Class Notes: 4/9/2008
Col 4:2-6 Eph 6:19-20 Paul's prayer request for effective witnessing
We are continuing in our study of prayer as part of the PPOG or the Predestination provided by God for the believer in eternity past for the purpose of determining just how and what we should pray for as we function in his plan.
At the moment we are examining Paul's prayers and we have seen in his prayers in Eph 1:18; Eph 3:14; Phil 1:3; and Col 1:9; that the focus of his prayer was for believers to appropriate by Grace the spiritual resources that God has provided and be enlightened, and empowered and enabled for their advance in God's plan for their lives.
We are presently looking at of Paul’s prayer requests, his mandate, his petition and his request for prayer support through believer's intercession per Col 4:2-4;
Last time we were comparing his prayer request in Col 4:2-4; with his request in Eph 6:19-20; where he requested that he be enabled with “boldness;” a word for free and forthright openness. In v. 19, he requests prayer for his "mouth to be opened" “to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,” and in the next verse he relies on God’s answer to the prayer, in order that “that I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
He is asking support regarding what to say, how to say it and for the courage to say it.
The Greek word in the Ephesians passage differs from the Greek word in Col. 4:4, where the Greek word "phaneroo" is used which means, “ to reveal, to make manifest, plain, or evident.”
Paul uses forms of the Greek word "phaneroo" 28 times in his writings. "Phaneroo" is used to describe God revealing or unveiling salvation in Rom. 1:17; Rom 3:21; it is used for manifesting truth by the preached message in 2 Cor. 2:14; Col. 1:26; and it is used for the to describe Christ as being made manifest in His future coming, when believers will be revealed with Him in Col. 3:4;
Peter uses it in 1 Pet. 5:4; and John uses it in 1John 3:2; where it is translated as "appear"
"Phaneroo" is also used to describe the future evaluation of believers where their works will be revealed in a manner that exposes their true character so that the appropriate rewards can be conveyed 1 Cor. 3:13–15; where it is translated "evident" and 2 Cor. 5:10; where it is translated appear.
The Lord will "disclose" (phaneroo) "the motives of men's of the hearts ” 1 Cor. 4:5;
Apparently the situation Paul faced when he wrote to the Ephesians regarding petition for Boldness with the Gospel in Eph 6:19; was different than what he faced when he wrote to the Colossians requesting petition for clarity with the Gospel Col 4:4;
In both cases, however, it was appropriate for him to request prayer support in the form of fellow believer's intercession on his behalf to God.
His desire was to be able to present the Gospel in a way that it would provide maximum impact. God would answer this prayer by helping him communicate precisely what the hearers in his audience needed without adding things that were not necessary to be presented at the time
Other scriptures where Paul seeks prayer support are recorded in 2Thes 3:1-2; where He wants the Gospel to spread rapidly and to be glorified, and that he and those with him would be delivered from unbelievers who were opposing the Gospel.
Another is in Rom 15:30-33; where he also requests intercessory prayer for his deliverance.
Col 4:5-6; Since Paul has asked for prayer on behalf of his witnessing, it is logical that Paul would address their personal witness in the context of their prayer for his witness in order that they would make the most of their personal opportunities for presenting the Gospel.
Col 4:5; “With wisdom” the Greek word "Sophia” which we understand is Bible Doctrine which has been heard and understood and is ready to be applied by the believer under the mentor ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
By mentioning wisdom first he makes it prominent, This is the wisdom of Christ that believers can have through their consistent and persistent PMA of Bible Doctrine which results in their being filled with the knowledge (epignosis) of God’s will Col 1:9;
This is the treasure (thesaurus) of wisdom and knowledge that is hidden in Christ Col 2:3; and results in having their petitions for their speaking, be answered by God in the same way that he is answering their prayer for Paul's speaking.
Believers are to be "conducting themselves" “or walking,” (present tense of pertipateo) continuously conducting themselves with wisdom, “toward” or “face to face with” the Greek word "pros"“ those who are outside,” that is, outside of Christ, or unbelievers.
Believers can even gain insight as to the timing in which their presentation of the Gospel will have the optimum result. The word translated" making the most” is the Greek word "exagorazo" which literally means in the original language to, “redeem or "buy up” In this case, the time is being bought up or repurchased in order to be put to good use.
The Greek word translated as " opportunity" is "kairos” which views time in the sense of the “opportunity", “opportune situation,” or its “ appropriate occasion.” To take full advantage of the time for presenting the Gospel requires guidance from the omniscience of God the Holy Spirit.
Omniscience knows the right time because Omniscience knows the heart. Heb 4:13;
God the Holy Spirit directed Philip to approach the Ethiopian eunuch who was ready to receive the Gospel in Acts 8:26, 29; and later led him to another opportunity in Acts 8:39;
Jesus had promised that the Holy Spirit would “give” believers what to say in various situations of bearing witness of or re-presenting him. Lk. 12:12; cf. Matt. 10:19; Mk. 13:11;
He also said, regarding the opportunity for witnessing that “I will give you the words along with the wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict” Lk. 21:13–15). NET
Col 4:6; The believer's speech is to be a testimony of TLJC and as a result will be expressed “with grace” because he is the personification of Grace. John 1:14;
Paul describes their "speech with grace" as being “seasoned with salt ” Salt is used as a preservative which holds back the corruption or spoiling of food.
In a similar way Bible Doctrine in the believer’s speech as they present the Gospel of Grace under the mentor ministry of God the Holy Spirit restrains or slows down the spiritual corruption of the Kosmos. 2Thes 2:5-7;
The believer's witness restrains the corruption of the Kosmos and as such is a component of God's preservation. Matt. 5:13;
The believer's speech is to focus on what builds up, and avoid what is tears down Eph. 4:29. The Gospel that believer's witness of is all about what God did to save the world not to condemn it. John 3:17; 2Cor 5:18-19;
Seasoning with Salt portrays the grace which is demonstrated in God’s power of supplying complete sufficiency in all things 2 Cor. 3:5; 2Cor 9:8;
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