Class Notes: 2/20/2008
Col 1:11 Paul's prayer for the strength of believers: the weak & strong believer
We are continuing in our study of prayer as part of the PPOG or Predestination Eph 1:3-5; Rom 8:29; for the purpose of determining just how and what we should pray for. At the moment we are examining Paul's prayers and we have seen in that the major focus in his prayers has been for them to appropriate by Grace the spiritual resources that God has provided and advance in God's plan for their lives.
In this segment, we are examining Paul and Timothy's prayer in Col 1:9-12; where Paul is praying for the believer's spiritual growth.
9- Because of this, since the day we heard Epaphras' report we have not stopped praying for you asking that you would be completely filled up with the knowledge of God the Father's intent in the sphere of wisdom and spiritual understanding.
10- to the end that you would conduct yourselves with conduct becoming the Lord to please Him completely while being prolific by divinely good activities and growing in
the knowledge of God,
11- because of the omnipotence empowering you in accordance with the power of God's glory for maximum perseverance and patience, accompanied by joy...
Paul's prayer is for them to be filled with the knowledge of his will and all spiritual wisdom and understanding was so that they would be able to persevere or "keep on plugging” in their spiritual advance regardless of adversity, by means of Bible Doctrine through the power of God the Holy Spirit for the purpose of pleasing him in all respects, to bear fruit in every good work and increasing in the Spirit taught knowledge of God because they were enabled to parlay that spirit taught knowledge of God into the power necessary to fulfill the objectives of the spiritual life.
In verse 11, the phrase "Being strengthened with all power according to the might of his Glory " includes three words for strength:
“ strengthened” is "dynamoumenoi" which is the present passive participle of dynamoo. It has the basic meaning of "being able" or having capacity or ability. Since it is in the Passive Voice it indicates that the power is directed to the believer from God.
“power” is "dynamei" the feminine singular noun of dynamis from the same root "dynamoo" which also refers to the believer "being empowered or enabled by God.
“might” is kratos which in New Testament scripture is only used to describe God's power, might or strength. It is often used to describe the presence of power or force rather than to describe its actual use. It is used to describe the power of God which none can withstand, which is omnipotent, and sovereign over all and is demonstrated in the life believers as God keeps on pouring his power into them. Phil 4:13;
This Divine enablement that Paul is praying for believer's to receive provides the power or capacity for "steadfastness" or endurance and "patience" with "joy" or the happiness of God in any and all situations.
The word in this passage that is translated "steadfastness" in the NASB is the Greek word "hupomone" it is also translated as endurance in James 1:3-4; and was demonstrated by Job as he came under Satan's cross examination. James 5:11;
Hupomone literally means to “remain under” it implies not easily succumbing under the pressure of suffering and having the courage in the face of any and all opposition" because of one's confident expectation in God and his word and reliance upon him.
In the LXX or Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, "Hupomone" is used to describe Endurance or patient waiting in hope or confident expectation of Divine Good Psa 39:7; Psa 62:5;
Endurance is needed because the advancing believer will be under attack, much like the Old Testament witnesses such as Job, Job 1:8-12; and most of all like TLJC who pioneered the prototype spiritual life that all church age believers have the mandate to live in. Gal 5:16; Col 2:6;
The word translated "walk" in these passage is "peripateite" which is the present active imperative of "peripateo" a mandate for believers to "keep on walking or conducting their lives by means of God the Holy Spirit and by Grace through Faith (Bible Doctrine) Eph 2:8;.
Endurance in the spiritual life is produced from momentum from the application of doctrine to life’s circumstances under the power of God the Holy Spirit. James 1:3;
The testing of faith (Bible Doctrine) -->momentum from application--> endurance
Which is why Paul prays for believers to be continuously increasing in "epignosis” or the spirit taught knowledge of God. Col 1:10c; because it is the source of their strength.
When endurance is matured or finished it will even produce "Joy" or the happiness of God in the believer’s life while he is in the midst of suffering.
Capacity for the happiness of God in the midst of adversity and suffering is made possible by the advancing believer's cognizance of their Personal Sense of Destiny. James 1:2-3;
The adversity or suffering is not of itself a source of happiness, but the recognition of the benefit of the end result of the suffering is. 1Pet 1:3-8;
When believers are tempted to quit, they need to focus on TLJC who has endured testing in all things Heb 2:18; Heb 4:14-15; and recognize that they have the same power and assets that He did while he was on this earth in his unglorified humanity, and remember that it is for His glory that we are alive.
Every believer has been called to a specific amount of suffering as part of their personal destiny in God's plan. 1Thes 3:2-4; Phil 1:29-30; 2Tim 2:11-13;
Every believer faces different obstacles, but none that is unique and none exceeds the provision that God has provided inside of the PPOG for the believer to deal with the problem. 1Cor 10:13; and none are comparable to the glory that awaits the believer in eternity. 2Cor 4:17-18'
There will always be times when believers are tempted to quit in the face of adversity. Especially after they fail. Sometimes it seems that it is it is much easier to quit than to get back up on our feet and start running again, but remember it is the Lord who holds the believer's hand. Psa 37:23-24; and raises them up Psa 145:14;
But the winner believer will abide under the pressure; and not try to escape it because they recognize from Bible Doctrine that the suffering is part of the believer's personal sense of destiny which leads to occupation with TLJC.
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