Summary: An expository presntation of Colissians 1:9-14.
Paul’s Most Powerful Statement
Rev. Phillip A. Wright
1. Paul and the Church at Colosse (1:9-14): The Colossian church was not a product of Paul’s ministry. Rather in the earlier passages, Paul mentioned that he heard about them from another believer. Since hearing about their faith he began to pray for them and wrote the letter to encourage and instruct them in the faith.
These verses which we will cover today and next week represent what has been called the greatest single Christological statement ever written by the Apostle Paul.
I want to point out that some of Paul’s letters are corrective in nature. Not here.
These are among Paul’s greatest verses and they are written to encourage and grow new believers in the faith.
Among the greatest commandments of Christ is the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20). The imperative in that statement is to make disciples. That is what Paul is doing in these passages.
He does this by appealing to the church with reason and explanation and then presents the Supremacy of Christ in clear, bold, and very profound language. This is making disciples. He
is teaching, reproving, encouraging – kind of like all of us should be doing every day.
So lets begin a two week look at those very powerful verses you have heard me allude to so any times.
A. Paul’s appeal to the church (1:9-12)
1. Be filled with knowledge of God (1:9).
a. The word behind the verb to be filled is a word we have looked at in the past which means to be filled, make full; bring to completion; complete, accomplish, finish; make fully known, proclaim fully.
c. Therefore Paul’s prayer is that they be filled by the Holy Spirit, they cannot acquire this by knowledge; it is given to them by faith.
d. Application: The same applies to us. How many strange ideas have we all heard out of people claiming that it comes from Scripture?
e. Scripture addresses such false prophets in Jeremiah 23:16; “Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, Not from the mouth of the LORD.” (NKJV)
f. God’s love and wisdom is given you by God and enhanced and polished by your study 2 Tim 2:15; ”Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (NKJV)
g. You know many of us memorized that verse with the word study in it. That Greek word is in the NT four times and is not translated as study by another version in any of the verses including KJV. Why is that? The KJV will call the word study here but not elsewhere. The word there means to "do one’s best, spare no effort, work hard."
i. The other places it is used is: 2 Tim 4:9,21 & Titus 3:12
j. From reading those it seems clear that Paul is not telling us to simply study but rather to be diligent or to me better yet is; make it a priority in your life.
k. Now certainly one way to do that is to study, but do not fail in growth because KJV says that study will cause you to be approved of God. Dig deeper for the gold in that verse.
l. Without God however, you will not glean anything from Scripture.
m. That’s the reason so many truly intelligent people can read the Bible and not get anything out of it.
n. Transition: So, not only do we need to be filled with the knowledge of God – we need to live a worthy life.
2. Live a worthy life (1:10a).
a. Please God in every way (1:10a).
i. Make living a worthy life a priority.
ii. This would include in our deeds and thought life as well.
iii. Do you say one thing to a person’s face and then say something else behind their back? Are you a gossip?
iv. Are you a diligent person?
b. Bear much fruit for God (1:10b).
i. In the Greek that is all one word which means – Be productive.
ii. Might I recall to your mind the verse which tells us the fields are white unto the harvest?
c. Be strengthened by God (1:11).
i. In verse 11, the words for strengthened and might are different forms of the same word.
ii. Contrary to what you may think this is not a command: be strengthened.
iii. It is a passive, present, participle – that type of language says; allow this to come upon you and thus you derive your strength from God not from your ability. God is the “powder keg” not you or I.