“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you…that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:9-10 (KJV)
Let me begin by addressing last week’s question as to the eternal salvation of the person who accepts Christ yet doesn’t live in a manner that pleases God. Bottom-line, the final determination can only be made by Christ on the Day of Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). However, God’s Word does indicate that genuine believers are expected to respond to the truth they have received and that response should then be evidenced in: (1) a transformed life (2 Cor. 5:17) and (2) good works (2 Tim. 3:17; James 3:13).
What is included in the knowledge of truth? Truth is the full realization as to who God is and acceptance of His plan for our lives. The life exposed to the knowledge of the truth should result in transformed living that glorifies God. It is not an intellectual exercise or a test of proficiency but changed behavior. What is the end product of this transformation? Conformity to the image of Christ! We may often hear that we resemble the physical appearance or behavioral idiosyncrasies of our earthly parents. Since believers are “born again” (1 Pet. 1:3), we should now begin to take on the character and behavior of our Heavenly Father, holy and pure (1 Pet. 1:15). As we daily read God’s Word and are filled by (obedient to) the Holy Spirit, we are transformed and then molded into Christ-likeness. We are renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created us to the image of the One who created us (Col. 3:10). Since you accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, do people see a difference in your life? Whose nature do you reflect—God’s or the world’s?
What is the evidence that we have received the knowledge of God’s truth? We walk worthy of Him “being fruitful in every good work” (Col. 1:10). Good works are the fruit of our faith—not the root. We are not saved through our works but our “new nature in Christ” is evidenced by “good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ep. 2:10). In this is God honored. Everything Jesus did was to honor and glorify God. On the contrary, the religious leaders of that day were untruthful and dishonoring of the God they professed to serve. When people see believers, do they see Jesus? Do they see the true character of God in our life style and our business transactions?
Increasing (auxanō) in the knowledge of God indicates progress in the believer’s walk of faith. This type of knowledge (epignosis) involves “participation by the knower in the object known resulting in powerful influence.” Such knowledge insures an unbroken and evolving relationship. Jesus illustrated this kind of knowledge in His story of the Good Shepherd (John 10). The Good Shepherd knew His sheep and His sheep knew His voice. This knowledge protected the vulnerable sheep from the neglectful hireling within and from the ravenous wolves without. Today our knowledge of God will protect us against wolves and hirelings. Satan, the world, and our unredeemed flesh attempt to entice us away from the protection and the direction of the Good Shepherd. It is the knowledge of God and the truth derived from it that help us to discern truth from the spirit of error (1 John 3:2-3). Whose voice do you listen to? Who or what is influencing your life?
Knowledge of the truth, results in the believer’s ability to “walk worthy of the Lord”. Through embracing the truth found in God’s Word and through the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life that is well pleasing to God, conformed to the image of Christ evidenced by good works (Matt. 7:16).
Good to the Last Byte…
Knowledge of God’s truth offers the peace, contentment, and authenticity the 21st century world is desperately seeking. It cannot be found in materialism, hedonism, or secularism. If Jesus were personally ministering in 2015, I’m sure His solution for the needs of the world would remain the same as they were for the 1st century world: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus is still the answer.