Increasing in the Knowledge of the Father
Book of Colossians 1:1-16
Heresy is a departure from the truth of the Word of God!
Heresy is a departure from practices suitable to the purity of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!
What is another sign of the last days?
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
The Church at Colossae was not planted by the Apostle Paul and Paul probably never visited this church. It is probable that this church was planted by Epaphras.
In the Book of Philemon, Paul says Epaphras was his fellow prisoner.
In the Book of Colossians, Paul says Epaphras was his fellow servant.
In the Book of Philippians, Paul says Epaphras was his fellow soldier.
Though some may dispute it, the Apostle Paul wrote this Holy Ghost inspired epistle to the church in Colossae!
*****Col 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
Col 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colossae: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We need to remind ourselves sometimes that an Apostle was a man who was handpicked by the Lord Jesus Christ to carry on the work of establishing the New Testament Church. There were 12 and there can never be any more than these 12 men.
How did Paul put this truth forward?
1Co 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
1Co 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
2Co 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
No one else can claim to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ because it is impossible to see Jesus Christ again until you get to Heaven or He comes in the “Rapture” to take His church out of this world to miss out on the wrath of God, a promise that He made to the church.
These 12 men were chosen according to the perfect will of God.
These 12 men were vessels of choice by our perfect God!
Act 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: “for he is a chosen vessel unto me”, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
This same thing could be said of the other 11 Apostles. We may not read much about them except for Peter and John but we can be sure they were all busy about the work the Lord had given them to do!
The thing is, we know there will never be any more apostles.
If we cannot listen, understand, and believe, what these men who were chosen by the Lord God that we worship then how can we ever say we are Christians.
Of course, we must follow the words of Jesus Christ but we will find that these Apostles will never go against what the Lord has said and they will never go against any part of the entire Word of God, all 66 books of the Bible.
There is no modern-day book of the Bible. God will never change and God chose these men to give us the truth, including the Apostle Paul!
Who is Paul writing to?
1) To the saints. A saint is a person, male or female, who has separated themselves from the world and consecrated to God by and through the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other way to reach sainthood.
2) To the “faithful” “brethren”.
The “faithful”, are those who have taken up their own cross and are following the Lord and are known as Christians.
The “brethren”, are those Christians who have accepted the Apostles Doctrine and after salvation had followed the Lord in Believers Baptism and also partaken in the Lord’s Supper and are complete members of the church of Jesus Christ. In many places they are called the elect of God.
Paul is writing to the Church, which is the “Body of Christ”.
It is only the “Body of Christ” who have come to know the peace of God but through the Lord Jesus Christ.
And all these things come only by the “Grace” of God, that we have been called to be the holy children of God.
1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1Pe 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
If we have not thanked God for His marvelous “Grace” then we need to stop what we are doing and thank Him now!
Notice also that Timothy, is still traveling with Paul to learn all he could about the church.
*****Col 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Col 1:4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
Notice Paul gives thanks to God.
The true God, is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Two parts of the triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!
These are the pillars of the church not three Gods but one God in three persons!
It is important that we offer thanks to the true God but it is more important that we pray to the true God but that prayer will not be accepted unless it is in the name of Jesus Christ.
Joh_15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father “in my name”, he may give it you.
If God has given you a ministry, God will make you get the things you need to complete that ministry!
Sure, He was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob but He is also the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Reject this if you so choose but it does not change the truth!
Notice also that it is not so important that God supply good health, fame and riches to His saints as it is for Him to supply “faith” and “love”.
It is faith and love that will bring growth to the church in the proper manner and cause Christians to remain steadfast in the Word of God!
The Kingdom of God is based upon “faith” and “love”!
This church in Colossae was built upon “faith” and love”!
Faith and love must the pillars of the Christian Life!
1Jn 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
What was the commandment?
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
These two things remain the foundation of the Church or there is no church!
That “faith” must be in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ or it is meaningless! (all thy heart, all thy soul, all thy mind!)
It is “only” by Jesus Christ that we can be in harmony with God and it is just that simple, no matter what the world says!
It is our “faith” in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ that opens the way into the throne room of God!
We must govern our lives by the Lord Jesus Christ!
The Christian must live and die by this belief!
The “love” spoken of here is not the natural love of man that we should already have for one another!
We forget that race divisions are not Biblical!
We are all part of the human race and citizens of the same world and we should already love one another, with our natural love, for our own survival.
The “love” spoken of in this passage is the “love” that each believer must have for one another! This is the commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
We are to have “faith” in Christ Jesus and love the way that He “loved”!
