Paul’s declaration that we are “full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another” is a statement of faith that is a result of the hope that he has that God is working in every believer. When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we receive the very best God has to offer us, and this gift doesn’t get better as we mature in our knowledge of Him. There are two ways we can grow in our understanding of who we are in Christ. We can surrender our lives to God, study the Scriptures, and make good choices by obeying the commands of Jesus Christ. The other is to continue going our own way, living in disobedience and reaping the consequences of our rebellion. Both ways are difficult and challenging, but the former has a benefit that makes it superior to the latter.
Submission to God’s way is how we abide in Christ and bear good fruit. The latter, refusing to make the hard choices of obedience to enjoy the fleeting pleasure of sin, can only end in turmoil, destruction, and sorrow. The first way results in our lives becoming an example of love, joy, and peace. The result of the other way becomes a warning to others of the consequences of our self-indulgence. Either way, we are discovering the sovereignty of God and maturing in our understanding of who we are in our relationship with Him. The good news is that He makes everything work together for good.