Yesterday we reviewed the first point of Scott’s sermon on Colossians chapter one – There is no faith without fruit. Today we move on to the more controversial statement yet in many ways a repetition of the first statement:
There is no INHERITANCE without HOLINESS
Let’s look at the same Scripture from Colossians but read on a little farther:
So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then THE WAY YOU LIVE will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. – Colossians 1:9-14
I am so thankful that God did not save me and then leave me in the state that I was in. I’m so thankful His plan was for me to grow in Him. I remember when I went from being a little girl who loved Jesus enough to ask Him into her heart to a teenager who fully surrendered her heart to the Lordship of the Savior. I was so sick of myself by then – of my selfish tendencies, of my inconsistencies, and of my prideful strategies. I was ready to give up control and let God change me into the person He created me to be. His grace did not love me and then leave me the way He found me. God had a plan for my life and I have been a work in progress since that day.
I have to be careful here though. I cannot earn my way into Heaven, nor can I demand that God owes me Heaven regardless of how I live out my faith. It is the Father alone who “qualifies” or enables me to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
But the next statement gives me great hope – He has rescued me from the darkness in which He found me and His plan is not to leave me there. His plan is for me to truly experience redemption in which the forgiveness of my sins changes my life, taking me out of the darkness and bringing me into the light. He then begins a work in my life, filling me with wisdom and understanding. I begin to grow in my knowledge of Him, being strengthened by HIS power and HIS might. I go from a sinner to a child of God in whom He has developed great endurance and patience; a life that goes beyond a faith that only believes to a faith that bears fruit.
My mind goes back to the book of James again this morning. James’ letter is a call to holy living. I am going to close with a few of his words:
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him – James 1:12.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says – James 1:22.
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? …In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead … You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone – James 2:14, 17, 24.
Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness – James 3:18.
My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins – James 5:20.
Dear Jesus, thank you for the hope we find in your Word. You have saved us so that we may serve you and so today we surrender Lordship to you. Jesus, today I allow you to be King – you are in charge. Please make me into the child of God you want me to be. Amen.