That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Note 20 at Col 1:10: Being filled with the knowledge of God's will as Paul described in the previous verse results in all the benefits listed in this verse and also those of Col 1:11. There is no way we can walk worthy of the Lord, please Him, and be fruitful if we don't know His will. Knowing God's will is not a one-time experience. We increase in the knowledge of His will.
As we experience these blessings, then the results will be as Col 1:11 describes. We will be strengthened through God's power "unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness."
Note 21 at Col 1:10: Being filled with the knowledge of God (Col 1:9) results in a lifestyle that is pleasing unto the Lord.
"Walk," in the Scriptures, is many times used figuratively to indicate a pattern of conduct, or lifestyle (1Jo 1:7, 2Jo 6, and 3Jo 3-4). Here, it also suggests acting in conformity to our union with Christ (Ro 7:4). We are to walk "worthy" of the Lord, the Greek term "AXIOS." AXIOS comes from a word meaning a lifestyle of "equal weight" to the object with which it is compared (Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).
So, how could we possibly "walk worthy of the Lord"? The answer is that we can't if we try in our own strength. Jesus said, "Without me ye can do nothing" (Joh 15:5), and with Him, you "can do all things" (Php 4:13). The secret to the Christian life is living from the strength and resources of Christ Himself (Ga 2:20). As Martin Luther (1483-1546) stated in one of the most powerful hymns of the Protestant Reformation, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," "Did we in our own strength confide, / our striving would be losing, / were not the right man on our side, / the man of God's own choosing."
Note 22 at Col 1:10: Paul stated, "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing." The Greek word for "pleasing" used here is "ARESKEIA," and it means a "desire to please" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon).
What pleases the Lord? Heb 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him." Therefore, faith certainly pleases the Lord. This God-pleasing faith is specifically a faith in God's grace and not in our acts of holiness. If our faith is in our actions, then that type of faith is not pleasing to the Lord (Ro 8:8).
Once our faith for justification is in the Lord and not in ourselves, then there are things we can do that are pleasing to the Lord. Col 3:20 says that children obeying their parents is "well pleasing unto the Lord." Doing good and giving of our finances is pleasing to the Lord (Heb 13:16). Offering prayers, especially for all in authority, pleases the Lord (1Ti 2:2-3, New International Version). Basically, a lifestyle consistent with the Word pleases God if it originates from a heart of love and faith.
Heb 11:5 states that before Enoch's translation, he pleased God. Therefore, pleasing the Lord is possible and has great reward. We need to "find out what pleases the Lord" (Eph 5:10, NIV; emphasis mine).
Note 23 at Col 1:10: In this verse, the emphasis is upon every good work bearing fruit. We could say that Paul was praying that the Colossians' lives would produce all kinds of good works through their union with Christ and that their lives would continue to keep growing and producing this fruit. Good works are often spoken of as being the fruit, not the root, of our salvation (Eph 2:8-10 and 1Jo 3:10; see note 2 at Ro 6:22 and note 2 at Ga 6:12).
The Scripture describes "fruit" in a variety of ways. Among them are the following:
- fruit in keeping with repentance (Mt 3:8)
- good and evil fruit (Mt 7:17)
- fruits of the kingdom of God (Mt 21:43)
- fruit unto eternal life (Joh 4:36)
- the fruit of abiding in Christ's life (Joh 15:5)
- fruit of discipleship (Joh 15:8)
- the fruit, or harvest, of souls (Ro 1:13)
- fruit unto holiness (Ro 6:22)
- fruit unto God (Ro 7:4)
- fruits of righteousness (2Co 9:10)
- the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Ga 5:22-23)
- fruit of goodness, righteousness, and truth (Eph 5:9)
- fruit of one's labor (Php 1:22)
- fruit of giving (Php 4:17)
- fruit of the Gospel (Col 1:6)
- being fruitful in good works (this verse)
- the fruit of our lips giving thanks to God (Heb 13:15)
Note 24 at Col 1:10: Even Jesus had to increase in knowledge (Lu 2:52). That's an awesome truth. Jesus was God in the Spirit, but He had a physical mind that had to be educated. He had to be taught how to walk, talk, eat, and so forth. At twelve years of age, He was not only teaching the teachers in the temple, but He was also asking them questions (Lu 2:46). If Jesus had to grow in wisdom, how could any of us think that we have it all figured out?
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