After we become convinced that Jesus is who He claims to be – the Son of God and God the Son…
After we believe Him when He claims that only He can give eternal life, and that He gives it to all who will receive it…
What do I do with this new life that Jesus has given me?
As we continue through the beginning of Paul’s letter to the believers in Colossae, we find that Paul is dealing directly with these questions. Throughout the rest of the letter, he will continue to discuss the practical outflowing of our relationship with Jesus; however, Paul mentions some specific ideas early on that are worth taking a closer look into.
Read these verses and look for what Paul sees as our motivation for the way believers should approach their day-to-day lives:
For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.
While Paul does say he desires that the Colossians may walk worthy of the Lord, the believers’ aim in doing so is found in the next four words. Once we are adopted into God’s family, our next step is to obtain Jesus’ approval. Our aim is to be fully pleasing to Him.
If we balk at that idea, think back to your own childhood. After becoming aware of our place in within our family, we begin to find ways to win the approval of our parents. Not to keep our place in the family; no, that’s never in question. Rather, we want to make them proud – by doing things like them, by doing things for them, or by doing things with them.
It didn’t matter if we had good parents or bad parents – we still made every effort to “do good” in their eyes. When we’re completely honest with ourselves, we are still driven by those same desires all the way through our adult lives.
Immediately after he states our aim as children of God – to be fully pleasing to Him – Paul also tells the Colossians how they are going to go about doing it. The way we make Jesus proud of us, the way we get the “Good job!” from the King of Kings, is to be bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.
Every good thing we do should bear fruit or provide evidence that we are believers in Jesus for eternal life; that we have become part of God’s family. And just as a young child matures and learns more about his or her father, we also grow in the knowledge of God. We learn who He is and what He is like, which then feeds back into how we represent Jesus in our daily actions.
And certainly, the Colossians would have noted that Paul had used the same phrases – bearing fruit and growing – just a few sentences earlier. When Paul described how God’s good news, the gospel message about Jesus, was reaching the world, he said:
It is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has among you since the day you heard it and recognized God’s grace in the truth.
So the Colossians (and us) have a practical example from our Father in heaven. When we live out the gospel message, we bear fruit and show the world who Jesus is. When we help spread the good news, we will also grow in the knowledge of God.
Ultimately, we are imitating our Father in heaven by participating in spreading the good news of Jesus…we’re doing these things like Him, we’re doing these things for Him, and we’re doing these things with Him…which is fully pleasing to Him.
Live the gospel, and fully please our Savior and Lord.