Online Bible Commentary
God’s Will for Christians
Colossians 1: 9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. (NKJV)
Paul begins this passage with the phrase “For this reason”, which refers to the previous passage. Paul is saying because of Epaphras’ report. Epaphras had brought a report of the church in Colosse that he had started. He told Paul of their faith, love, and hope, He also told of the false teaching of Gnosticism which was spreading throughout the church.
Paul writes that he and the other churches have not stopped praying for the church at Colosse since its inception. Their prayers are that they will know God’s will through the wisdom and understanding that can only come from God (v.9).
He then writes (vv.10-12) that the prayers cover two specific requests. These two components not only represent God’s will for the Colossians but also God’s will for all believers. The first is that we would “walk worthy of the Lord” (v.10a). The word translated “walk” is the Greek word “peripateo”. It means “to walk around”. Our word “peripatetic” is a derivative of this word. The meaning is that our daily walk should reflect the values of God. We should live lives that honor God.
The second component of God’s will for us is that we would be “fully pleasing Him” (v. 10b). Paul then gives us four ways that we can please God.
First, he writes that we should bear fruit in every good work (v. 10c). Our work for God should be productive work. It should strengthen His kingdom in some way. We all have a spiritual gift that we can use in His work, to glorify Him. Discover your spiritual gift and use it for His glory. Some of the spiritual gifts are as evangelist, pastor, teacher, healer, helper or administrator (1 Cor. 12:28). Helpers of all kinds are especially needed in the church.
The second way we please God is by “increasing in the knowledge of God” (v.10d). This has to do with giving of our time and resources in knowing God. We learn about God through investing in prayer, Bible reading, church, parachurch ministries such as this one, Christian resources, and fellowship with other believers. We grow in the knowledge of God partly so that we will not be deceived by false teaching, such as the Gnosticism that threatened the church at Colosse.
The third way we please God is by growing in the power of God (v.11a). When we allow the power of God, the Holy Spirit, to work in and through us, we are strengthened. We allow this power by not quenching the power of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit is quenched by sin in our lives. His power gives us “patience and longsuffering with joy” The word translated “long sufferring” is the Greek word “hypomone” which also means “perseverance.” As Christians, we must persevere through doubt, discouragement, frustration, disfavor, and even persecution. We must persevere, remain faithful, through all of these difficulties. Faithfulness and patience are two of the fruit of the Holy Spirit that we receive when we become a Christian.
Lastly, Paul writes that we please God by having a thankful spirit (v.12). We are to give thanks to our Father in Heaven because he has “qualified” us Christians, through His grace, to join Him in Heaven someday.