Summary: Paul encouraged these believers with His words to begin this letter and then he offers encouragement in his prayer for them as a fellowship
October 03, 2012
Oak Park Baptist Church – Wed Bible Study Series
Colossians Bible Study
Colossians 1:9-14 [HCSB]
9For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. 11May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy 12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. 13He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. 14We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.
So far while studying this letter from Paul to the Colossian church we have learned about the author, which is Paul based on 1:1 and 4:18…
We also learned that the approx date was around 60-61AD because it is known as the “Prison Epistles” by Paul…believed to be written during his Roman imprisonment just prior to his death.
So what we can gather from this letter is that Paul is in prison and he has sent this letter to the church where he was NOT the founding member of the church in Colossae, but it is believed that Epaphras founded the church after he was converted under Paul in Ephesus…
So Paul is sending a letter to a church where they have never met him personally, but know of him by reputation. He knows they respect his authority as a leader within the church and so he uses this opportunity to teach them with this letter.
Then in v3-8 we learned of Paul’s concern, encouragement and love for the church in Colossae. He lifted them up in his greeting and that leads us to the passage we are going to study tonight as Paul continues in this line of thinking, but does so with a prayer…[show v9 here]
9For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you.
Here we find Paul establishing a basis for ALL of his teaching and that is the subject of prayer and how important Paul believed prayer was in the life of the believer!
Paul shared that they had heard the reports of this church and at that point they had began to pray for them and had not stopped… they were a fellowship of believers that Paul interceded to the throne of God… and he did so on a regular basis!
This was Paul’s custom… prayer for the churches and this was an encouragement to the believers in Colossae as well.
Can you imagine if our church rec’d a letter from Billy Graham that said… hey guys I have heard about what you are doing in New Orleans and I want you to know that I am praying for you regularly…
How excited would it be to hear a message like that from a Christian leader that we loved and respected? It would be a TREMENDOUS encouragement!
So this was Paul’s way of encouraging the believers in Colossae because he knew that he would have to also deal with some difficult teaching in the letter as well… so he starts it off with a great deal of encouragement!
But just what sort of prayer was it? Paul not only tells them that he is praying for them BUT Paul tells them in detail just what he is praying for… just what he hopes God to accomplish in their fellowship!
I believe I would call this directed encouragement! Look what he says over the next few verses beginning with the last part of v9:[show highlighted v9 here]
We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,
Here Paul is praying that they KNOW God’s will… I believe this is a 2 pronged approach by Paul. First he wants each believer to KNOW the will of God for their lives, but also Paul wants the fellowship as a whole to know and understand God’s will for the fellowship!
Praying that God would FILL them with the knowledge of His will… how can that happen! Well Paul had already addressed this on several occasions with many other churches. The most famous was his letter to the Roman churches some 5 yrs earlier.
Paul wrote to the church in Rome and told them to submit their bodies as living sacrifices and for them to NOT allow the world to shape or mold them, but instead allow God to fundamentally transform them… if they would do these things, then they would KNOW the will of God!