Paul’s Prayer Part 2: The Result of Knowing God’s Will
Title: Paul’s Prayer Part 2: The Result of Knowing God’s Will
Text: Colossians 1:9-14
Theme of the book of Colossians: Jesus Christ: The pre-eminent and all-sufficient Savior
Theme of Text: Paul’s prayer for the Colossians is for discernment of God’s will and the power to do it. (O’Brien)
Proposition: To please God, you must have a worthy walk.
Last week we talked about knowing God’s will. In Colossians 1:9, Paul prayed for the Colossians to know God’s will. I explained that we could know God’s will; it is not a mystery! I said that there were six things that we knew were God’s will. God’s will for you is to be saved, spirit filled, sanctified, submitted to authority, suffering for him, and satisfied or thankful. If you are still confused about God’s will, then look at the handout last week and read the verses and explanations.
Paul continues his prayer for the Colossians by praying for them to have a worthy walk. Paul prayed for the Colossians at regularly appointed times, and he prayed constantly for them throughout the day. He may have prayed for their physical and temporal needs, but he was more concerned about their spiritual needs! Paul had a deep pastoral care for these people. He wanted them to have a deep knowledge of God’s will and he wanted that to lead to a life that pleased the Lord. This was his primary concern! I find that often times our prayers are very shallow compared to Paul’s. We pray for health issues, financial problems, or things that we would like to happen. Very rarely do we pray as Paul prayed: for spiritual needs. Paul prayed earnestly and fervently for spiritual needs. Take note of Paul’s prayers, pray like Paul prayed; pray that Christ will be magnified and glorified in you life.
Illustration: Pleasing God.
It is easy to please your girlfriend and fiancé, but after you get married, you stop pleasing your wife. Sometimes a new Christian wants to please God in everything because of the amazing work that Christ did, but then after a while the excitement dies off. The new Christian stops wanting to Please God so much.
Now this week we are going to study how God’s will should lead us to have a worthy walk. The result of God’s will is conduct that is pleasing to the Lord! God wants each one of us to have a worth walk that is pleasing to Him. We will discuss four characteristics of a worthy walk that pleases the Lord. Before we look at these four characteristics of a worthy walk, we should understand what Paul means by a worthy walk.
To please God, you must have a worthy walk.
Walk Worthy of the Lord
Paul uses the phrase “walk worthy” often. He is basically saying that we should have conduct that is worthy of the Lord. It is conduct that will please the Lord (Philippians 1:27). When the Bible talks about a person’s walk, it is referring to their daily life and conduct. It is the way that you live your life day by day. Paul says in many places that we are called to walk worthy of the Lord. God has called us into his kingdom to be his children, therefore, he wants us to walk worthy (1 Thess. 2:12; Eph. 4:1) Walk in a way that is consistent with your identification with the Lord.
Illustration: A duck walks, talks, and acts like a duck. A Policeman walks, talks, and looks like a policeman.
1 Thessalonians 2:12 so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
Last week we studied God’s will. We saw that God has not left his will as a mystery, but he has revealed his will to us in His Word. That is the same with our walk. God has told us how to live a pleasing walk. This seems like a hard thing to achieve. In fact, it seems impossible to please the Lord since he demands holiness. It is not impossible, because God asks us to do that. He has given us everything that we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). To be a true follower of Christ, we must give up everything to follow Christ!
Matthew 10:37-39 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
Here are some references that will lead to a pleasing walk to the Lord. We are to walk in humility (Eph. 4:1–3); in purity (Rom. 13:13); in contentedness (1 Cor. 7:17); by faith (2 Cor. 5:7); in good works (Eph. 2:10); different from the world (Eph. 4:17–32); in love (Eph. 5:2); in light (Eph. 5:8); in wisdom (Eph. 5:15); and in truth (3 John 3–4).
Philippians 1:27 (NASB95)
27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Remember, to please God, you must have a worthy walk. The first characteristic of a person that is walking worthy of God is that they will be “bearing fruit for God.”
1. Bearing Fruit for God v. 10.
A person that is walking worthy of God will be fruitful in their life. This is a result of salvation. Rom. 7:4-5 tells us that God has redeemed us, therefore we should be bearing fruit. An unsaved person does not bear fruit for God, but bears fruit unto death. This means that even the good thing that an unsaved person does is truly good, but only is a conformation of their depraved status.
Romans 7:4-5 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
John 15:1-16 is a key text to understanding what bearing fruit means. This passage tells us how we can bear fruit and that bearing fruit is only from God’s blessing. A true follower of Christ will always bear fruit in their life. Christ said in John 15:8 that by bearing fruit we will prove that we are Christ’s disciples. This is a natural result of the Gospel. The power of the Gospel bears fruit as we studied Col. 1:6. When a person is saved, they will continue to bear fruit by spreading the Gospel.
In 2 Peter 1:5-8, believers are told what things make a person fruitful. Peter says that if you do these things, then your life will not be unfruitful for the Lord.
5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Application: To be fruitful in every good work, one must be continually involved in knowing God’s Word. Paul says that fruit is a result of having spiritual knowledge and understanding of God’s Will and Word. To bear fruit, you must be learning, applying and obeying God’s Word.
