Colossians 1:9-12 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.”
Fully Pleasing to Him
When we are believing in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, this is not about getting our insurance so that we can go on living however we want while claiming heaven as our eternal destiny. It is also not about adding Jesus on to our lives or cleaning up some of our bad habits.
Believing in Jesus Christ involves dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness. It involves knowing the will of God for our lives and doing it in his power and strength. And it involves us walking (in conduct, in practice) in a manner worthy (suitable, appropriate, fitting) of God (of his divine character), fully pleasing to him.
Some people, though, will tell you that God is pleased with you no matter what you do, but that just isn’t biblical. Scripture speaks often on the subject of living to please our Lord in all that we do:
[Rom 8:8; 2 Co 5:9; Gal 6:8; Eph 5:10; Col 1:9-11; 1 Thes 2:4; 1 Thes 4:1; 2 Tim 2:4; Heb 11:6; Heb 13:6; 1 Jn 3:22; etc.]
So, how do we know what pleases him and what displeases him? The Scriptures tell us. We just have to be reading the Scriptures and listening to what they teach us, and we must then obey them by putting them into practice in our daily lives (those Scriptures which are applicable to the church, the body of Christ).
And some people will also tell you that how you live doesn’t matter to God once you are “saved,” but that is also not biblical. There are many Scriptures which teach us how we are to live as followers of Jesus Christ, and which also warn us of what will happen to us if we choose to not walk in obedience to Christ:
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-32; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Rom 12:1-2; Jn 15:1-12; etc.]
In Every Good Work
There are also people who are going to tell you that you don’t have to do works anymore now that you are saved by God’s grace. But what they don’t tell you is that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
[Eph 2:10; 1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 9:8; Gal 5:6; Phil 2:12-13; Col 1:9-14; 2 Thess 1:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:21; Tit 2:11-14; Jn 15:1-11; Tit 3:8; Jas 2:17]
Yes, we are saved by grace, through faith, and not of ourselves, not of our works lest any of us should boast that we somehow attained our own salvation. But that is speaking of our works, of our own flesh, of our own doing, of our own choice, not by God’s choice or by his will.
But works are not absent from our salvation or from our Christian lives. The difference is that they are the works of God, of the Spirit of God, empowered by and directed by God, and they are not of ourselves. And God commands us to do them, so he gives us the empowerment to do them.
So, if we refuse to do the works of God, and if we refuse to walk in a manner worthy of God, and if we refuse to live lives which are pleasing to God because we have become convinced of other humans that we don’t have to, then please know we are all going to be judged by what we do:
[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; Rev. 2-3; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6]
Colossians 1:13 ESV
“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.”
From the Domain of Darkness
Jesus Christ, God the Son, didn’t give his life up for us on that cross so that we could go on living in sin guilt free. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died, too, that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 4:17-32).
For, when we are believing in Jesus Christ with God-persuaded and God-ordained faith in Christ, we are delivered from the domain of darkness. We are delivered from our slavery to sin so that we no longer live under the control of sin, but we now become slaves of God and of his righteousness.
We are transferred to the kingdom of his beloved Son in being resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Now we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit and not according to our sinful flesh.
When he shed his blood for us on that cross, he bought us back for God (he redeemed us) so that we would now honor and glorify God with our lives (1 Co 6:19-20). So, forgiveness of sins is not free license to continue living in sin, but it is freedom from the control of sin so that we can now live to please God, living lives which are now under God’s control.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-32; Tit 2:11-14]
Colossians 1:21-23 ESV
“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”
Reconciled to God
So, before believing in Jesus Christ, we were alienated and hostile in mind towards God, doing evil deeds of our flesh. Once believing in Jesus, he reconciled us to God, but for what purpose? Just so we can go to heaven when we die? No!
It was in order that he may present us to God as holy and blameless and above reproach before him, but not because of our goodness or because of our good deeds done in the flesh, but because of his grace and mercy.
Yet, his grace trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. And his grace delivers us out of our bondage to sin so that, empowered by God’s Spirit, we can now become slaves (bond-servants) of God and of his righteousness (Tit 2:11-14; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
But we must continue in Christ and in our faith (true faith), stable and steadfast, not shifting from the truth of the gospel if we want to receive salvation from sin and eternal life with God (see also Jn 15:1-12).
More Than Words
Nuno Bettencourt / Gary F. Cherone
Saying I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you
It’s not that I want you
Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel…
Hold me close don’t ever let me go
More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me
Cos I’d already know