Colossians 1:9-22, Part 1: Bible Study

The following passage of Scripture is lengthy.  To fully observe the passage, I am going to look at it in two parts.  We will look at the first part, verses 9-13, in this post.  In the next post, we will look at verses 14-22.  The entire passage, seen as a whole, is a beautiful Christology.  In the first set of verses look at the salvific work of Christ and the second, the preeminence of Christ.  I will describe these terms as we go through the verses.

Colossians 1:9-13

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; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

The pastoral prayer

In the previous passage, Paul commended the evangelistic and pastoral work of Epaphras among the Colossians.  In their absence, Paul wanted them aware that they were endlessly praying for them.  Verses 9-12 focuses on this prayer and will eventually lead to the reason we can pray in verse 13, Jesus Christ.  It is a demonstration of being Christocentric, meaning, centered around Christ.

The prayer contains many things different to most prayer requests.  Much prayer is made for physical healing, financial blessings, and the removal of trials.  Paul does not mention any of this at this time.  Instead, his pray for the believers at Colossae includes.

  • To be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in wisdom and spiritual understanding.
  • To walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him.
  • To be fruitful in every good work.
  • Increasing in the knowledge of God.
  • To be strengthened with all might, according to God’s glorious power toward patience and endurance with Joy.
  • To give the Father thanks for making believers partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (Holy Spirit and heaven).

WHAT A PRAYER!  When is the last time you prayed for those qualities to be added to your life?  Imagine the change that would take place in our life, families, churches and communities.  We should make that change in our prayers immediately.

The salvific work of Christ

Paul doesn’t waste any time making his way toward Christ.  In verse 13, he introduces us to our greatest praise to God, the atoning work of his Son.  Paul’s pray of thanksgiving for salvation quickly turns into a sermon on Christ.  Before he discusses the nature of Christ in verses 14-22, he introduces us to Christ in verse 13.

Paul’s prayer of thanks for salvation is to God the Father, because of His Son.  Notice the change in how Paul addressed God, he moved from the names, God and Lord, and to Father.  This scripture a hint of trinitarian theology in verse 13.  The name of God is “Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).

The Son, Jesus Christ, is attributed with two descriptors of salvation.  Deliverance from the power of darkness and translation into the kingdom of the Son.  The first is a little easier to understand.  Romans 5-7, describes sin and a powerful influencer.  Under sin, we can be led toward any act of evil.  What Paul describes in those three chapters of Romans, is the influence of sin is broken in Christ.  Jesus has delivered us from the power (influence) of darkness.  We do not have to fall in sin anymore.

The second descriptor is harder to understand in the first reading.  What does it mean to be “translated” into the kingdom of the Son?  Other versions replace this word with, “conveyed, transferred, brought, and carried.”  Well, that makes the reading a little easier to understand.  Again, Romans 5-7 is applicable here, as well as chapter 8.  We are no longer under the influence of sin, neither are we citizens of Satan’s kingdom.  We have been set free by Christ.  He has transferred our citizenship into His kingdom.  We are the sheep of His pasture.  We are His people.

Our application

With a renewed sense of salvation that is centered on Christ, let us praise God with renewed fervor for salvation.  Let us pray a new prayer of spiritual growth.  With our focus on Christ’s work and how that plays into our everyday life.


All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

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