It is impossible to live upon this earth and have a successful life without Jesus Christ!
Without these basic things then we will have no hope to reach God’s Heaven!
*****Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
Those that have “faith” in the Lord Jesus Christ and share His “love” with one another will then have the believer’s “Hope”!
It is only by the “Grace” of God that we can have “hope” for eternal life in God’s Heaven!
It is the “hope” that God offers that we will surrender our lives to Jesus Christ!
How can we best describe that “hope”?
1) It is the hope of being raised from the dead and being given a new but perfect glorious body that we will live throughout eternity!
Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
2) It is the “hope” that the Lord will return to take us home.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
3) It is the “hope” of dwelling in the throne room of God.
Heb 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Heb 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
Heb 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
4) It is the glorious inheritance that will belong to all God’s children!
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Our “hope’ lies in the reality of all these things and much, much more!
Even in our darkest days we must never lose our “hope” in the promises of God!
We should notice that our “hope” has one great source and that is the “gospel”, the “good news” of Jesus Christ!
The Gospel is the Word of Truth. There is not one false word in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no false teaching in all the Word of God!
We do not have to wish!
We do not have to desire!
We do not have to guess!
We can know, that we know, that we know, the truth of our salvation.
1Jn_5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
We must certainly remember that the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be a God amongst gods. There is only one God and it is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
Even in Rome with a pantheon of gods, Jesus would have been welcomed to be a part of those others false gods.
Today the world has not changed, the Lord Jesus Christ would be welcomed amongst all the gods of this world but Jesus Christ will never be a part of such a religious system.
Here is where the problem comes!
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
The world cannot stand this truth!
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
The “Gospel” is intended for every individual upon this earth but there will always be those who reject the truth to their own demise!
Most of our world continue to reject the “Grace” of God and they will receive the “Wrath” of God in its place!
This is also the truth!
Even in all these things the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ will continue to produce fruit.
Everywhere the “Gospel” is preached and taught, there will be those will believe and become new members of God’s family!
1) There is first the fruit of the Holy Spirit
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
2) There is the fruit of new converts.
Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
3) There is the fruit of sanctification.
Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
The Church at Colossae understood and practiced all these things.
All these come by hearing the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
These Colossians had heard the Word of truth from Epaphras.
*****Col 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Col 1:8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
Epaphras was the fellowservant of Paul and Timothy at this time but is probable that is Epaphras alone who had planted the church in Colossae.
We know now that this young church in Colossae that had begun with the truth of Jesus Christ, was now being bombarded buy false doctrine from false teachers but as Paul says Epaphras was not one of those!
He was a faithful minister for Jesus Christ!
He had also brought this knowledge back to the Apostle Paul who had responded with this epistle to these Colossians.
Epaphras had come to Paul seeking advice on how to handle the false teaching that was infiltrating his church.
It is obvious that Paul could not go to this church himself as he remained in bondage to Rome.
Paul had never been to this church so they had never met Paul face to face but they knew enough about Paul that they knew they could trust whatever he said.
Paul’s answer to them was this epistle and his promise of prayers.
*****Col 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
What did Paul pray for? A great desire that this church would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will and in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
We should clearly understand that nothing happens upon this earth that goes against the will of God!
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
And it is the Church that will be the praise of His Glory. Therefore the “Church Age” is truly important!
This plan of the Church Age was developed by God before the foundation of this earth.
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Now this is not as the Calvinist say but only those who are made the children of God by accepting the work of Jesus Christ for salvation!
This is God’s Plan and it is not to be questioned by any man!
Psa 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
Pro 3:19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
To those of the world that believe that God adapts to a changing world should study the Scriptures and learn the truth.
Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
Psa 135:6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
It is the Lord Jesus Christ who died because of the predetermined plan of God and it is our part to have faith in the work of the Lord
Another thing we should understand is that God may allow men to manifest evil but God is never the author of evil.
It is our job to walk worthy of the Lord which pleases God.
*****Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Questions we should ask ourselves:
1) Are we walking worthy of the Lord?
2) Are we pleasing the Lord in the things we do?
3) Is our work producing fruit?
4) Are we increasing in the knowledge of God.
1Co 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
We must understand that knowing something and having the ability to do something is very different!
We are to live our lives just as worthy as the life of Christ and we cannot do this thing unless we can make application of the Word of God in everything we do!
Everything that God says must be understood as applying to us.
We cannot please God by just applying the Word of God in bits and pieces!
Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Christian conduct must meet a high standard for we must seek the knowledge of God’s will and apply it to our lives every day!
