By Terry D. Johnson
1 Peter 1:5: “Who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Protection (“guarded”) comes about as a result of being alerted to a danger; then preparing oneself to be in a position to be defended. Thus, “the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes in order to take me” (2 Cor. 11:32).
Christians everywhere are in danger of falling from the living God. As long as we live in the flesh, we need to be alert of the fact that the “Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.” The writer of Hebrews said, “Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the Living God” (3:12). It behooves us then, to constantly remember this danger and prepare ourselves to be defended!
After Paul gives his thanksgiving to the brethren of Colossae for their “faith in Christ Jesus, and love which ye have toward all the saints,” he then addresses himself to the prayer and request for the brethren (1:9 ff.). He said, “for this cause we also since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray and make request for you, that ye may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” The apostle gives us the key to defense in his words to the troubled congregation of Colossae. A congregation burdened with men who would rob Christ from His supremacy! Think of it! Men who would “delude them with persuasiveness of speech.” False teachers who would “make spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ” (2:4,8). Is there a need for a defense? Yes! Does Paul instruct these brethren, as to the way they should prepare themselves for this defense? Yes! Notice what he has said in his prayer. “Be filled with the knowledge of His will. . .” If these brethren were to defend their faith and rid themselves of these false teachers, they had to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will! May I suggest that if God’s people today want to rid themselves of false teachers and make a defense of their faith they will need to be “filled with the knowledge of God’s will.” This “knowledge” is a “precise, correct, exact, full” knowledge. Thus, a knowledge which is not precise, correct, exact, full, is a knowledge which enables the devil to devour and destroy one!
To the individual who is filled with the precise, correct knowledge, God gives wisdom! “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (Jas. 1:5). This wisdom is the wisdom from above (Jas. 3:17). Wisdom which will enable men to use the knowledge of God’s will to prepare that individual for a defense of truth! One cannot have wisdom without first being filled with a knowledge of God’s will!
It is worth noting that Paul informs us of the reason why we ought to be filled with a knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. He says, “To walk worthily of the Lord.” Thus making every New Testament Christian responsible for his own defense! Also, making it mandatory for each New Testament Christian to do so! If we desire to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, preparing ourselves for a defense of truth, we will follow Paul’s instruction.
Satan has commandeered many congregations by defenseless, accept-everything Christians. He has turned faithful brethren into brethren who accept any program just as long as it does a good work! The Devil has turned minds that at one time were governed by Bible principles into minds that do as they please without regard to authority. Christians have lowered their spiritual guard and have been persuaded to follow the world in dress, language, and actions. Let us awake to the call! Let us prepare ourselves to rid ourselves of all devices of Satan. Awake today, lest tomorrow we perish!
Truth Magazine, XVIII:40, p. 11
August 15, 1974