“So that you may 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” (Colossians 1:10). The result of receiving the knowledge of Christ is that our lives change. Milton had a keen insight when he talked about the pilgrim’s progress. Christian maturity, holiness, or whatever you want to call it, is measurable. If we are not moving forward we are moving backward because the will of God is constant continuous positive change. The change may be small at times but we are always moving in the right direction.
Christians should be the most directed and motivated people in the world, and the church should be the most directive and purposeful institution. As we change, it gives us a hunger for even more of the knowledge of God. Knowing Christ gives us a desire for God’s wisdom and the willingness to apply it practically, even if it means doing the opposite of what the world would do. Honesty, as Ben Franklin said, actually is the best policy, even if our human nature would prefer protecting ourselves through lying and cheating. When we find out that God’s ways and His Word work, it gives us a hunger to know Christ and His Word better and to find even more wisdom.
After a period of time, the accumulation of knowledge, wisdom and insight begins to make our lives different from the lives of those around us and becomes a powerful testimony to the ability of Jesus Christ to change men and women for the better. To stop with salvation and forgiveness and refuse to move further into the knowledge of Christ and His wisdom being applied in our lives produces religious people whose lives are sadly not much different, and sometimes even worse than the lives of those around them, and it turns people away from Christ.