How to Live the Worthy Life

7.21.2013
Colossians 1:1-15

Have you ever read Psalm 15? It begins with a question that both intrigues and convicts me.

Who may dwell in your sacred tent, who may live on your holy mountain? ~Psalm 15:1

Then the answer to that question comes forth in a series of statements about a life lived in righteousness. Honestly it leaves me wondering if I’m going to be living on God’s mountain anytime soon. Then I was reading through Colossians chapter one and came across this gem:

…so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects… ~Colossians 1:10

It sounds like you have to be a really exceptional person … some kind of super Christian … to hope to be in heaven. And it seems that’s just what the Colossians were being told by some teachers that had come along into their church. They were told they were not spiritual enough, smart enough, not
acceptable enough to God. These self-promoting teachers were mystics were making enough headway that Apostle Paul decided to write to the Colossians to tell them the truth. That there is a manner of living that is worthy of the Lord.

Walking ‘worthy’ seems elusive. I want to go to heaven, but I don’t know if I can be described as worthy. We’ve all heard that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. What about the road to heaven? This passage paints a picture of the life that follows after the God of Grace.

What Does The Worthy Life Look Like? Colossians one gives a clear description.

A Worthy Life is A Life of Faith (3-4a). When we have a trusting relationship with Christ, we are on the right track. The focus is not on me, not on what I can do, not on what I can resist, not on my works, not on my history…just on Jesus.

A Worthy Life is a Life of Love. Trusting in Christ always relates to our relationships with one another. This love was so powerful in the first century as cultural walls crumbled and people allowed themselves to fellowship, serve, and love with great joy.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. ~John 13:35

A Worthy Life is a Life of Hope (5). Our hope is in heaven. Yes, Christians are saved NOW, but there is also a sense of expectancy …something more to come. Heaven and hope are a result of the gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ. When we give our lives to Christ by obeying the gospel we are initiating a life characterized by the three greatest things … faith, hope, love.

A Worthy Life is A Life of Growth (6-8). Growing by spreading the gospel, bearing fruit in the lives of others. Growing in our understanding of the grace of God.

Faith, love, hope, growth … That’s a pretty intimidating list when we remember that key verse in verse 10: …so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects

How can we live a worthy life? Two ways that Paul mentions here.

We Will Pray (9-11).

Notice here that Paul is praying for them. Intercessory prayer is so vital to our life. Have you prayed for this church? Have you prayed for a specific lost soul to obey the gospel? Have you prayed for individuals by name? What does Paul pray for?

A filling of the knowledge of God’s will (9). Spiritual wisdom and understanding to fill up their minds and hearts – which will impact their life in every way. Paul wants us to have a Christian mind … a mind which is able to handle the struggles of life from the perspective of Christ.

Blessed is the man…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. ~Psalm 1:1,2

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. ~Proverbs 1:7

Paul also prayed for them / us in terms of Bearing Fruit (10b). In every good work we should see God blessing others. Also in terms of our own strength and knowledge, we need to bear fruit that causes us to act like Jesus Christ: Growing stronger, steadfast, patient, joyful. This passage is a great prayer guide for praying for the church. In order to live the worthy life we will pray. In addition…

We Will Trust (12-14).

We will trust God to qualify us to share in the inheritance of heaven. We cannot qualify ourselves, we must trust God to qualify us … to help us when we cannot help ourselves. Even Apostle Paul had to be qualified (Colossians 1:1). This leads us to thank God because he has enabled us to be able to be assured of our salvation.

He came to our rescue (13a). Left to our own devices we usually make a mess. How many times are we going to try to do things our way without God’s help and suffer because of it? Do you trust God to rescue you? To Save you? To Redeem you? To forgive you? (14)

The Worthy Life is characterized by faith, love, hope, and bearing fruit. In case you feel intimidated about that, appeal to God in prayer for yourself and also for others. Trust him to qualify you to receive the inheritance He wants to give you.

A church that is growing in the knowledge of Christ and his will and is walking worthy of him, will do
great things. (R. Kent Hughes)

Sermon Notes from July 21, 2013, Forsythe Church of Christ

Thanks for reading,

John Dobbs

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