Prayer for the Church
Col. 1:9 -12
Last Sunday, we learned about prayer and thanksgiving. We also talked about faith, love, and hope. The source of these three is the gospel, and the source of the gospel is God. The gospel has a worldwide effect and it bear fruit. The fruit are the converts whose transformed lives serve as a testimony of the new life in Christ. God uses human beings to share the gospel or the good news to people around us, and we have a responsibility to share the gospel of salvation. Today let’s talk about the content of Paul’s prayer.
I. Prayer for Full knowledge of God’s will and Spiritual growth (v. 9)
A. Paul and his prayer partners pray unceasingly, in the sense that it is continuous, persistent and consistent. I read about a pastor who said that prayer is synonymous to breathing. You stop breathing you die. You stop praying, your spiritual life is ruined. So prayer is of utmost urgency and importance.
B. The spiritual progress that is happening in the Church of Colosse drove him into his knees. He wants them to grow more spiritually. Their growth must be continual, it must go on.
C. “Filled” here means to be full, not just a small amount. We don’t stop eating until we are full. It is God’s will that we be filled with Spiritual food. Other meaning of the word filled is to be “controlled”.
D. Knowledge of His will is the full understanding of God’s will as it is written in the Bible. (Col. 3:16, Eph. 5:17,). We cannot know the will of God apart from the Word of God. For those who wants to know God’s will in their life, here are some:
1. Your salvation (2 Pet. 3:9, Jn. 6:40).
2. After you are saved, share the good news of salvation (Mat. 28:19-20).
3. Live righteously (1 Pet. 2:15).
4. Join a Bible believing, Bible preaching, Bible living Church where you can serve the Lord and where you can grow spiritually. (Heb. 10:25, 2 Pet. 3:18).
5. Suffering – suffering honours God by proving the purity of your faith (1 Pet. 3:17, 1 Pet. 4:19, 1 Pet. 1:7).
E. It is very important for a child of God to have an understanding of His will. You can’t do what you don’t know. GBBC puts emphasis on the Bible. Our goal is spiritual growth thru Bible Study. We can’t know His will without spiritual knowledge, and we can’t get spiritual knowledge without the Bible. So Bible Study is of vital importance. Attend Bible Study regularly.
Knowledge is knowing all the facts, something you gain from study or experience. Wisdom is the intellectual power to decide wisely. The condition of having spiritual or intellectual insight. Knowledge without application fall short of what God’s wants. It is not enough to know the facts. For me wisdom is better and here are some of the Spiritual requirements for gaining wisdom: (1) Reverence (Prov. 9:10) (2) Humility (Prov. 11:2, 15:33) (3) Teachableness (Prov. 9:9, 15:31, 19:20) (4) Diligence (Prov. 8:17, 2:4-5) (5) Uprightness (Prov. 2:7) (6) Faith (James 1:5-8).
II. That ye may walk worthy of the Lord, being fruitful in every good work unto all pleasing A. Walk here means how we live as Christians. Lots of Christians are doctrinally right but morally wrong or corrupt. They know the correct teaching of the Bible but cannot live it out. They are carnal Christians and are stumbling blocks to many.
A. We must live out what we believe.
B. The walk that is worthy of the lord is (1) walk by faith, 2 Cor. 5:7 (2) walk in love, Eph. 5:2 (3) Newness of life, Rom. 6:4 (4) Spirituality, Gal. 5:16 (5) Christlikeness, 1 Jn. 2:6.
C. Our walk is our testimony. It’s just like our reputation. It takes a long time to build but very short time to loose.
D. The way we live, obey, and apply the Biblical truth we learned will please the Lord.
E. Fruit bearing or being fruitful is another way to please the Lord. Fruit shows the physical health of a tree. Fruit shows the spiritual health of a believer. Productive trees please the farmer. Productive Christians please the Father. Psalm 1:3 portrays the believer as : ” And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. When we regularly feed our hearts with the God’s Word, we will become fruitful regardless of the circumstances of life (Dan. 11:32).
F. Fruit bearing is the work of Christ in the life of the believer. John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
G. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is outlined in Gal. 5:22 -23, but we must put this into action. It’s not enough that we know it or we memorize it. We must put this into practice in our daily life. I would say that our fruit is the reality of our faith.
III. Increasing in the knowledge of God (v. 10)
A. We can never have a complete knowledge about God, but we can always learn more about him.
B. The more we learn about Him, the more our faith grows (1Pet. 2:2, 2 Pet. 1:5-7, 3:18).
C. After salvation, we considered “baby Christian”, as we increase our knowledge of Christ we become adolescent and as time goes by we become spiritually matured Christian. It doesn’t mean that a spiritually matured Christian stops in his learning process. Knowing Christ is progressive, a process we have to undergo until the day we die.
D. There is no way you can increase your knowledge about God without increasing in the knowledge of the Word of God.
E. You must have the desire to know the Word of God personally. You cannot be spoon fed spiritually during Bible Study and Worship Service by the Sunday School Teacher and the Pastor. You must learn to feed yourself also by doing your own study.
IV. Strengthened with all might (v. 11)
A. God gives us the strength we need to live the Christian life whether it is physical or spiritual, especially in time of weakness.
B. Here are some of the verses: Isa. 40:31, Isa. 41:10, Dan. 11:32, and of course one of my favourite verse, Phil. 4:13
No matter how difficult the situation is for Christian service, God always makes available his resources to fill up the need. There is no shortage of supply on God’s side. According to the recent article I read, Charles Spurgeon, Campbell Morgan, H. Ironside, D. L. Moody, and some of the great preachers and Bible expositors have no formal Bible Education but God have used them mightily according to His glorious power. God qualifies the unqualified, and He is the one who enables us to serve him with patience and longsuffering with joy.
V. Thankfulness (v. 12)
A. Note here that thanksgiving is directed to the Father. God the Father is the source of all the privileges and blessings we have here on earth.
B. God’s grace is already provided to every believer in Christ. God should receive the glory for supplying it. Thanks giving is offered to God (Ps. 50:14), and to Christ (1 Tim. 1:12), but not to the Holy Spirit, though I think it’s not wrong to do it.
C. We pray to the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. In prayer, if we know whom to call, we may get the answer sooner.
Do you pray for our church the way Paul prays here? You should. If you haven’t done it, now is the time. Offer your Prayers and thanks giving to God, and to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Preached: 10 Feb. 2013