Sunday, August 5, 2018

Colossians Day 5: Wisdom

Day 5 ~ Wisdom

"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."  Colossians 1:9-14

For today's study I want to dig into Paul's prayer for the Colossians. It contains our word for today and gives us a sense of the context for Paul's use of this word throughout the book. I'm going to go through this passage in the manner which I use most often to begin observation of a passage: As a reporter. Reporter's ask questions that enable them to see clearly - who, what, where, when, why, how. Walk with me through this passage. Included are photos of my study notes. The words marked, circled or underlined with colors are words that are on our list.

Paul begins this passage with why he continually prays for the Colossians, and the answer is found in the previous passage (1:3-8). The report Paul received from Epaphras about their faith and love has prompted Paul to keep them in his prayers.

Why does Paul pray for them and what does he ask God? The main point of Paul's prayer is that they would be "filled with the knowledge of His (God's) will".

Fullness will be one of our words in the days ahead, but for now we will get a brief understanding of it in order to grasp what Paul is praying here. The Greek word Paul uses here for "fill" has the sense of being filled completely full; abounding in fullness. It has the sense of completeness, fulfillment. So Paul is asking God to completely and abundantly fill them with the knowledge of God's will. Remember, we saw yesterday that the knowledge Paul speaks of here is that which is gained through personal experience, through relationship.

How does Paul intend for them to be filled with the knowledge of God's will? Through all wisdom and understanding. How? Through the Spirit God has given them.

Why does Paul want them to be filled with the knowledge of God's will? SO THAT 1.) they will live a life worthy of the Lord, and 2.) please Him in all ways. Here is the bottom line: Knowledge for the sake of knowledge alone is vain, it's empty - it holds no meaning other than to puff us up. We are often not changed simply by knowing something. Experiential knowledge, however, leads to obedience and results in life change. Knowledge about God's will should bring about a changed way of life, and this pleases God.

Remember in the introductory post I mentioned that the Colossians were in danger of losing their focus as a result of some false teaching in their church. Paul's prayer for them to have experiential knowledge of God through the wisdom and understanding the Spirit gives, is meant to keep them grounded in Christ. Commentator Robert Wall says this:
"At the root, the Colossian crisis is a crisis of knowing God. And so it is with every challenge to a congregation's spiritual formation."
We need to cooperate with the Spirit and grow in the knowledge of God's will through the wisdom and understanding He gives us. And that knowledge of God's will should be evident in the manner in which we live.

So what does it look like to live in a manner worthy of the Lord? Paul gives us four ways that this worthy living will show in our life:
1. Our lives will bear fruit. We will pursue "good works" - serving others, loving others, sharing the good news.
2. We will continue to grow in knowledge. Life long learning of who Christ is and how He calls us to live.
3.  We will depend on God's power, not our own, and depend on Him to strengthen us. This will result in endurance, patience and joy.
4. And finally, we will live in gratitude, continually giving the Father thanks, first and foremost for our salvation through His Son.

Paul goes on to say that the Father has qualified us. For what? He has made it possible for us to share in the inheritance of His holy people.

How? He rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His Son - the kingdom of light.

How? Through the redemption His Son provides - the forgiveness of our sins which results in reconciliation with God, power to live in ways that please Him, and eternal life. This is what we inherit!

Through this letter Paul will continually draw the Colossians focus, and ours, back to Christ "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3

Wisdom: 1:9, 1:28, 2:3, 2:23, 3:16, 4:5

Please share your creative responses to today's word and Bible verses in the Words Facebook group or on Instagram using #colossianswords.

#foundonbrighton #everydayjournals2018

1 comment:

  1. Mary, thank you for this excellent teaching on the word WISDOM! You are a gifted teacher and artist. Thanks for sharing your talents with us. God bless you!