“that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;”
Paul’s purpose in this passage is that the Colossians would live a life pleasing to God.
“that you may walk “
“Walk” means to live a course of life as a philosophy of life (Co. 2:6; 3:7; 4:4). We must not divorce our position in Christ from our daily course of life. The standing of the believer must relate to the state of his life. The first two chapters of Colossians set forth our status quo before God; it is perfect in Christ. Although our position is right before God, we must apply the changes in our walk if our position is going to be effective on a daily basis. If we walk a carnal life, it will not affect the status of our standing before God. However, God is interested in our walk.
Paul holds up a high ideal that we “walk worthy of the Lord..” Paul never separated doctrine from life or theology from experience. The word “walk” unites what we believe with how we live. H.C.G. Moule says we are to “beware of an untheological devotion.” That kind of devotion will ultimately evaporate and disintegrate.
Paul is afraid that alien philosophy will invade Christian truth. He wants the Colossians both to know what they believe and live out what they believe. Many people believe that they can live a healthy spiritual life with a minimum of Bible teaching. However warm and fuzzy this thinking may be, it is dangerous to the very foundation of Christianity. There is no “last” to it. Fashions of thought and attractive personalities cannot sustain the Christian life.
“worthy of the Lord”
The word “worthy” means of equal value. The adverb “worthy” means suitably, in a becoming manner; in a manner of equal value with the thing (in our case — person) referred to. We are to walk according to the equal value of the Lord. Our lives are to be commensurate with who our Lord is. Our lives should reflect the person we know so intimately. The way we live should mirror our Lord and what he did for us. Is our life consistent with the character of Christ (Compare I Th 2:12; Ro 16:2; Eph 4:1; Phil 1:27)? Creed and conduct are inseparable.
None of us are worthy. Our goal is to walk in such a way that it will reflect on the Lord of glory in a positive way.
Walking worthy of the Lord presupposes that we know who and what the Lord is and has done so that we can match our life with his provision for us.
Are we praying for each other in these days of doctrinal erosion? Is your life suited or fitted for the Lord you serve? Do you have a case of arrested spiritual development? Are you eating right? Maybe spiritual paralysis has set in? You may not be totally paralyzed, just immobilized. We may be impotent in the Christian life. Are we operating at 50% of our peak potential? We could be a 50% better Christian if we “walked worthy” of the Lord.
Our walk is our testimony. The Christian’s testimony (II Cor. 1:12) is like a young woman’s reputation. It takes a long time to build but a very short time to lose it. Once we lose our testimony it takes a long time to build confidence in us again. The attitude of many people is “They did it once, they’ll do it again. They will revert to type.”