"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
Our Conduct and Dealings with Others
God Refuses the Homage of the Unjust
Not only does God take notice of and record the sins of those who are guilty of unjust and fraudulent practices but He refuses their hypocritical homage. There is no bribing of the divine Judge, nor can He be imposed upon by a pious demeanour in those who wrong their fellows. They who grind the faces of the poor through the week and, equally, those who fail to supply a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay only mock the Lord when they sing His praises and make an offering to His cause on the Sabbath day. ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight’ (Prov. 15:8). The external acts of worship of those whose business dealings are corrupt are an offence to the Most High, and it is the sacred duty of pastors to announce it. ‘He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law [which enjoins loving our neighbour as ourself], even his prayer shall be abomination’ (Prov. 28:9). We do but deceive ourselves if we imagine God hearkens to our petitions while our everyday lives betray our devotions. On the other hand, ‘the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth [favourably] behold the upright’ (Psa. 11:7). Everything we do either pleases or displeases God.
To walk worthily means to conduct ourselves becomingly, to act agreeably to the Name we bear, to live as those who are not their own. To walk ‘worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing’ is to be uniformly and universally obedient, taking no step without the warrant of God’s Word, seeking His approbation and honour in every department and aspect of our lives. ‘Being fruitful in every good work’ is a further extension of the same thought, evincing again how high and holy is the standard at which we should aim continually. Grace is no enemy to good works; it is the promoter and enabler of them. It is utterly vain for us to speak and sing of the wonders of divine grace if we are not plainly exhibiting its lovely fruits. Grace is a principle of operation, a spiritual energizer which causes its possessor to be active in good works and makes him a fruitful branch of the Vine. It is the empty professor who is viewed as a barren tree, a cumberer of the ground. By the miracle of regeneration God makes His people ‘good trees’ and they bear good fruit.’ It is their privilege and duty to be ‘fruitful in every good work’, and in order to do so they must constantly endeavour to ‘walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing’.