Summary: Paul's prayer for the Church in Colossae is God's desire for the Church today. We are taught the principle of "walking worthy" of the Lord, being empowered by Him, in constant thankfulness.
“Growing Up in Christ” Colossians 1:9-14
We looked at the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Church in Colossae, praising God for their renowned faith, hope and love in the Lord Jesus Christ, even though he never met any of them personally except Epaphras, the church planter and evangelist who was from Paul’s Ephesus congregation.
Today we continue in Colossians 1:9-14: “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
Filled with the Knowledge of God’s Will
In Paul’s day, he did not receive regular emails or newsletters concerning the saints in Colossae, but that did not prevent him from being persistent in his prayer for these believers in the Lord, being concerned for their spiritual health, welfare and growth in the faith. Paul is under the direction of the Spirit as he shares this Godly desire in verse 9 that the saints “would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will”; that is also God’s desire for us believers.
To be “filled” is to be lacking nothing. If you eat a meal and you are filled up, there isn’t room for anything else. Paul’s prayer and God’s desire is that we “lack nothing” when it comes to the knowledge of His will for our lives. The word in our text is most often translated as “fulfilled” (or you might say, F-U-L-L-filled); it often refers to Jesus in His Life and Work in completing all of the promises which God made in the Old Testament as Savior/Redeemer. Jesus did not lack anything; there is not a vacuum to be filled because Jesus “filled up” all of God’s requirements. God wants us to be filled up with the Knowledge of HIS WILL.
Pagan cultural ideas and philosophies had been plaguing the Early Church including Colossae, much like that of today. These battles centered on the concept of “knowledge”. Gnosticism (from the Greek word for “knowledge”, “Epignosis”,) in the first century was a mixture of Greek philosophy, mysticism and other religions and influences. The main thoughts that attacked the Church were these:
1. The material world is bad, the spirit world is good. (a dualism) The material world is under the control of evil, ignorance or nothingness. This is wrong according to the Bible that the spirit-world has the devil and thousands of fallen angels who revolted against God. The material world was all made good, but after sin it became tainted. There are many things in the physical world that God has created for our godly enjoyment and benefit.
2. Salvation is through a secret knowledge by which individuals come to know themselves, their origin and destiny. A divine spark is somehow trapped in some (but not all) humans and it alone, of all that exists in this material world, is capable of redemption. According to God’s Word Salvation comes through faith in the work and word of the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 10 :17 tells us: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We know ourselves by the revelation of scripture and that we need a Savior, unable to save ourselves. Salvation, knowledge and wisdom of are plainly revealed in the Bible to anyone who will seek God.
“3.Since a good God could not have created an evil world, it must have been created by an inferior, ignorant or evil god. Usually the explanation given is that the true, good God created or emanated beings (Archons) who either emanated other Archons or conjugated to produce them until a mishap by Sophia (Wisdom) led to the creation of the evil Archon who created our world and pretends to be God. He hides truth from humans, but sparks of Sophia in some humans fill them with an urge to return to the Pleroma (divine realm) where they belong.” (www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1-300/gnosticism)
Again this statement does not agree with God’s Word. God created the world and everything in it and it was good. God is incapable of creating sin. The devil was one of God’s Highest angels and he became jealous of God. Because of this, God cast Him and his angels out God’s presence and the devil and his angels were permitted to roam the earth. Satan deceived Adam and Eve, but it was no surprise to God. His Wisdom to save through a Savior was planned before all time and eternity. God does not hide His wisdom in Christ; many people refuse to accept it because like satan, they prefer to be autonomous and not submit to God’s dominion.