Colossians 1:10 10in order to walk worthy of the Lord in every pleasing way, by bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God;
Paul expresses a further hoped-for outcome of his prayers for the Colossians. As they grow in their spiritual wisdom and understanding, they will come to know how to behave in a manner pleasing to the Lord Jesus. This is expressed using an infinitive of purpose (peripatēsai). Walking is often used in the New Testament for lifestyle or behavior. Walking worthy of the Lord is to seek to be Christ-like in word, thought, and deed. This is the standard for which believers should aim their ethics. The key question to ask is, Am I living in a way that glorifies Jesus? Would I feel comfortable if Jesus were right besides me? How would Jesus respond to this situation? Our aim is to please him in every way and in every thought. The mind and thinking is in the background of this passage. This may be intentional on Paul’s part because of the growing incipient Gnosticism present in places like Colossae.
If there is any doubt what this worthy lifestyle looks like, Paul adds two instrumental adverbial participles. By bearing fruit (karpophorountes) is a metaphor that draws us to what Paul wrote in Galatians 5:22-23 about the “fruit of the Spirit.” This need to be the specific background Paul means here, since bearing fruit is an easy ideas to apply to many situations. Jesus also taught about the fruit that trees bear (Matthew 7:16-20). How people act shows the condition of their hearts. With hearts cleansed from sin and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, the fruit people should bear out to be holiness (Romans 6:22). This holy fruit are the good works God has prepared for us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10). These will be actions that please and glorify God and further the mission of the gospel. They may include unconditional love as acts of compassion, the ministry of teaching and preaching in discipleship or many other activities in obedience to the Holy Spirit.
The other way to please the Lord Jesus is to grow in knowledge about God. Knowledge (epignōsei) is more than simply learning facts and figures but is experiencing a deeper relationship with God. The Greek words shows a more intense form of knowledge. The focus of this knowledge is God. Studying God and coming to know God in a personal way is the highest achievement any person can have. Thomas Aquinas said the theology is the queen of the sciences. The greatest topic for us to study is God. But this study most go from the head to the heart and work its way out to the hands, feet, and mouth as we carry out God’s will of good works in this world. If the Colossians would do this, they would discover God’s will for them and experience great fruit in their mission as believers.
For older posts, click here.