Chapter 1:5b-14 (ESV) - Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Question to consider: How does knowledge produce faith in us?
Because of the hope we have in Christ Jesus, the tiny church in Colossae was overflowing in faith and love toward one another, and the very news of it from Epaphras elevated the spirits of Paul and his brothers who were waiting in Rome for Paul’s day in court, and they had been praying for them ever since to keep being filled with the knowledge and wisdom of Christ so that they would live in a manner worthy of the Lord. If this language seems familiar to you, it is because Paul had prayed for the same filling and walking for the church at Ephesus. Considering that the two letters were written around the same time by Timothy who conveyed the messages dictated to him by Paul, it is logical to think that there would be some consistency between them.
I once had lunch with a business associate of mine after a meeting with a shared client. Even though I’d never really had a full-blown conversation with him before about being a Christian, he said something that startled me at the time, “I wish I had your faith and the confidence that all this stuff was true.” Like the Colossians and Ephesians, I was fortunate to have people like the apostle Paul who prayed unceasingly for me to be transformed by the good news of Christ, and God was using even my “good works” in business to bear spiritual fruit for Him.
Ultimately our faith comes from the Father who in baptism delivers us from the domain of darkness and transfers us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, and so He deserves all praise and thanks. The means by which the Father strengthens our faith is through His word and His faithful people. Paul knew that the church at Colossae would continue to thrive if they continued to increase in knowledge of Christ and love for one another.
You may have noticed in these studies that I have a high view of the church in the life of the believer. If you have struggled with finding a good church or have been crushed by sour relationships in the church, I would encourage you to keep trying to get connected with a church home where you can faithfully serve and be filled with the knowledge and wisdom of Christ. No church is going to be perfect, but if the pastor faithfully preaches both Law and Gospel from God’s word, and there are people who use their gifts and talents to faithfully administer God’s grace to one another, cherish it. God will use it to help you grow closer to Him.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for redeeming us from our sins by Your Son and delivering us from darkness into Your marvelous light. Help us to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ and get connected to a body of believers so that we may overflow with faith and confidence in Christ. Amen.