The purpose of the letter to the Colossians is to emphasize that Christians learn Jesus Christ and then walk in Him. The last two days, we have been studying how to study the letter of Colossians and how to unpack its information.
We have arrived at our selected text – 1:9-12. With all of that in our background, we now ask what is the meaning and significance of this text?
Verse 9 begins, “For this reason…,” which points us backward to see for what reason? When we start in verse 3, we learn that Paul has prayed for the Colossians “always,” after hearing of their faith and love (verse 4). His prayer was for their hope that was laid up as a reward for them in heaven (vs 5). That hope is available to them through the indwelling Christ (vs 27) – their “hope of glory.”
They had heard about that hope through the Gospel (vs 5), which had been spreading throughout the whole world, bearing fruit in the lives of everyone (vs 6). They had heard specifically the Gospel message from Epaphras (vs 7).
Now, with all that in mind, read closely 1:9-12. In verse 9, Paul reiterates that he is praying for the saints in Colossae. Verse 9 also shows us the purpose of Paul’s prayer – “that they may be filled with the knowledge of His will.” Remember the theme verse (2:6-7)? That knowledge is to be accompanied by “all wisdom” and “spiritual understanding.” We could do more study on what Paul means by “wisdom” and “spiritual understanding” but I think we probably already have a working knowledge of those concepts.
The purpose of this “knowledge,” Paul writes in verse 10 is that the saints in Colossae “may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and [again] increasing in the knowledge of God.” Remember the theme? Proper knowledge = proper walk.
Verse 11 describes what we have in Christ if we walk in Him, based on our knowledge of His will. Highlight these words (NASV): “strengthened,” “all might,” “power.” The power to bear fruit, the power to live a godly life, the power to defeat Satan, the power to get to heaven comes from Jesus Christ, through the knowledge of His will. No where else is that power and knowledge found.
This strength we receive from the power of Christ, through knowledge of His will also leads us to steadfastness and patience. How do we bear fruit in this life? With patience and endurance.
Finally, verse 12 concludes the content of Paul’s prayer for the saints in Colossae – “with joy giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” So, Paul says here basically the same thing he has said in verse 5 – the hope laid up in heaven is the inheritance Christians will receive.
Now, let us apply that to ourselves today. First, I need to pray; the elders need to pray; you need to pray for one another that we will each be filled with the knowledge of Christ’s will so that we can walk worthy of Him and receive that inheritance.
Then, we each need to pray for ourselves and do what we can to walk worthy of Him and bear fruit. Knowledge of Christ’s will = fruit = inheritance.
YOU can understand God’s will for your life. Just follow the same pattern of study we have presented in these three lessons and you will bear fruit.
For more free Bible commentaries on Colossians visit www.abiblecommentary.com.