCE OF GROWING CLOSER TO GOD AND GROWING DEEPER IN OUR KNOWLEDGE OF HIM.

THIS WAS PAUL’S PRAYER FOR THE CHRISTIANS AT COLOSSE AND IT SHOULD BE OURS STILL TODAY. THE PRAYER WAS TWOFOLD: THAT GOD WILL FILL US WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL THROUGH ALL SPIRITUAL WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING AND THAT WE WILL LIVE A LIVE WORTHY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

FIRST, GOD WILL FILL US WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL THROUGH ALL SPIRITUAL WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING. THE WORD KNOWLEDGE PAUL USES HERE REFERS ONLY TO MORAL AND RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE.

IT IS A TYPE OF KNOWLEDGE THAT IS A THOROUGH, DEEP, AND ACCURATE COMPREHENSION. PAUL DOESN’T WANT US TO BE GULLIBLE TO WILD SPECULATIONS FUELED BY IGNORANCE OF GOD’S WORD. LIVING OUR LIVES WITH NOT REALLY KNOWING "FOR SURE" THE DEEP ISSUES OF OUR FAITH.

IT HAS BEEN SAID, "UNDERSTANDING FUELS HOLINESS; HOLINESS DEEPENS UNDERSTANDING." CHRISTIANS SHOULD NEVER BECOME SATISFIED WITH KNOWING "JUST ENOUGH" ABOUT GOD AND WHAT HIS WORD SAYS.

OUR KNOWLEDGE SHOULD RESULT IN MORE THAN JUST KNOWING GOOD FROM EVIL. OUR KNOWLEDGE SHOULD BE GREATER THAN BEING ABLE TO SUMMARIZE THE BASIC STORIES OF NOAH’S ARK, DANIEL AND THE LIONS-DEN, DAVID’S ENCOUNTER WITH GOLIATH AND ALL OTHER BASIC SUNDAY SCHOOL MATERIAL.

THERE COMES A TIME WHEN WE MUST GRADUATE FROM THE BASIC TO THE ADVANCED AREAS OF GOD’S WORD. HERE’S A TEST TO SEE IF YOU DO: JUSTIFICATION, SANCTIFICATION, AND THE TRANSCENDENCE OF GOD.

HEBREWS 5:12-14, HITS HARD BY SAYING "YOU HAVE BEEN CHRISTIANS A LONG TIME NOW, AND YOU OUGHT TO BE TEACHING OTHERS.

INSTEAD, YOU NEED SOMEONE TO TEACH YOU AGAIN THE BASIC THINGS A BEGINNER MUST LEARN ABOUT THE SCRIPTURES. YOU ARE LIKE BABES WHO DRINK ONLY MILK AND CANNOT EAT SOLID FOOD.

AND A PERSON WHO IS LIVING ON MILK ISN’T VERY FAR ALONG IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE AND DOESN’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT DOING WHAT IS RIGHT.

SOLID FOOD IS FOR THOSE WHO ARE MATURE, WHO HAVE TRAINED THEMSELVES TO RECOGNIZE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG AND THEN DO WHAT IS RIGHT."

THIS IS WHY I FIND IT SO SAD THAT OF ALL THAT THE CHURCH HAS TO OFFER THE LEAST ATTENDED PROGRAM IN THE CHURCH IS BIBLE STUDY.

CHRISTIANS MUST BE WILLING TO STUDY GOD’S WORD TO ACHIEVE A GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR FAITH. THIS IS WHY PAUL USED THE WORD FILLED TO INDICATE WE ARE TO COMPLETELY AND FULLY UNDERSTAND OF OUR FAITH.

SECONDLY, PAUL SAYS THAT HE WOULD PRAY THAT WE WOULD LIVE A LIVE WORTHY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. THIS CAN ONLY HAPPEN IF WE DO SOMETHING ABOUT OBTAINING A COMPLETE AND FULL UNDERSTANDING OF OUR FAITH.

IT IS A FAIRLY EASY EQUATION: THAT LIVING A LIFE WORTHY OF THE LORD COMES AS A RESULT OF KNOWING GOD’S DESIRE FOR OUR LIVES.

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