In order for us to abound in love more and more, we must first abide in love, and God is love. “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 Jn 4:15-16) The phrase abiding in Christ pictures an intimate, close relationship, and not just a superficial acquaintance.
In the following prayer, we see how abiding in Christ will grow us into spiritually mature Christ followers. “We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light” (Col 1:9-12) The full knowledge of God’s will rests on an intimate personal knowledge of God. We are to be continually growing in our intimate knowledge of the Lord; no matter how much we have learned, we need to learn more.
Being filled with the knowledge of God “in all spiritual wisdom and understanding”, beckons us to live according to His will. The right knowledge always leads to a changed life. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2). Such knowledge of God’s will is the basis of all Christian (Christ-like) life, and is given to us by the Holy Spirit.
The purpose of wisdom and knowledge of the will of God is “so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”. (Col 1:10) A life worthy of the Lord is one that is conformed to God’s will, which we can only know in our hearts by being “filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding“.
In order to do this, we must: “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Col. 3:16) Don’t miss the importance of being in a community of believers. We aren’t made to go through this walk alone; we need others to come alongside us–and we alongside others–because iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17) and builds up the body of believers (Eph 4:12).
Fruit bearing is the result of a living faith in Christ. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph 2:10) We aren’t here to receive only, we are to do the good works the Holy Spirit prompts us to do–we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus to other believers and to the fallen world (Rom 10:15).
We aren’t to do these good works in our own strength, but instead be “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might”. This is God’s abundant resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead that He places at our disposal. “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man…[God] who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Eph 3:16, 20).
He provides His power to us “for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience” so that we can “joyously [give] thanks to the Father”. Patient endurance is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). Joy is the pervading element of patience and steadfastness. As we keep on keeping on with steadfast endurance, we joyously endure patiently, without grumbling and complaining. We can live above the chances, changes and circumstance in life in the abundant power the Lord provides to us.
If we seek a closer relationship with the Lord, He will fill us with intimate “knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” so that we have His abundant power to walk in a manner that pleases Him and bear fruit for His kingdom. As we abide and walk in Christ, we obtain the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, which we can’t attain on our own. We only have these God-given characteristics because our heavenly Father “has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col 1:12-14).
If you by faith in Jesus Christ’s work on the cross and His resurrection, have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, the work of salvation is done. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:4-6). God has already “transferred [you] to kingdom of His beloved Son” who paid the ransom for your sins because you could never do so. God has already seated you in heavenly places with Jesus, and your name is written in the Book of Life (Rev 21:27), and He has already given you “every spiritual blessing” (Eph 1:3).
He loved us so much “that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) His sacrifice is His gift to us: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph 2:8-9) Our response must be to humble ourselves before Him and “joyously [give] thanks to the Father”!
If you have not accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior in your life, you can do so today. No one is saved by the faith and prayers of others. No one is forgiven by doing certain deeds. The only way to be saved is to personally accept Jesus as your Savior, trusting in His death as the payment for your sins (Rom 3:23) and His resurrection as your guarantee of eternal life (Rom 10:10-13, John 3:16). Is Jesus personally your Savior? If not, I urge to to do so today! Learn more here: What does it mean to accept Jesus as your personal Savior?