Ephesians; 1:4 – Elected to be blameless. The church presented blameless – Col 1:22.
Friday March 8, 2019
Col 1:9 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 [epignosis = full knowledge] of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
One can never underestimate the knowledge of the Lord and its understanding.
Hos 6:3, 6
So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord … For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
The use of epignosis is not so much all the knowledge, because no one ever reaches all the knowledge of Christ. Epignosis can refer to full knowledge that results in maturity (Eph 4:13). Here, as in many cases, it refers to true knowledge. It is knowledge of God’s will and Person from a clear and in depth teaching of scripture received humbly by one who loves God, as opposed to a superficial or casual knowledge received without humility, care, or love.
If there is no absolute truth then one wouldn’t be very cautious about false teaching. When one believes that there is no absolute truth than all that claim to be true will be considered to have some merit. But when one understands that there is a truth and is impressed with the nature and importance of it, one closely investigates all messages. False teaching had attacked and infiltrated the ranks at Colossae.
Col 2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face,
Col 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge [epignosis] of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself,
Col 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Right knowledge leads to right behavior. The truth from Scripture is imperative.
Phi 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,
Phi 1:10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless [aproskopos = not causing others to stumble] until the day of Christ;
“blameless” (Phi 1:10) – aproskopos = not causing others to stumble.
Phi 1:11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
We must have and understand the true knowledge as revealed by God. Then and only then can we live rightly.
Col 1:9 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,
Col 1:10 so that [because you are filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding] you may 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;
Being filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding is a prerequisite for increasing in the knowledge of God. We will always increase in knowledge when the true knowledge is what we study.
Now, with true knowledge and more true knowledge there is power.
Col 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might [better: “the might of His glory”], for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience;joyously [giving thanks to the Father]
Eph 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
Eph 1:20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
Col 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might [better: “the might of His glory”], for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously [giving thanks to the Father]
“steadfastness” – hupomone = (lit. “remaining under”) perseverance or patient enduring in all things.
“patience” – makrothumia = (lit. “long temper”) = longsuffering, forbearance.
Joyously somewhat hangs between two verses or two phrases. The NAS attaches it to “giving thanks,” but it is equally permissible for joyously to be attached to the preceding two words, steadfast and patient. Yet, since all go together in the life of the believer, meaning that we persevere and forbear with joy, and we persevere and forbear while joyously giving thanks.
Both humpomone and makrothumia were qualities esteemed by the Stoics, but in the NT it is associated with another quality not so characteristic of Stoicism – joyfulness. A Stoic in the stocks would have borne the discomfort calmly and uncomplainingly, but would he at the same time have been heard “singing hymns to God,” as Paul and Silas did in the Philippian town jail?
Makrothumia is often used in the context of forbearance with people, which makes sense since that is where it is most needed. I point out these two words because Paul does. They are synonyms, and Paul puts a spotlight on them. Our walking in a manner worthy of our calling, which is synonymous with the phrase “worthy of our Lord” has a great need of these two virtues.
I’d like to spend a bit of time on them before we return to our main passage. We have actually been learning about them recently.
Walking in the manner of election becomes wearisome as we fight the constant temptation of the flesh to selfishness.
Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
Gal 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Gal 6:9 And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.
Gal 6:10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
God’s will and work in us is to be constant daily. This means we are to obey and mature constantly daily.
Phi 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
Phi 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
We learned that verse 13 that the verbal words: it is, at work, to will, and to work: are all in the present tense. It is to be a constant, day in and day out life in which we obey, in humility, and bring to its completion the reason for our salvation, which is to be Christlike.
This is why perseverance and forbearance are so important. But remember, they must also be accomplished with joy and not grudgingly.
We must combine perseverance and forbearance with joy constantly through truth knowledge and the power and might of God’s glory.