Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | August 28, 2006

Colossians – Part 3

How do you pray for others?  What things do you pray for? 

Colossian – Part 3: Introduction (Paul’s Prayer for the Colossians) 

1.       Why does God hear or even consider our prayers?

2.       Why do we pray? 

   Prayer for them (Ch 1:9-12) For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 

The Apostle shares with the Colossians his prayer for them, which he indicates is continuously offered on their behalf.  The entire petition is appealing that the believers would be centered on God and His glory.  Paul prays that the Colossians would be filled with the knowledge of His will in spiritual wisdom and understanding.  The revealed will of God is found in His Word, and is sufficient to equip the man of God in spiritual wisdom and understanding.  The results of being filled with the knowledge of God’s revealed will causes us to behave in a godly manner.  This is Paul’s prayer for the believers at Colossae, rather than the vain philosophies of the heretics infiltrating the Church.  His prayer is that they seek godliness, righteousness and truth, manifesting the fruits of the Spirit that they would not be swayed by the trickery of men. Again he appeals to thanksgiving to God the Father, which is the antithesis of grumbling.  We notice through Scripture that the children of Israel many times grumbled, also the Pharisees and Sauducess constantly were grumbling against our Lord.  This behavior is not pleasing to God and should be avoided by those called to walk with Him.  Then he reminds them who is responsible for bringing them into the covenant community, none other than by God’s gracious choice.  We have not obtained our inheritance by our own qualifications, but those imputed to us by Christ our Savior and Lord.   

The Apostle through his prayers and admonitions lets the believers know that there is hope for their situation.  He is interceding for them that they would be fortified in their faith and able to stand on the foundation laid in Christ, which is the Apostles’ teaching and writings.  Furthermore, it is our gracious God and Father who is in control of all things and able to strengthen and preserve His people.                

3.       What do you think of Paul’s prayer and intercession for the Colossians? 

4.       Isn’t it nice to know when someone is praying for you?  Who is always interceding for us on our behalf? 

5.       Where do we find God’s will?  How are we filled with it? 

For this cause also:  “For those who think that they have already attained everything that is worthy of being known, despise and disdain everything farther that is presented to them.  Hence he removes from the Colossians an impression of this nature, lest it should be a hindrance in the way of their cheerfully making progress, and allowing what had been begun in them to receive an additional polish.  But what knowledge does he desire in their behalf?  The knowledge of the divine will, by which expression he sets aside all inventions of men, and all speculations that are at variance with the word of God.  For his will is not to be sought anywhere else than in his word.   John Calvin, Commentary on Colossians 

6.       How do you think the comment “in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” is intended to impact the Colossians?  Where or how were they seeking to find God’s Will?

7.       What part of Scripture primarily instructs us in knowing God’s Will for us?  Is it the Prophecy (i.e. Isaiah, Daniel or Ezekiel), the Law (i.e. the Ten Commandments), Wisdom Literature (i.e. Job or Psalms), or Historical Narratives (i.e. story of Abraham)?

8.       What are some examples of what God wants us to do? 

That ye may walk worthy of God:  “In the first place he teaches, what is the end of spiritual understanding, and for what purpose we ought to make proficiency in God’s school – that we may walk worthy of God, that is, that it may be manifest in our life, that we have not in vain been taught by God…Farther, he admonishes us, that if we would walk worthy of God, we must above all things take heed that we regulate our whole course of life according to the will of God, renouncing our own understanding, and bidding farewell to all the inclinations of our flesh.”  John Calvin, Commentary on Colossians 

9.     Is it difficult to seek to be pleasing to God?

10.   How does the knowledge of God help us?

11.   Do you think the more you know about God would help you to better seek to please him?  Why or Why not?

12.   Here is an interesting quote given in the context of giving thanks: 

Giving Thanks:  “For this was the only remedy for fortifying the Colossians against all the snares, by which the false Apostles endeavored to entrap them – to understand accurately what Christ was… For Christ alone makes all other things suddenly vanish.  Hence there is nothing that Satan so much endeavors to accomplish as to bring on mists with the view of obscuring Christ, because he knows, that by this means the way is opened up for every kind of falsehood.”  John Calvin, Commentary on Colossians 

13.   How does Satan seek to obscure Christ?

14.   By whom and how do we share in the inheritance of the saints in light? 

Meet to be partaker of the inheritance of the saints:  “For we are born children of wrath, exiles from God’s kingdom.  It is God’s adoption that alone makes us meet.  Now, adoption depends on an unmerited election.  The Spirit of regeneration is the seal of adoption.  He adds, in light, that there might be a contrast – as opposed to the darkness of Satan’s kingdom.”  John Calvin, Commentary on Colossians 

15.  Is Christ in these passages?  If so, where or how? 

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