Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paul’s Prayer for the Colossian Church

Temple Baptist Church - 1-30-2013
Colossians 1:3-12


A. Paul was excited about a church that he had never visited and a people that he had never met! We live in days of jealousy and isolation. Churches of like faith are not our enemies! People of like faith are our brothers and sisters in Christ. The last time I heard, we were all on the same side and fighting a common enemy.

B. Now, for the sake of clarification, I do not mix and mingle with liberal or apostate churches! If a church is liberal or apostate, I do not associate with them. Separatism is an important part of the work of Christ. The division caused by liberalism and apostasy is one of their making, not mine. As Biblicists, we follow the Word of God and there is no place for variation.

C. Paul not only commends the church at Colosse, but also offers up prayers for it. I want to look at his manner of praying for those that he does not know that are “staying by the stuff” in light of often dire circumstances.

1. The Characteristics of Paul's Prayer

a. It was a prayer of thanksgiving. Vs. 3. For a local church of like precious faith located in another part of God’s vineyard. Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

a) The harvest is great - Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (We cannot go to every part of the field because of both numbers needed and logistics.)

b) The labourers are few - 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (7) So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. (8) Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. (9) For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. (We are few in number and the harvest is scattered around this world. It takes the effort of all to reach all!)

b. It was a prayer of constancy. Verse 3. Our daily prayers should involve the praying for others: those in bonds as well as those who labor in other countries, in other states, in our county.

2. The Content of Paul’s Prayer

a. That they would be filled with the knowledge of His will. Verse 9. Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

1) In all wisdom – One of the great dangers to true Christianity is that Christianity is merely a system of truth to be believed. Christianity is much more than faith in a dogma; it is that faith in action that makes us like Christ. We may think right doctrinally and not be conformed to the person and work of Christ. Christianity is faith in action.

2) In spiritual understanding – “and with all thy getting get understanding” We can have action and conformity simply by following someone else but these actions alone become a source of problem. I have seen so many “conform” while in a certain church but, when they decide to leave, lose all “conviction” which makes that “conviction” simply a preference. Each of us need to know what the will of God is and make that a priority in our lives.

b. That they might walk worthy. Verse 10.

1) A life that is pleasing to the Lord. This comes from a realization of what Christ has done for us coupled with the knowledge that we are not our own, we belong to Him. Not pleasing to the church or pastor necessarily but pleasing unto the one who bought us.

2) A life that is profitable to the Lord. Spiritual growth is essential to fruit bearing. Babies have to be fed and cleaned but adults can care for themselves as well as others. John 15 give the progression of one “abiding” in the Vine: fruit, more fruit, and much fruit.

c. Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power. Verse 11.

1) This brings about patience. I heard an elder pastor just the other day say that he quit praying for patience years ago when he found out that patience was a result of tribulation. We all NEED patience! Patience is essential to stability in suffering.

2) This brings about longsuffering with joyfulness. God’s power allows us to be longsuffering with others. Not only longsuffering but doing so with joy, not necessity. Being as gentle with others as the Lord is with us.

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