Sunday, July 19, 2020

God's Will for His People

Last week = "Introduction to Colossians
Problem there = "Syncretism" (gospel plus a blending of other things)
This became known as "The Colossian Heresy" - which = an appearance of/flavor of Christianity, but is NOT Christianity!

BUT ... before addressing that issue, Paul offers praise, encouragement and instruction ... in

Relevance?  This = God's (general) will for all His people.  Therefore, for you and I as well!  This relevance carries over 2000 years.
Col. 1:1-14  (we don't if Paul ever visited Colosse.  He writes this letter when in prison in Rome awaiting execution).

God's Will  (His desire,intent) ... _ what He wants l. FOR you and 2. FROM you .. Includes...

I.  A Knowledge of His will - Col. 1:9  (a knowledge of what God thinks)
Colosse = perfect example.  due to (Syncretism / Colossian Heresy)
Contrast:  what I Think about God, with what God has revealed about Himself.
If God wants something for you, it is the best thing for you.

II.  A Worthy Lifestyle  - Col. 1:10 a
ie.  One that is "pleasing to the Lord", not one that is "pleasing to You"!!

To fulfill I and II requires:
    (1)  proper information - ot to know what God's will IS
    (2)  proper response  (to that information)
"The end of (Christian) knowledge is (Christian) conduct"
ie:  The outcome, intended result = proper lifestyle!!

So, God's will includes  I. A Knowledge of His will
                                   II.  A lifestyle that pleases Him

Now - (more specifically ... add....)

III. (that you) Bear fruit - Col. 1:10 b
definition:  external evidence of internal nature  Example:  a tree - you know what kind it is by the kind of fruit that it produces.

So.... Gal. 5:22-23 - natural outcome of being filled with the Holy Spirit
Contrast with Gal. 5:19-21 - fruit of a sinful nature

Note:  Vs. 10 "bearing fruit in every Good Work"  fruit = not just attitude but action
In other words - IF is a change inside, THEN should show outside  Matt. 7:15-20

IV.  Grow in the Knowledge of God - Col. 1:10 c
Question?  Wasn't that covered in verse 9?
Answer:  It's God's will that we (1) gain knowledge of Him AND (also) (2) GROW in Knowledge of Him!
This growth continues as long as you live and have mental faculties.

If Knowledge of God produces fruit, Then an increasing knowledge of God should equal More fruit!!

V.  Be Strengthened (with His power) - Col. 1:11
So you'll have (A)  great endurance
                      (B)  Patience

"Endurance" = the ability to bear up, see things through
"Patience" = the ability to bear up --- WITH PROPER ATTITUDE!!!

Is this possible?  Phil. 4:13 - this letter written when Paul was in a Roman prison awaiting execution

VI.  (Joyfully) Give Thanks - Col. 1:12-13
Because He has .. (A) qualified you to share  (grace)
                            (B) rescued (past tense) you from darkness
                            (C)  brought you into the Kingdom

In Summary:  taking this all together:
God's will for you includes:
(1)  Come to Christ - trust Him alone
(2)  gain a knowledge of His will - need to know what He wants of you
(3)  walk in a worthy manner
(4)  Bear fruit in every good work
(5)  grow in your knowledge of Him
(6)  Gain strength (for endurance and patience)
(7)  Give thanks (joyfully!)  it's for us, not for Him

Now, how are you doing?  What adjustments do you need to make?

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