|From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase|
Part 4 of a series. Read part 3.
The true child of God will seek to pattern his life after his Lord. Is this true of you?
Thus far in this series we have seen that "increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10) - more literally, "growing into" the knowledge of God - is the lifetime quest of every authentic believer in Christ. 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.
Authentic Christians are a people who have been delivered from the paganism of this present evil world, a mindset that also now grips much of the visible church.
Authentic Christians must walk in a way that is worthy - not of the paganism that dominates the thinking of the unregenerated, but worthy of the Lord Jesus Christ, the true and living God who is now our Savior.
An Entirely New Way of Thinking and Living
The mark of the true believer in Christ is a life that is worthy of being identified with Him, no matter the circumstances. The life and thinking of the Christian - about God, Scripture, sin, salvation, this present world, and the world to come - must be completely different from the life and thinking of the unbeliever. The true child of God will render true obedience to Christ in thinking and in conduct. In Titus 1:1, Paul speaks of "the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness."
Peter speaks of the same thing at the beginning of his second epistle:
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:2-8)
In chapter 2 verse 16, Peter reminds believers that we have "escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
Specific Practical Instruction in Colossians 3 and 4
Knowledge of Jesus Christ is the foundation of good works and godly living. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul sets forth very specific and practical instruction about the "worthy walk" of the believer in Colossians chapters 3 and 4.
In chapter 3:1-11 we are told that the mind of the person who has been raised with Christ focuses "on those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God." We are commanded to "put to death" sinful conduct and thinking, to "put off" the ungodly state of mind and the filthy language it produces, and to "put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him."
Colossians 3:12-17 gives instruction in the godly life we are to live within the church and before the unbelieving world. The hallmark of such a life is to "let the Word of Christ dwell richly in you in all wisdom" - or more literally, to "let the Word of Christ be fully at home within you" as a welcome guest to whom no place within the house of your heart is denied.
Colossians 3:18-21 instructs wives, husbands, children, and fathers in the principles of the worthy walk within the home.
Colossians 3:22-4:1 instructs employees and employers in the principles of the worthy walk within the workplace.
Colossians 4:2 and following give instructions, and examples, of the life that believers are to live in their relations with one another within the body of Christ.
How Do You Measure Up?
Dear friend, are these things true in your life? Do you give daily, living evidence of the grace of salvation through the grace of sanctification? Are you starving sin, and feeding sanctification? Take to heart the Holy Spirit's exhortations through Paul to the Galatian church:
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16-25)
Next: The Dangers of an Unteachable Mind
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