Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 1

The full knowledge of God’s will

Colossians 1:9

In verse 6, Paul used a word in the Greek language that means the ‘full knowledge’ of God’s grace (kindness). Many English translations have the word ‘understood’ there. Another form of that same Greek word appears again in verse 9 and verse 10. In verse 9, Paul speaks about the ‘full knowledge’ of God’s will, in other words, what God wants. In verse 10, he speaks about the ‘full knowledge’ of God himself.

In verse 6, the first of these places, Paul’s subject is a past experience. He speaks about the particular day when Colosse’s Christians heard and fully knew God’s grace. That was the day when they put their trust in Christ, to become Christians. Of course they did not then fully understand God’s grace in their minds. Rather, Paul means that they had a full experience of God’s grace, in their spirits. God really did rescue them from the devil’s power; God really did forgive their wrong and evil deeds (1:13-14). These things happen immediately when a person becomes a Christian.

However, Christians still do many wrong things. For that reason, Paul was praying for Colosse’s Christians to know God’s ‘will’, how God wanted them to live. Again, it is not enough to have this knowledge only in our minds. That knowledge needs to enter, or rather, to fill our spirits. Then in our hearts, we will truly desire what God desires (Hebrews 8:10-11). We will not depend on the kind of human wisdom by which we constantly try to satisfy our own desires. Instead, with wisdom from God’s Holy Spirit, we will do what God declares to be right and good (James 3:13-17).

Next part: The life that truly pleases God (Colossians 1:10)


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