The Anchor of Hope
An e-publication of Living Hope Presbyterian Church
June 7, 2014
Colossians 1:10 (Part 2)
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;
“To please Him in all respects” – The KJV translates “respects” as “things.” Here Paul makes known how far our walking worthy of the Lord does extend. We are to please Him in all things. To please the Lord means that we are to obey the will of the Lord. We will not be perfect, but perfection is our duty and goal. Our best obedience will never ultimately satisfy God’s righteousness and justice, however God accepts our imperfect obedience in Christ (1 Pt 2.5).
True obedience to the will of God must be the entire purpose of our hearts. The reasons for this principle is two-fold. First, the Moral Law (i.e. the Ten Commandments) is so intrinsically linked together that to break one is to break them all (James 1.10). Second, he who lives in clear rebellion of any one commandment of God, if the right occasion is offered, will break all of them. Thus, sincere obedience to God’s will must be comprehensive.
The person who lives in any one known sin cannot persuade himself that he is pleasing to God. As the Puritan pastor, Edward Elton, has written, “We can never have assurance of our own salvation. . . so long as we live in the manifest breach of any commandment of God (though it be only known to ourselves) our conscience will not be settled.” This principle includes inward (or thought) sins, such as lusting and hatred, and is true even if we are outwardly prospering. Thus in such a condition our conscience will rise up against us and condemn us.
We therefore should settle the matter by loving “in deed and truth”, so that God will grant assurance to our hearts (1 John 3.18-22). According to John, mere words do not give us assurance (v18). Those words must be accompanied by deeds and truth. Notice that our actions (deed) are linked to truth. Both must be present. This connection shows us there is a balance. Those who do well, but are in serious error in their beliefs do not receive God’s assurance, but are just as likely to be condemned by their conscience as those who believe all the right doctrines, but who do not support those beliefs with action. While He may be gracious to grant you some measure of assurance regardless, God has only promised to give you His assurance when both deed and truth are present.