The Anchor of Hope
An e-publication of Living Hope Presbyterian Church
May 30, 2014
Colossians 1:10 (Part 1)
. . . so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Verse 10 tells us to what end Paul prayed for the saints at Colossae. He prayed that they “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord”. This statement is explained as “to please Him in all respects”. And how are we to do that? We do so by being fruitful in every good work. The effect of such fruitfulness is our receiving a further measure of illumination of the knowledge of God.
When Paul writes that we are to “walk”, he intends our manner of life. We are to lead a life that is steadfast and imitates God’s moral character (Gn 17.1; Php 1.27; and Eph 5.1). Edward Elton, a Puritan pastor, states the concept well. “The words are thus to be conceived . . . that you might live both in respect of the duties of Christianity, of your particular place and calling, uprightly as in the presence of the Lord”.
What may we learn from Paul’s words in this verse? First, our knowledge of the will of God, which we discussed in verse 9, must extend into practice (“walk worthy”, vs 10). The measure of knowledge that we have should result in a like measure of holiness and obedience (Eph 4.20-23). Your learning should not leave you in the sinful corruption in which sinful unbelievers remain. Only those who follow the King’s commands are loyal subjects.
All believers have a measure of knowledge because they all have repented and believed. If you have repented, there must be something you have repented of. And if you have believed, faith must have some type of content and not just some fuzzy feelings. Knowledge in the Bible is equated with “light” (Eph 5.8 and Rm 13.12-13). And we are told to walk in the light that god has given to us, or else we stumble around in the darkness though we, as believers, no longer live in the darkness. Do not be found sleeping or standing still in your knowledge. Continue to move forward in the light.
Second, we must walk in a manner proportionable in obedience and holiness according to God’s goodness to us. As the earth gives back to a gardener the fruits of his labor, so should God receive the fruit of His mercy bestowed upon us. If this principle were thought upon and remembered, it would hold us back from committing many sins. Would you get so angry at someone, if you were to remember God’s mercy and patience toward you? Re-gift His mercy to others.
And for unbelievers, it is the Devil’s lie to tell people they need not repent of their sins and believe the Gospel until the hour of their death. Paul’s words above speak to that lie. Someone who waits to convert on their deathbed has no time to “walk in a manner worthy of God”. There is no time for them to bear fruit. There is only one example of a “deathbed conversion” in the Bible – the thief on the cross beside Jesus. Thus true repentance is never too late, but late repentance is seldom ever found. One who is sorrowing over his impending death might be under conviction and loathing his sin, or he may merely be fearing death and the coming judgment of God. No one knows the hour of his own death. The Bible tells us that today is the day of salvation (Heb 4). If you are not a believer, turn to Christ now while He may be found.