Sunday, January 15, 2017

Colossians 1:9

This following section (verses 9 – 14) contains a wonderful prayer by Paul for the Colossian believers. Since the time that the report came to Paul and Timothy about their faith and love (see verse 4) they had on a daily basis prayed for the believers. He was praying for them to have “super” knowledge, not the gnosis of the Gnostic heretics, but of the will of God. The word he uses here is epignosis, this can be translated as a exact or full knowledge. It carries with it a picture of a greater participation by the knower in the object being known.[1] He wants this to be in wisdom[2] (sophia) and understanding (sunesis, the Greek word means a flowing together, comprehension)[3]. The latter of these two words is modified by the Greek adjective pnuematiko, which can be translated as belonging to the spirit, or spiritual things.[4]

Paul wants to make an emphatic difference between the so-called knowledge of the Gnostic heretics trying to destroy the true faith of the Colossian believers and what is really true. Paul wants the believers to be able to have the ability to apply spiritual principles to practical situations.[5] He wants them to seek all knowledge from the mind of God and thus apply wisdom in practical ways of life. This would come from Christian instructions and insight. The cure for the Gnostic heresy is more knowledge of God’s Will and in turn, obedience to His Will.[6]

Prayer: Heavenly Fahter, give me the insight and wisdome to seek what is the real truth in this world. Knowledge just for knowledge's sake is futile. May I gain knowledge of Your Will and be able to practically apply it in my life.

[1] W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 348. 
[2] The word wisdom appears six times in this short letter. Pau’s writings are not just theological treatises, but are designed to be practical in the life of believers. It is not a theoretical exposition, but experimental and practical. 
[3] George Wigram, New Englishman’s Greek-English Concordance & Lexicon (Lafayette, Indiana: Sovereign Grace Publishers, 1982). Page 815. 
[4] George Wigram, New Englishman’s Greek-English Concordance & Lexicon (Lafayette, Indiana: Sovereign Grace Publishers, 1982). Page 726. 
[5] Allen, Clifton J., ed. The Broadman Bible Commentary. Vol. 11. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1971. Page 224. 
[6] Falwell, Jerry, ed. Liberty Bible Commentary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983. Page 2455.

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