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Summary: Last (29) Message in our study of Colossians review the entire letter.

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Chico Alliance Church

“A Letter to Live By”

Introduction

We have been studying Paul’s letter to the Colossians for nearly a year now. Paul wrote to this local church family to communicate God’s truth and his heart. He wanted them to know that Jesus Christ is supreme over all and sufficient for all so that they would, by faith, live pleasing to the Lord and proclaim the excellencies of Him who called them out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Greetings 1:1-2

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.”

I. Paul exhibits powerful prayer 1:3-12

A. Paul offers sincere thanksgiving to the Father 3-8

1. Focus of thanksgiving – the Father

“We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”

2. Frequency of thanksgiving – continual

“praying always for you”

3. Factor of Thanksgiving – the Colossian’s belief

a) Epaphras shared the Gospel

“just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant,

who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf.”

b) The Colossians received the Gospel

Paul prayed “since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth”

c) The Colossians responded in faith in Christ and love for each other

since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel, which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing,

even as it has been doing in you also

d) Epaphras shared their fruitful response with Paul

“ and he(Epaphras) also informed us of your love in the Spirit”

e) Paul responded with prayer and thanksgiving

“We give thanks to God praying always for you”

B. Paul offers specific petitions to the Father 9-12

1. The petition – that they be controlled by a knowledge of God’s will

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled (controlled by, energized, directed) by the knowledge of His will

in all spiritual wisdom and understanding”

Our life operates by a belief system. What we really believe dictates how we live. Paul prays that the lives of these believers be driven by an experiential knowledge of God’s will. He wants them to be so filled with a knowledge of the person and purposes and pleasure of God that it affects everything they do. He even specifies the desired product of this life-directing knowledge.

2. The desired product – a worthy walk

“so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord”

a) Please God in all respects

“to please Him in all respects”

b) Bear fruit in EVERY good work

“bearing fruit in every good work”

c) Increase in the knowledge of God

“and increasing in the knowledge of God”

3. The power – “his glorious might”

“strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might”

By whose power are we seeking to live the Christian live? We are in an age of powerlessness. We are not experiencing what it means to be energized by the supernatural power of the indwelling Spirit. Paul prays that these believers be strengthened according to his glorious might. This is the same power and energy that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. It is this strength and power and energy that God provides and is available to every believer for a particular purpose. Paul also prays for the purpose in this powerful prayer.

4. The ultimate purpose

a) “Attain unto All steadfastness”

“for the attaining of all steadfastness”

b) “Attain unto All long-suffering”

“for the attaining of all patience”

Paul prays for strength to hang in there for the long haul. Paul prays for this supernatural strength to enable these believers to suffer long in the midst of all kinds of trial and tribulation.

5. The motivation – deep gratitude for God’s work

“joyously giving thanks to the Father,

who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”

The motivation for this kind of worthy walk is based in the wonderful work that the loving father accomplished on our behalf. The basis of our walk should not be terror, guilt or any desire to earn God's favor. Our motivation to walk worthy and please God should arise out of a deep gratitude for allowing us to be included in his wonderful kingdom.

II. Paul exalts God’s terrific transfer program 1:13-23

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