*We cannot know or understand anything about God or his will apart from the Spiritual knowledge that we receive through Christ.
SO HOW DO WE GET THIS SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE?
THE GOSPEL - is central in making this a reality in our lives.
Paul reminds us that we are to walk in such a way that our Father in Heaven is proud of us, resulting in the spiritual gifts that he has given us growing and expanding in our life.
SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE COMES THROUGH MATURITY AND MATURITY COMES THROUGH BEARING FRUIT
I'm convinced that more evangelism, more prayer, more fruitfulness, more holiness will flow from the fountain of our lives only when we start drinking more deeply of Christ.
Our main problem is not lack of time or resources or the annoying people in our lives. Your main problem and my main problem is that we do not see enough the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We are not amazed. We do not stand in awe. We are not rendered speechless in his presence.
Too many of us are toying around with gimmicks and looking for quick fixes and miracle cures. Too many of us are digging deep inside ourselves for the change we want. Too many of us spend all our time tinkering with sports and the internet and home repairs while neglecting the one thing that is most needful--to sit at the feet of Jesus, to see him in the preaching of the Word, to gaze upon him in the Scriptures, to slowly meditate upon the pages of the Bible, to spend uninterrupted, unhurried time with the Lord. This is what we need.
WHAT PLEASES THE FATHER THAT WE ARE GROWING IN OUR RELATIONSHIP TO HIM AND BEARING SPIRITUAL FRUIT.
There are two methods of prayer in the N.T. The first is individual prayer where the stress is on personal intercession with God. The second model is corporate prayer, where the stress in on plural watchfulness and joint intercession.
PRAYER IS TALKING FACE TO FACE WITH GOD - The greek word for prayer speaks of talking to God and is never used as petitions to men.
(Paul gives the purpose of the prayer)
Filled with the knowledge of God’s will
Strengthened with His power, endurance, patience and joy.
Have spiritual wisdom and Understanding.
The 2nd century gnostic sects loved words like fullness, knowledge, and wisdom, and claimed them as their own.
Paul is using their language and key words to pray that the saints in Colossae will possess the real thing, not in part, but in fullness.
CHRISTIANS NEED TO KNOW WHAT THE GOOD, AND PERFECT WILL OF GOD IS.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
MORE GOSPEL REQUIRED FOR FULLNESS
(Paul gives the instruction of the prayer)
Walk in a manner worthy fully pleasing to Him
Bearing fruit in every good work
Increasing in the Knowledge of God
Disobedience to God leads to an unfruitful Life
*Walking away from the will of God leads to an un-fruitful Life
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Walking with God leads to a fruitful Life
*Walking in the will of God leads to a fruitful Life
Our aim should be to please Christ, not out of duty, but as the fruit of our love for him!
FRUITFUL IN EVERY GOOD WORK - INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
What is spiritual Maturity?
Lets start with what it is not?
Spiritual Maturity is not:
It’s not a bunch of ideas to be mastered.
It’s not something you do just with your mind (although the mind is important)
Spiritual Maturity is:
Maturity is about how you live your life (it is possible to be spiritually astute yet lack maturity in the faith)
Maturity is a heart that has been reclaimed by Christ
MORE GOSPEL REQUIRED FOR FRUITFULNESS
(Paul gives the encouragement of the prayer)
all power, endurance, patience, and kindness
*only in the strength of Christ can believers be faithful to their calling.
THE GREEK WORD FOR STRENGTH: we get the english word dynamite.
Paul also knows that faithfulness requires patience, longsuffering and joy.
Patience: is born under trial and is endurance in the face of hardship.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
Patience is needed in dealing with difficult people.
preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
MORE GOSPEL REQUIRED FOR FAITHFULNESS
(Paul gives results of spiritual knowledge)
attainment of anything desired; realization; accomplishment:After years of hard work she finally brought her idea to full fruition.
enjoyment, as of something attained or realized.
state of bearing fruit.
(Paul gives the thanksgiving of the prayer)
Thankful to the God who qualifies us for the inheritance
Thankful to the God who delivers us from the domain of darkness
Thankful to the God who transferred us to the kingdom of light
Thankful to the God who gives us redemption and forgiveness of sins.
*in these verses Paul is summarizing the divine work of redemption which is coming to fruition.
In a scene from C. S. Lewis’ spiritual allegory, The Chronicles of Narnia, a young girl named Lucy is sent on a great mission by the Christ figure, Aslan, the lion. As she travels by night, she notices the great beast sitting on a hill, illumined by a full moon. Excitedly, Lucy runs to him and throws herself into his soft, silky mane. Aslan rolls over, and Lucy finds herself laying between his paws, looking up into his large face.
“Aslan, you’re bigger,” says Lucy.
The majestic creature answers, “That is because you are older, little one.”
Lucy, confused by this remark, asks, “Not because you are?”
Aslan assures her, “I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
With intentional irony, Lewis was suggesting that as we mature in our faith, the object of our devotion appears to grow along with us. This happens not because Christ has changed, but because our consciousness of Him has expanded. As R. Kent Hughes suggests, “Expanding souls encounter an expanding Christ.” Thus, Aslan only appeared to be bigger to Lucy. The real change had taken place within her.
So it is with every devoted follower of Christ. Just like Lucy, we all live with a disparity between the way we see God and the way He really is. This gap begins to narrow over time as we practice the appropriate devotion.
The more we learn of God on this journey, the bigger He becomes to us.
"You must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen" ().
4 ways this Happens 12-14
Understanding our INHERITANCE: God has provided an inheritance through the death, and resurrection of Christ. It is the birth right of the Children of God.
and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
*to be partakers of the inheritance - the verb here means that God has enabled man to have a sufficient, acceptable position in Christ. In Christ believers are granted to live with God, Forever.
Understanding our DELIVERANCE: Being delivered from the power of Darkness. Before the Colossians became believers they were under the powerful rule of the devil; but now this power is broken by Christ himself. Christ has rescued us and we are safe and protected from Satanic tyranny.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Understanding our TRANSFERENCE: Believers have passed from death to life; from alienation to acceptance; from despair to hope; from danger to safety; from uncertainty to peace.
Understanding our ACCEPTANCE: receiving the forgiveness of sins. Christians are transferred from the domain of darkness at a great price, the precious blood of Christ. verse 20 tells us that Christ made peace through the blood the cross.
MORE GOSPEL IS REQUIRED FOR FRUITION
These reasons alone should give us ample cause and incentive to praise God and Delight in Him always.
I should make it my primary goal that my Heavenly Father would be proud to call me His son. That He would say that ones mine. That’s my son in whom I am well pleased. WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT, SON, CHILD, BLOOD BOUGHT, REDEEMED, FORGIVEN, NOT FORGOTTEN, CHILD OF THE KING.