Having heard of their faith in Jesus Christ and love for others (1:4), Paul informs the church at Colosse that he often prays for them and then he reveals his prayers for them. First, Paul prays that they would “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Since the way God reveals Himself to us is through His written word, Paul is challenging them to allow Scripture to bring wisdom (knowledge of Scripture) and understanding (the application of that knowledge). Secondly, Paul prays they will “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” When a person understands God’s will, it should lead to an outworking of His will through our actions and attitudes. Love for God and His word results in following His ways. James 2:26 declares that “faith without works is dead.” Next, Paul prays they would be “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.” Paul knew that people who choose to follow Jesus Christ are often met with trials and troubles. Because of this knowledge, Paul desires them to evidence patience and longsuffering during hardship. All of us will face difficult circumstances, but God provides patience for us to endure. Lastly, Paul prays that the Christians at Colosse would give “thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” The only way we are “qualified” is through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, where He took our punishment for sin. The “inheritance” we receive is eternal life in God’s kingdom and salvation from death and hell. Paul expands on this thought by declaring that God has “delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin.” What an incredible thing to realize! The fact that we have redemption means we were slaves to sin but the blood of Christ purchased our pardon from death and hell as well as the forgiveness of sin. In Colossians 1:15-18 , Paul begins to combat the church’s failure to believe that Jesus Christ was God. In the introduction to this book, I talked about the influences of Gnosticism on the church and the compromising effects it had on the deity of Jesus Christ. Paul unapologetically states that Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Jesus is a perfect image of God because He IS God in human flesh. The fact that He is the “firstborn over all creation” does not mean He was born, but rather superior over all creation. Verse 16 says that “all things were created through Him and for Him…He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Since Jesus is God, He created all things for His glory and He sustains it by His power. Jesus Christ is the head of the church and therefore provides direction for it. Paul also states that “He is the firstborn of the dead”, meaning His resurrection was the first of those who would also be resurrected and never again die. Jesus’ redemption of sinners (1:13-14), authority over all creation (1:15-17), headship of the church (1:18a), and resurrection (1:18b) exist so that “He may have the preeminence.” Jesus Christ is truly God and therefore deserves all our worship!
Dear God, I realize Jesus is God and I desire to give Him first place in my life. Help me to realize that He alone deserves my worship so may I never give my attention to anyone else.