Scripture and You

Are You 'Growing Into' The Knowledge of God?

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

The judgments of God are "unsearchable" and His ways are "past finding out". The knowledge of God is so vast, deep, wide, and high that you could spend a thousand lifetimes pursuing that knowledge and still rightly call yourself a beginner.

...walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10)

The Key To A Worthy Walk

In the first chapter of Colossians, the Apostle Paul exhorts the believers at Colosse to grow in the new life that is theirs in Christ. He reminds them that God through Christ "has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (verse 11). So, Paul is saying, you need to walk worthy, not of the false pagan deities to which you were once devoted, but worthy of the Lord Jesus Christ, the true and living God. You need to live a life that is worthy of being identified with Him. Your life must be completely different from the life that you lived before. You must render true obedience to Him.

In verse nine, Paul says that the key to a worthy walk is to "be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding." In verse ten, Paul emphasizes this once again. Christians are to "walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God."

"Growing Into" the Knowledge of God

In the original Greek of the New Testament, the phrase "increasing in the knowledge of God" would be more accurately translated "growing into the knowledge of God." The same Greek phrase would have been used in New Testament times to describe what happens with the clothing of a child while the child is growing up. When parents have a new baby, they never buy clothes that are just the size that the infant is right now. They know that the baby is going to grow. And so they buy a sleeper or playsuit a little bigger, because they say, "Oh, he is going to grow into it." And he does - quickly.

When I was young, at the beginning of the school year my parents would buy pants, shirts and shoes for me that were a little on the large side. In September, the pants came well down over the tops of my shoes. The shoes were also a little bit big. But they would say, "Oh, you'll see - you'll grow into them soon enough." And so I did - often more quickly than my parents wished! Sometimes the pants that hung down over my shoes in September were way up above my ankles by March or April! As the infant becomes a child, as the child becomes a teenager, and as the teenager becomes an adult, there is that continual process of growing.

And so it is for us as believers. The knowledge of God is like a garment we put on that is way too big for us. We need to continually grow into it. But unlike the child who becomes an adult and stops growing physically, for a Christian the spiritual growth process must never stop. The knowledge of God is a garment that you could never possibly grow into. The knowledge of God is so vast, deep, wide, and high that you could spend a thousand lifetimes growing in your knowledge of God, and you would still have an incredible amount of growing yet to do. The Apostle Paul speaks of this in Romans chapter 11, verses 33 and 34:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?

How Is it With You?

Dear Christian, are you continually "growing into" the knowledge of the One whose judgments are "unsearchable" - beyond all human ability to fully investigate - and whose ways are "past finding out" - impossible to fully explore? What is your goal in pursuing that knowledge? There should be only one: "that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work..."

You can only "grow into" the knowledge of God by digging into the riches of the one place where it may be found: His inspired, infallible, inerrant Word. Are you spending time in the Word every day? Are you praying for the working of the Holy Spirit within you, the One whom Jesus has sent to live in every believer so that He may "guide you into all truth" (John 16:13)? I encourage you to fully rely upon Him. As Jesus said of the Spirit,

He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

Our great offensive weapon while seeking to walk worthy of the Lord, Ephesians chapter 6 tells us, is "the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [that is, of sinful flesh] but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-6)

It is the Christian's great and blessed calling to continually "grow into" the knowledge of our Lord as we await the day when we shall see Him face to face, and at last know Him as we are already intimately known to Him (1 Corinthians 13:12).  

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