We will be in this thing of being a Christian, alone.
*****Col 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Without a doubt we must admit to ourselves, that we are weak physically and morally but by Jesus Christ we are endowed with a Power from on High.
Our power is the glorious power of God and is made known by God’s act of “creation” as we are “Born Again” into a new life.
We live in the patience of God that does not give up in dire circumstances.
We live by the longsuffering of God when we do not retaliate for being treated wrongly.
We do both these things in the “joy” of God knowing that we are pleasing our Lord and Savior.
We offer our prayers of thanks to the Lord for being seen as Christians and for providing the power for us to keep going in the name of the Lord.
We cannot survive without the power of God in our lives!
Think about some of the things we must endure:
We will face disease, if not in ourselves but surely in others.
We will face accidents, if not ourselves but others.
We may face poverty, if not in ourselves surely, we will see it in others.
We may face loss, if not ourselves but maybe in others.
We may face death, ourselves but surely in others.
This is just a short list but there will be even much greater things we will face as Christians but God has the power to give us understanding and piece as we go through these things.
God has the power to strengthen us and settle us during these things.
God has the power to give us hope and security during these times.
We can secure God’s Power through prayer and notice a fervent prayer should begin with giving thanks to God for what He has already done but also for what God is about to do in response to our request!
We should also know that there is no limit to our increase to the knowledge of God except for our own capacity to absorb it, our diligence to study it, and our faith. Much faith, much knowledge, Little faith, little knowledge.
When we feed the Holy Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit will not just set back and let us go through the trials of life alone but through Him we will have the power to overcome them and to conquer them.
God expects us to learn from the trials of life and be stronger through them!
Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
What did Jesus say:
Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
It is only by the Holy Spirit, God within us, that we can endure the troubles and trials of this world and this only by a close and very personal relationship with the Lord!
The Lord Jesus Christ is the light of all Spiritual Knowledge.
1Pe_2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
We live in the present “Grace” of God but we will soon live in the coming “Glory” of God!
1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
The Word of God is never confusing, we just make it confusing because it is so simple!
It is by the Holy Spirit that dwells within us that we have been delivered from the power of darkness!
*****Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
We may still live in this world of darkness and in this body of sinful flesh, the truth is, once we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior we have already been delivered or we could say rescued from the power of darkness!
Darkness is the symbol of misery and adversity:
Psa 107:10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Psa 107:11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Psa 107:12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
Psa 107:13 Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
The child of God should have no fear of this dark world nor should we fear physical death because we have already been delivered from these things!
We are redeemed if we know Christ as our Savior!
*****Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Redemption speaks of being rescued by paying a ransom.
Redemption is buying back those things had had been lost. This is why we use the phrase saved or lost!
Being saved is made to have peace with God!
Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Notice these things take place only by the “precious Blood of Jesus Christ”.
The sin of all people requires the blood of our Savior before it could be eliminated from all people. The only thing lacking was that this thing must be believed on by those who are seeking salvation!
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
And who is this Savior?
*****Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
This Savior is also our Creator!
The Lord Jesus Christ is the express image of His Father.
Note this is not in appearance but in actions! It is only the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ who has the divine nature of God, because they are one and the same person!
He is the first begotten of all creatures because He existed before the Cosmos was created.
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
It was totally necessary for our Redeemer to be 100% God and 100% man that He could mediate between God and mankind!
It was necessary for God to fulfill all His prophecies.
It was necessary to redeem us from all sin.
It was necessary to conquer Satan’s pride.
It was necessary to reconcile all humans to God and God to all humans.
It would simply require “faith” in all these things to become a reality!
Why did Paul choose his words so carefully here? The truth of Jesus Christ will destroy all false teaching about Christ and God.
As believers we get to see what God is like and God gets to know all actions of the human through personal experience!
In false religion there can be multiple mediators between God and man but , there is only one and that One is Jesus Christ.
God is not some unconcerned and distant God who has moved on into outer space after His creation.
God is not out of touch with this world!
God is a God who is always close at hand.
God has not made it difficult to reach Him and God has even shown us all how to reach Him!
It is by Jesus Christ that we know we have a loving God who cares for us in a personal way!
We also need not be confused when Paul says Jesus was the firstborn of all creatures.
The Son of God is not a created being it means that He existed before all creation.
All creation is the heritage of Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of the Father!
AND, God did not create Himself!
Isa 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Creation owes its praise and honor, worship and service to the Lord Jesus Christ because this earth and all creation exists for its Creator!
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Thank God for this wonderful book we call the Bible, which contains all the Word of God we need to completely know our God who never changes!