Colossians – To the Growing (Colossians 1:9-11, Part 1)

Paul wrote to the saints at Colosse as faithful brethren, but also growing Christians. I want to look at Paul’s description of these growing believers in two ways: 1. Knowing God’s Will. 2. Doing God’s Will. 

  1. Knowing God’s Will

One of the men who visited our church in Brimpton a couple of times grew prize-winning pumpkins as a hobby. One year he grew a pumpkin that weighed 560lbs! That kind of pumpkin draws attention to itself. As he drove home from the competition with the pumpkin in a trailer he noticed flashing blue lights behind him and quickly heard a siren. He dutifully pulled over, wondering what traffic law he had broken. The policemen explained they were so intrigued by the pumpkin they just had to stop him to see it up close! They took photos with it to post on social media. 

That kind of growth took deliberate effort! If Christians want to grow in their faith it takes the same deliberate effort. 

Paul knew that one key to growth is knowing God’s will and so he prayed the Colossian believers would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. 

It is worth noting that a key theme in Colossians is that the believer is complete in Christ (2:10). Knowing and surrendering to God’s will brings fulfillment, completion, to a Christian. 

So, let’s break some of these words and phrases down before we put them back together and find the meaning and application. 

The word “filled” means to cram, to complete, and was often translated as “fulfilled”. It has the idea of filling to the top and then leveling off. 

Wisdom comes from the word sophia, it means the general principles of discernment, the tools by which we identify right and wrong. 

Spiritual understanding is the word sunesis and refers to wisdom or discernment in particular circumstances, in this case, the Christian life. 

And it may help to think of in meaning through, “…that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will through all wisdom and spiritual…” The literal meaning is “in”, but I think this helps with understanding the meaning. 

Anyway, this wisdom and spiritual understanding are what lead to being filled with the knowledge of His will. God’s will is manifest in or through wisdom and spiritual understanding.

In mind here are not just the day to day issues of an individual’s life, but the deeper realization of God’s redemptive plan in Jesus Christ. 

How then, do we gain wisdom and spiritual understanding? Simply put, it is through knowing God’s Word, through knowing Him. Keep these truths in mind and meditate on Proverbs 1 for a moment.

If we spend time reading God’s Word and communicating with Him in prayer and praise, then we will grow in wisdom and spiritual understanding and we will enjoy and be empowered and protected by this experience of being filled with the knowledge of His will. 

If you know God through His Word, then it naturally follows as the dawn follows the night, that we will know His will. And if we are filled with the knowledge of His will, then we will understand what it means to be “complete in Him”. 

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