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Sermon Outlines - Sermons From Colossians - Paul's Prayer For The Colossians (1:9-14)


                     "THE EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS"
                Paul's Prayer For The Colossians (1:9-14)
INTRODUCTION
1. In the epistles of Paul, we customarily find him telling his readers
   what he prayed for on their behalf
2. So it is in his epistle to the Colossians...
   a. Though he had not met many of them personally, he had heard of
      their faith and love  - 1:3-8
   b. Which prompted him to pray unceasingly for them
3. For what did he pray?  The answer is found in Co 1:9-14, and by
   closely studying this passage...
   a. We can learn not only what Paul desired for the Colossians
   b. But also what God would desire for ALL Christians, including us
      today!
[As we examine this prayer of Paul, let's do so with this in mind:  
THIS IS WHAT GOD DESIRES OF US AS WELL!
First, God desires that we be...]
I. FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL IN ALL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL
   UNDERSTANDING (9)
   A. NOTICE SOME KEY WORDS...
      1. "FILLED"
         a. Not just a small measure
         b. But satiated, with a full measure
         -- It is not God's desire that we try to "just get by with as
            little as necessary"
      2. "THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL"
         a. This is what God desires us to be filled with
         b. The Greek word for "knowledge" in this passage is EPIGNOSIS
            1) Knowledge which is the result of practical and personal
               experience
            2) I.e., not just academic or intellectual knowledge
         c. Thus, our knowledge of God's will is to be something we have
            come by through practice and application in our lives
      3. "IN ALL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING"
         a. To possess a knowledge of God's will in ALL WISDOM requires
            prayer - Ja 1:5
         b. To possess a knowledge of God's will with SPIRITUAL
            UNDERSTANDING requires reading the word - Ep 3:3-5
         -- Therefore, prayer and Bible study are essential elements for
            the Christian!
   B. WHY IS BEING FILLED WITH SUCH KNOWLEDGE SO IMPORTANT?
      1. Because God's people have always been destroyed by a lack of
         knowledge - cf. Hos 4:6
      2. It is essential to our renewal in becoming like Christ - Co 3:
         8-10
[Is this prayer being answered in OUR lives?  Are we doing anything to
assure that it is?
Next, notice from Paul's prayer that it is evidently God's desire that
we...]
II. HAVE A WALK WORTHY OF THE LORD, FULLY PLEASING HIM (10-14)
   A. THIS IS THE OBJECTIVE OF BEING FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S
      WILL
      1. To conduct ourselves in a manner WORTHY of the Lord - Ep 4:1
         a. The Lord we serve, and the calling we have received, is
            certainly a "worthy" one!
         b. Our conduct should be one to honor Christ, not shame Him!
      2. To conduct ourselves in a manner FULLY PLEASING HIM
         a. There is conduct which displeases Christ - Lk 6:46
         b. But conduct coming from one who is first FILLED with the
            knowledge of God's will is more like to FULLY please Him!
            (note the play on words)
   B. CONDUCT WORTHY OF THE LORD, FULLY PLEASING HIM, IS ONE IN WHICH
      WE ARE:
      1. "BEING FRUITFUL IN EVERY GOOD WORK" (10)
         a. Not just "one", but "every" good work - cf. Ti 2:14; 3:1
         b. For this we have been "created in Christ Jesus" - Ep 2:10
         c. Why?  So that God may be glorified - Mt 5:16
         d. What sort of good works - cf. Mt 25:37-40; Ja 1:27
         -- Are we being fruitful?
      2. "INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD (10)
         a. We need to grow in the knowledge of God HIMSELF, not just
            His will - cf. Jer 9:23-24
         b. How can one truly know God?
            1) Through CREATION - Ps 19:1; Ro 1:18-20
            2) Through inspired REVELATION (e.g., the Psalms and the
               Prophets)
            3) But especially through JESUS - Jn 14:7-9; Co 2:9
         -- Are we daily increasing in this knowledge of God?
      3. "STRENGTHENED WITH ALL MIGHT, ACCORDING TO HIS GLORIOUS
         POWER" (11)
         a. It is God's desire that we be strong in our living for Him 
            - 2 Ti 1:7-8
         b. There is "glorious power" available to the Christian, of
            which Paul often wrote:
            1) He experienced it in his own life - Ph 4:13
            2) He wanted others to know about it - Ep 1:15-20
            3) He identified it with the working of the Spirit in the
               inner man - Ep 3:16
            4) He describes its greatness in Ep 3:20
         c. What is the purpose of such power?  Notice our text...
            1) "for all PATIENCE and LONGSUFFERING with JOY" (is this
               not the "fruit" the Spirit is supposed to produce? - cf.
               Ga 5:22-23)
            2) I.e., so that even as we experience trials in this life,
               we may do so with joyful perseverance!
         -- Are we experiencing this strength which God gives to those
            who do His will?
      4. "GIVING THANKS TO THE FATHER" (12-14)
         a. Christians should always have the "attitude of gratitude"
            - 1 Th 5:18
         b. In our text, Paul mentions several REASONS TO BE THANKFUL...
            1) God has "qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance
               of the saints in the light" - cf. 1 Pe 1:3-5
            2) God has "delivered us from the power of darkness" - cf.
               Ep 2:1-5
            3) God has "translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His
               love"
               a) In Whom we have "redemption through His blood"
               b) In Whom we have "the forgiveness of sins" - cf. Re
                  1:5-6
         -- Are we ever giving thanks to the Father for these wonderful
            blessings?
CONCLUSION
1. Such was the prayer of Paul for the Colossians; what can we learn
   from it?
   a. What God desires of us as well!
   b. What kind of conduct that is necessary to be fully pleasing to the
      Lord!
2. May this prayer of Paul be one...
   a. That we ask for OURSELVES
   b. That we ask for OUR BRETHREN
   c. Indeed, that we desire for ALL!
3. Have you been "QUALIFIED" to be a partaker of the inheritance of the
   saints?
   a. Has God "DELIVERED" you from the power of darkness?
   b. Has He "TRANSLATED" you into the kingdom of His Son?
   -- Through an obedient faith (He 5:9) and baptism into Christ (Jn
      3:5; Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38) on your part, God is willing to do so to
      you today!
 


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