The Anchor of Hope: November 26, 2014

The Anchor of Hope
An e-publication of Living Hope Presbyterian Church
November 26, 2014

Colossians 1:10 (Part 4)

 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;

Today we continue with the last clause in verse 10 – “bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”.  The effect of fruitfulness in our good works is to bring a further measure of illumination and knowledge of God into our souls.  This knowledge is not just an objective knowledge – something that we know because we have read or have been told of it. It is an experiential knowledge – something that we know because we have experienced it for ourselves.

Because fruitfulness in good works brings forth a further measure of saving knowledge.  The person that is fruitful “feeds upon his own good works”, as a Puritan pastor once wrote.  The one who feeds on his works is spiritually nourished or increased.  They become a benefit to his spiritual growth.

The more holy we become, the better we are able to discern holy things.  As the author of the Book of Hebrews wrote, “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”  (Heb 5:14) This point is easily illustrated in our time at work or even in our hobbies.  The more one practices a skill, the better you become at that skill. Second, the more holy we become, the nearer we are to God’s nature and purity.  Thus, we are better able to recognize, and therefore follow, the things of God, as well as recognizing and avoiding sin.

Good works serve not only promote God’s glory and the good of men, but they also rebound back to us (our souls) by increasing saving knowledge.  If you want to increase in your knowledge then be a doer of what you know already (Jm 1.25).  It is thus useless to look for an increase in your knowledge, if you refuse to give up your sin (Pr 14.6).

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity.” (2Pe 3:17-18)  Continued growth in God’s “grace and knowledge” is a sweet command.  The command is not a burden because it is what a Christian desires to do. But it is also not optional.  If we are not increasing, then we are “soul-sick”.  If you were to eat your fill of food and yet were not nourished and strengthened then you would know something is wrong with your physical body.  The same applies spiritually.  If we are satisfied without growing, then we are set up for a fall into error, as Peter states above.

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Php 1:9-11) Amen.