Illustration: Paul uses the illustration here of a fruit tree, not of grain. Think of how grain grows. It grows for a season, and then the farmer cuts down the grain. A fruit tree lasts for many seasons; in fact, a fruit tree will usually bear more fruit each growing season. Just as a tree is nourished by water and sunlight, so a believer is to be nourished by the Word of God and by seasons of prayer.
To please God, you must have a worthy walk. The first characteristic of a person that is walking worthy of God was that they will be “bearing fruit for God;” the second characteristic is that they will be “growing in the knowledge of God.”
2. Growing in the Knowledge of God. v. 10
A person that is walking worthy of the Lord and living a pleasing life before the Lord will be a person that is growing a their knowledge of God. God wants us to know more about him. When we learn more about Him, we will start to want to obey Him. We should be constantly growing in our knowledge of God and be growing closer to God. (Ps. 119:97; 1 John 2:3-5; 2 Thess. 1:3; Phil. 1:9)
1 Peter 2:2 says that we should desire the Word of God like a new born baby desires milk. A newborn’s hunger can only be satisfied by milk. As a believer, we should long and desire to know God’s Word! Word of God should we what satisfies our hunger. Our hunger for God’s Word will result in a more perfect obedience (1 John 2:3-5), and that obedience will result in more faith (2 Thess. 1:3).
1 Peter 2:2 (NASB95)
2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
The passage in Hebrews 5:11-14 is talking to believers. It is saying that some of you do not know God’s Word well. Some of you should be teachers of God’s Word, but you still need to know and understand the simple things about the Bible.
To please God, you must have a worthy walk. A person that is walking worthy of God will be “bearing fruit for God” and will be “growing in the knowledge of God.” The third characteristic is that they will be “strengthened by God.”
3. Strengthened by God. v. 11
a. How to be strengthened by God
A person that is pleasing to God is a person that is continuously strengthened by Gods power. We are not strengthened by our own power, but by the limitless power of God! The Holy Spirit has come to us so we can have power from God (Acts 1:8). The glorious power of God is available to the believer who is filled with the knowledge of God’s word. God strengthens us through the Holy Spirit. His power raised Christ from the grave, so it can strengthen us as well.
Ephesians 3:16 (NASB95)
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
Ephesians 1:18-21 (NASB95)
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
Illustration: God is not like a booster rocket giving believers an initial boost of power and then leaving them to fly on their own. God’s power is not like this, it sustains us forever.
b. The purpose of being strengthened by God.
We are strengthened so we can have endurance and patience. A person walks worthy of God when they are strengthened so they can have endurance and patience during trials. These are fruits of the spirit. They are not gifts designed to heal or do miracles, but to live Christ like lives.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB95)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
-To please God, you must have a worthy walk. A person that is walking worthy of God will be bearing fruit for God, growing in the knowledge of God, and will be strengthened by God. The fourth characteristic is that they will be “giving thanks to God.”
4. Giving thanks to God. v. 12-14 A person that is living a life that is pleasing to God will be constantly giving thanks to God for what He has done. There should be no end to our praise and thanksgiving.
Colossians 3:15 (NASB95)
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
a. What the Father has done for believers. v. 12-13
i. Given an Inheritance
God gave us the greatest inheritance! We are called his children, so we are full heirs of his great inheritance.
Hebrews 11:39 (NASB95)
39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,
Acts 20:32 (NASB95)
32 “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Acts 26:18 (NASB95)
18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
Ephesians 2:19 (NASB95)
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,
Illustration of an earthly inheritance:. What if you were the only son of Bill Gates? When he died, he would give his complete inheritance to you. Wow, what a sweet deal!
- ii. Transferred from Darkness to Light.*
God has transferred us from darkness to light. He delivered us from the kingdom and control of Satan, and transferred us into the kingdom of His Son! We have been removed from the bond of Satan to the care of God our heavenly father. From slaves to children.
1 Peter 2:9 (NASB95)
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
2 Corinthians 6:14 (NASB95)
14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 (NASB95)
4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;
Ephesians 5:8-14 (NASB95)
8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.”
b. What the Son has done for believers. v. 14 Christ has totally redeemed us from sin. He delivered a ransom payment for us. He freed us from our slavery and bondage to Satan and sin. Redemption was a very familiar term to the people at Colossians. They knew that someone had to be rescued by the ransom payment. That was the only way a slave could be freed. Christ paid the ransom payment so man could be free from sin!
Ephesians 1:7 (NASB95)
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace
Ephesians 4:30 (NASB95)
30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Ephesians 1:14 (NASB95)
14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
1 Corinthians 1:30 (NASB95)
30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
Romans 3:24-25 (NASB95)
24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;
Christ also forgave us of our sins. The redemption meant that our sins are forgiven. Christ payed the price-his death- to forgive our sins.
Acts 2:38 (NASB95)
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 103:12 (NASB95)
12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
A worthy walk that is pleasing to the Lord will have these four characteristics: it will be bearing fruit for God, growing in the knowledge of God, strengthened by God and giving thanks to God. Can you say that these things describe your life? To please God, you must have a worthy walk.