Thursday, June 12, 2008

Colossians 1:9-14 Our Great Purpose

Why is it important to be informed by and live in accordance WITH the Word of God?

Look at Col 1:10- the purpose is clear here- to live a life worthy of the Lord and to please Him in all respects. OUR GREAT PURPOSE-

First a standard is given- as in Eph 4:1; Phil 1:27;1 Thess 2:12

Here- to Walk Worthy- do not miss the word picture here- the image is of a balancing scale- the standard is placed on one side- WORTHY- = weighs up-we all have a scale, but hat is our standard we measure against?

Here’s a little explanation I thought worthy from The Greek adverb, aksios, is translated "worthy of" in all six of its New Testament uses in the NASB. Five of those uses refer to our acting "worthy of God" or the gospel or our heavenly calling. What does this mean? Does it mean that we are to become "worth" God's favor? That is, does "worthy of" mean - deserving or meriting or earning God's favor? Does it call attention to our worth which God is obliged to acknowledge because it enriches his worth, the way a great computer programmer might be worth $200,000 to Microsoft?

Here are all five of these uses:

3 John 1:6, "You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God."

Thessalonians 2:12, "Walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory."

Colossians 1:10, "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."

Philippians 1:27, "Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ."

Ephesians 4:1, "Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called."

I don't think these texts mean that we merit from God or the gospel or our call; but that they merit from us. That is, to "walk worthy of the Lord" means to walk in a way that the Lord deserves from us, not in a way that we deserve from the Lord. So it is with the phrases "worthy of God" and "worthy of the Lord" and "worthy of the gospel" and "worthy of the calling." They mean: Act in a way that fits the great value and glorious nature of God and the gospel and your calling. And what fits with that great value? Faith. Above all things, faith and its fruit of love fits the worth of God and the gospel.

When constructing our scale or worth, we must not look to other people, heroes, role models as what we measure against. NO! it must be Christ Alone! When you construct the scale make One person the Lord. He is your measure, your standard. His character and love poured out on a cross--this rescues us from death and wrath preeminently, but also mediocrity and the ordinary. Don’t just be obsessed WITH it, DO IT to please Him Paul says. In every way we have a motivation.

If these things are true, then 4 other things are true:

1. Fruit is not brought by effort- it is the overflow of life. God’s life is evident in you-manifest the reality. No apple tree consciously decides to bear Macintoshes. The fruit can be the fruit of the Spirit- character. Other places it is evangelism. Here it is good works- the inevitable outflow that we were created UNTO. Titus 2:14 says we are eager- fanatics for good works. We are productive.

2. We also GROW. Verse 10 looks back to verse 9. It’s a circle- we know God’s will and we know God’s person- an endless cycle through this. It is an upward spiral.What I do with what I know of gods will will determine whether I will know my God better and so forth- as I move up the spiral of response. Einstein’s theory of relativity. Mrs Einstein was asked if she understood her husband;s theory. No, she answered, but I understand my husband. Spiritually there is a lot of truth in that.I won’t understand God and all his plans and purposes. He will be my sovereign and omniscient Lord, but not my intimate love.

3. Also I will know his enablement- verse 11.We struggle with our weakness and Paul wants us to know how to live to God’s Glory. It’s not like getting a big push on a swing, then you are on your own. No, God enables constantly. We’d like the end to read “so THAT we might escape and always prosper.” But God’s power is not only revealed in protection, but patience, not escape but endurance. James 1:3 So we can bear fruit and be made perfect. God always marvelously sustains- this is the norm- but he some times miraculously delivers.

4. The last statement bears a sense of wonder: GRATITUDE- vv. 12-14.God’s work in our life is what qualifies us by His grace- this is our position in Christ. V. 13- it is a PRIVILEDGE we could never achieve. We are now citizens. V. 14. It is a FREEDOM only from God. REDEMPTION. None of us would not want these things.

The root of it all is in verse 9. Are we being filled by the knowledge that shapes and controls us? Is vv 12-14 true of us? Have you trusted Christ, been transferred, been qualified by being In Christ? God help us to put first things first. Trust Christ and then obey Him.

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