Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Knowing God More and More

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding … and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9-10)

In verse 9, Paul speaks of being filled with the knowledge of God’s will. In verse 10, he shifts focus to increasing in the knowledge of God Himself. The Greek word for “knowledge” is both cases is epignosis, a depth or fullness of knowledge. Not merely head knowledge, an accumulation of facts or even of how facts work together. Not theoretical knowledge, but experiential knowledge. Not the kind of knowledge that puffs up, but knowledge that is according to love, which builds up (1 Corinthians 8:1).

Paul speaks of “increasing” in this knowledge. Actually in the Greek text, this word is in the passive voice. That is, it is not something we do to ourselves but something that is done to us. We do not increase ourselves in the knowledge of God; we are increased in the knowledge of God. Only God can do that for us, and He does it by the work of the Holy Spirit.
For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:11-16)
Notice also that this increase is in the present tense; it speaks of continuous action. God’s plan is that we are always being increased by Him in the knowledge of Him, continually knowing Him more and more. It is a growth process. Peter says, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

This is personal, intimate, revelation knowledge of God — He reveals Himself to us in personal, intimate relationship! Through Jesus, through the Spirit, through the Word. He fills us with the knowledge of His will, revealing His desire, revealing His heart. Every response we make to that revelation in faith, and the obedience of faith, will be pleasing to Him and will bear the fruit and good works He desires. A walk worthy of the Lord is all about walking with the Lord. The more we walk with Him, the more we will know Him. He will not hold back but will reveal Himself freely to us as we walk along with Him.

*For more about the pastoral prayers found in the New Testament, see Praying With Fire: Change Your World with the Powerful Prayers of the Apostles.

The Focus of Our Faith
The Focus of Our Faith
Paul’s Letters to the Jesus Believers at Colosse
Bite-Size Studies Through Colossians
by Jeff Doles

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