Fruitful in Every Good Work (Colossians #19)

Text: Colossians 1:10

Good work produces fruit that pleases God

  • Fruit is what pleases the gardener or the farmer.
  • And just like fruit is the design of the seed, good works are the design of God that lead to fruit that God will be pleased with.
  • Jesus Christ the firstfruits
    • 1 Corinthians 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
    • Seed is the word of God.  Seed is planted in the earth and what springs up is the body God has given the seed. (The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.)
    • Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Good works point others to the glory of God

  • Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
  • On the contrary, works that are no good cause others to blaspheme or belittle the glory of God.
  • 1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
  • God looks on the heart, but man looks on the outward appearance because that’s all he can see.

Good work is caring for others’ souls

  • 1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
    • What is a bishop but a caretaker of men’s souls?
      • 1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
      • Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
    • Pastor or a caretaker of men’s souls is a good work.
  • But the desire is only one part of it. In order to accomplish this good work Paul says in verse 2, A bishop then must be…
  • If the work is to be fruitful it requires someone who is able to possess their own soul first.  Unlike Lot who VEXED his righteous soul.
  • A bishop is an overseer of men’s souls and must understand how to possess his own soul.

Good works in women often deal with physical needs that are in line with God’s work

  • Mark 14:6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
  • 1 Timothy 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

Good works are difficult to maintain so fruit is not always produced

  • The text says being fruitful in every good work, so there must be a way to do good work but the end is not necessarily fruitful.
    • Be not weary in well doing…
    • Titus 3:8, 14 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. … 14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
    • You and I need the encouragement from each other – Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
  • Good works that are productive take preparation
    • A harvest takes preparation.
    • 2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
    • Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Stop stealing and start working – that would be good. Stop stealing, start working, start giving – that would be fruitful.
    • 1 Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

Good works are the ambition of God’s people

  • Titus 2:7, 14 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, … 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
  • The focus is not on you or what you want out of life, but how can you develop zeal for the good works of God.