READ IT SLOW: Highlighting points of Guidance in Colossians
PART 1: “Living Worthy of Christ”
Colossians (Kol-ah-shuns) is an epistle from the Apostle Paul and Timothy that speaks directly to living after the nature of Jesus Christ. I would like to take some time in sharing my thoughts in studying this writing over the next several posts. I must emphasize this is not a verse by verse commentary, but rather some thoughts I am offering where I see points of guidance in the text.
I hope it serves you, is edifying, and helps you in bringing honor to the Lord Jesus. Please join me as we read and remember you can leave remarks in the comment section on this page.
Read Slowly. Read with purpose. Don’t rush.
Colossians 1:1-14 (ESV)
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. 3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing – as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. 9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Let’s concentrate a bit on what we read. I want to give some focus on the guidance and encouragement Paul proclaims. After Paul tells us who he is, one sent by Christ (an apostle), he gives thanks to God for hearing they are living good Christian lives.
Paul’s introduction quickly gets into what is on his mind… living in Christ.
He says he is thankful to hear that the Colossians are living for God. That means, as he puts it, they are embracing their faith in Christ with love towards all the saints. Love is the indicator of genuine faith. Jesus commands us to love and warns that love that grows cold will suffer loss. To live as a good Christian is to love others. If not, what you’re doing is not Christian.
We should ask the question… would we receive such praise? Don’t skip over this question. Think about it a few moments.
In verse 9, Paul speaks about praying for “knowledge of His will.” Prayer for knowledge of His will (God’s will) is not simply knowledge of how a thing works, but of God as a person and His very nature. Those who seek God with all their heart will not have a love that grows cold. Such knowledge of God is where spiritual wisdom comes into view. When a person is regenerated, they come to understand life anew because they have encountered God and in knowing Him begin to behave with the attributes of the Lord. This is more than just doing what you are told. There is no forced obedience with God, but rather voluntary compliance supported by God’s people with prayer and action through God’s gift (Holy Spirit) and thereby built on answered prayer.
Pause for a moment to reflect on that last sentence.
The purpose of such knowledge and wisdom is to help in living worthy of the gift given to the Christian. The Holy Spirit is that gift Who alone knows and reveals the heart of God. So, Paul’s prayer is meant to increase what God has already given. I must point out the depth of God has no limit. The relationship in coming to know God can and for those who embrace Him will go on forever…