Why Should Ours Be a Life of Endurance and Patience?

Since our failures are liberally pardoned by a merciful Father in Christ, we can strive to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  We are not motivated by fear of rejection or a need to seek approval.  Instead, it is a life of “endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified [us] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”  Why?  “He has delivered 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” (Colossians 1:10-14)

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 42-43

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Death Will Not Have the Last Word

Only the church can declare the message that it has heard: that through Christ and faith in his victory, death will not have the last word; that violence, oppression and injustice will not be an unending struggle; that disease and hunger will not claim the bodies of millions forever.  It is the victory of the seed of the woman over the seed of the serpent that Christ has achieved and the visible effects of that conquest will be fully realized when Christ returns in glory.  Right now Christ is ruling from heaven, in common grace over the nations and in saving grace through the proclamation of the gospel (Colossians 1:15-23)

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 177

This is What the Regenerated Soul Must Do

The regenerated soul has to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18).  The principal prayer and aim of Christians should be that we “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10)

– Pink, Arthur W.; The Attributes of God; Kindle Edition; page 10

Watching the Early Church Pray for Everything in Joy

Watching the early Church pray for everything for joy:

  1. The Early Christians called on God to exalt His name in the world.  (Matthew 6:9; Psalm 9:2)
  2. The Early Christians called on God to extend His kingdom in the world (Matthew 6:10; Revelations 21:4)
  3. The Early Christians called on God for the fullness of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13; Ephesians 3:19; Acts 4:31)
  4. The Early Christians called on God to save unbelievers. (Romans 10:1; Matthew 13:44; Luke 15:7)
  5. The Early Christians called on God for healing (James 5:13-15; Acts 8:7)
  6. The Early Christians called on God for strategic wisdom. (James 1:5; Colossians 1:9, 3:16)
  7. The Early Christians called on God for unity and harmony in the ranks (John 17:20-21; Philippians 2:2)
  8. The Early Christians called on God to help them know Him better. (Colossians 1:10; Ephesians 1:17)
  9. The Early Christians called on God to help them comprehend the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:14, 18)
  10. The Early Christians called on God for a deeper sense of assured hope. (Ephesians 1:16, 18, Romans 15:13, 5:2, 12:12)
  11. The Early Christians called on God for strength and endurance (Colossians 1:11, Ephesians 3:16; Nehemiah 8:10)
  12. The Early Christians called on God for their faith to be preserved. (Luke 22:32, 21:36; II Corinthians 1:24; Philippians 1:25)
  13. The Early Christians called on God that they might not fall into temptation.  (Matthew 6:13, 26:41)
  14. The Early Christians called on God to complete their resolves and enable them to do good work. (II Thessalonians 1:11, Colossians 1:10, Acts 20:35)
  15. The Early Christians called on God for forgiveness for their sins. (Matthew 6:12)
  16. The Early Christians called on God for protection from the evil one.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p.143-146

Does God Care About Our Obedience?

Does the fact that God has forgiven us all our sins mean that He no longer cares whether we obey or disobey?  Not at all.  The Scripture speaks of our grieving the Holy Spirit through our sins (Ephesians 4:30).  And Paul prayed that we “may please [God] in every way” (Colossians 1:10).  We grieve God and we please God.  Clearly, He cares about our conduct and will discipline us when we refuse to repent of conscious sin.  But God is no longer our judge.  Through Christ He is now our heavenly Father who disciplines us only out of love and for our good.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 12-13

What Are We to Expect of Our Pastors and Teachers?

Pastors and teachers are not cruise directors who provide venues for everyone to channel all of their gifts and energies to the church, but they are deliverers of the message of Christ (Colossians 1:28-29)

– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 230

That For Which We Should Pray For Above All Else

The second way we express our dependence on the Spirit is to pray for holiness.  The Apostle Paul prayed continually for the working of God’s Spirit in the lives of those to whom he was writing.  He told the Ephesians that he prayed God would “strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being” (Ephesians 3:16).  He prayed that God would fill the Colossians “with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding” so that they might “live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way” (Colossians 1:9-10).

– Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, Navpress, copyright 1978, page 79