Colossians 1:9-14 ESV
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
These words here are addressed to the saints of God. We are God’s holy people, his called out ones. We who believe in Jesus Christ with genuine God-given faith have been set apart by and for God to be holy, but not just as a status we wear, but we are to be holy in all our conduct (1 Peter 1:14-16). And to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made after the likeness of Jesus Christ. So it means to be like Jesus, to take on the likeness of the nature of the Lord.
These words are also addressed to the saints of God of proven character, who have had our faith proven to be genuine by our actions. We are those who love the Lord Jesus and who are following him in obedience to his commands, and who are loving our fellow humans with God’s love. We are living out the gospel and we are sharing the truth of the gospel that Jesus taught, and it is bearing fruit and increasing in our lives and in the lives of all those who have received the message in truth and in righteousness.
And this encouragement is for us that we might continue to grow and to mature in our walks of faith in the Lord, and that we may have an even greater understanding of his purpose and will for our lives. And this is so that we will walk (in conduct, in practice, in lifestyle) in a manner worthy (acceptable, fitting, suitable) of the Lord, fully pleasing to him. And the Scriptures teach us what is pleasing to the Lord and what is not pleasing to him, so we need to pay attention to what they teach us about that.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:8; 1 Co 10:1-22; 1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 5:9; 2 Co 9:8; Gal 5:6,16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 5:10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:9-14; 1 Thes 2:4; 1 Thes 4:1; 2 Thess 1:11-12; 2 Tim 2:4,21; Tit 2:11-14; Tit 3:8; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Heb 5:9; Heb 11:6; Heb 13:6; Jas 1:21-25; Jas 2:17; 1 Pet 1:1-2; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10,22-24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6]
And if we are walking in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, we will be bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. And yes, works are required of us (see verses referenced above). Yes, we are not saved by our own fleshly good works that we do hoping to earn our salvation. Even the faith to believe in Jesus is not of ourselves but is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). But our salvation is not absent of works.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Titus 2:14 says that Jesus Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
And all sorts of Scriptures teach us that we must walk in obedience to his commands and in righteousness and in holiness and not in sin (see verses referenced above). For if we walk in sin and not in obedience to our Lord, then we don’t know God, he doesn’t know us, we are not born of God, salvation is not ours to claim, our sins are not forgiven, and heaven is not our eternal destiny. And we will not have eternal life with God.
But we do none of this in our own strength or according to our own will and purpose. This requires full submission to Christ as Lord, surrender of our lives to his will, and walks of obedience to his commands. But we can only do this in his power and strength. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father draws us to Christ, i.e. unless he persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness and of our sinfulness and of our need to repent of (turn from) our sins and follow him in obedience (John 6:44).
For it is God who qualifies us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light, but that does not mean we do nothing. For part of him qualifying us is him training us in righteousness and holiness and in godly living and helping us to resist Satan and to flee temptation. It is much like an athletic trainer preparing an athlete to compete in his particular area. The Lord is equipping and training us in holy living, but we have to cooperate with him in doing the work that he has called us to do.
For he has delivered us from the domain of darkness (sin) and transferred us to the kingdom of Jesus Christ, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. But this is not merely deliverance from the punishment of sin, but of our slavery to sin. And by transferring us he has given us new lives in him to be lived for him in walks of moral purity and honesty and integrity and in faithfulness. For with his blood, Jesus bought us back for God so that we would now honor God with our lives (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
A Believer’s Prayer
An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.