Bible Study Colossians

Knowledge of His Will (Colossians 1:9-12)

background: women writing in a notebook text overlay: knowledge of His Will Colossians 1:9-12

In this lesson, we will look a little more deeply at Paul’s prayer for the Colossians, specially at the knowledge of His Will. Paul, who has not stopped praying for them (v. 9); includes in his prayer the following requests:

  • May they be filled with the knowledge of God’s will,
  • That they walk worthy of the Lord (working and bearing fruit)
  • Increasing in the knowledge of God
  • Strengthened by the power of the Glory of God

Why does Paul pray these words for them? How should this prayer encourage and move us? Each part of this prayer guides us as to what we should long for in our lives, while charging us with hope. 

Knowledge of His Will

Verse 9 strikes me, and we will see it in more detail: “that they may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” 

By being filled with this knowledge, we will be able to walk worthy of the Lord. What struck me as I read this prayer is that Paul prays that they be filled not only with the knowledge of God, but with the knowledge of God’s will.

In Genesis 1:26-28; we read how man and woman were created in the image of the trinity. They received dominion over creation and the commandment to multiply. 

The Lord supplied them with everything they needed to fulfill that commandment, and we even see in Genesis 2:16-17 when he even warns them what they should not do: “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 

You are probably thinking, yes, I already know the story of the fall, sin and its consequences, but stay with me for a moment in these chapters of Genesis. 

In chapter 3:1-5 we read the account of the conversation between Eve and the serpent; Eve is tempted and convinced by the idea of ??being like God, of knowing good and evil. 

Eve, who knows God, whom she speaks within the garden. From whom, she has heard about her role and what she has been sent to do. Convinced that there is something more to know apart from God, Eve takes the fruit of the tree and eats.

We have everything in Christ

As I read Paul’s prayer for the Colossians and Eve’s account, I begin to see the similarities between them, and I also begin to see a reflection of my life. The Colossians, who have heard and believed the Word of Truth, are tempted by teachings that make them think there is something more to know; that there is something else to do. 

Just like Eve, they are giving in to seeking to know other things apart from Christ and his work on the cross. Likewise, I begin to see my reflection of the times that I am tempted and convinced that there is something more that I must do, something more that I must have; when I have already heard and believed the Word of truth.

As I read Paul’s prayer: “that they be filled with the knowledge of His will.” My heart grieves when I recognize the times that I want to know so many other things and I take my eyes off God’s will. 

Crying out to the Lord to fill me, to fill us with that knowledge; but how do we receive that knowledge? Let’s fast-forward for a moment to chapter 2:8-10 of the letter to the Colossians; where Paul reminds us not to be deceived by vain philosophy because in Christ resides all the fullness of God. When we are in Christ, we are made whole and in Him, we have everything we need.

Word Art of Colossians 1:10 So as to walk in a manner worthy of the lords
Knowledge of His Will (Colossians 1:9-12) 4

In Christ

Let us turn our gaze to the life of Christ here on earth, and we will see how for him, the most important thing was to fulfill the Will of the Father.

  • John 4:34: Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”
  • John 6:38: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
  • Luke 22:42: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

Certainly, these expressions are full of confidence in God’s will, and it should be our longing that we may know God’s will; “what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

In Christ, we can be filled with the knowledge of the Will of God; in order to once again fulfill our purpose of bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 2:10). 

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. 

Hebrews 13:20-21

Later, we will see the changes that must occur in our actions and attitudes when we put our faith in Christ and are raised with Him. We will be able to better understand why Paul’s prayer for the Colossians includes that they be strengthened by the power of the Glory of God; for it is He who enables us to make this a reality in our lives.

Conclusion

The Colossians were being fascinated and convinced by vain teachings that led them away from the Word of Truth. On many occasions and in many multiple ways, we too can become or have been fascinated by vain teachings or by vanities that distance us from the Truth.  Things that lead us to yearn to know something beyond the Will of God. Join me in praying like Paul so that we are filled with the knowledge of God’s will, that like Jesus we yearn to fulfill His will and not ours; so that we give him the honor due to his name.

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