Jul 16

Part 3: Praying When Error is on the Rise

Todd Pruitt |Series: The Soul of Prayer |Colossians 1:9-14

In the opening section of his letter to the Colossian church Paul assures them that he and Timothy “have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (vs. 9). We know that Paul carried great “anxiety” for all the churches (2 Cor. 11:28). This burden was due in no small part to the many dangers faced by the churches.

In every era the church faces threats from without and from within. It is well attested that the legalism of first century Judaism as well as pagan Gnosticism regularly threatened the peace and purity of the church.  We can tell from Paul’s language and the way that he instructs the Colossian Christians that he is pushing back against both the legalism of the Jews and the pagan philosophies of the Greeks. Those errors seem not yet to have taken root in the Colossian church because Paul does not rebuke them as he does the Christians in Corinth and Galatia. But error always seeks entry to the church.

What Paul emphasizes in his prayer for the Colossian Christians connects directly to their possessing a proper knowledge of God and the gospel of the Lord Jesus. Proper knowledge of God and his gospel certainly protects from error, which is of vital importance. And this knowledge is never strictly intellectual. Indeed, Paul prays that their knowledge of God and his will, will have a powerful sanctifying effect upon their lives. He prays that they will “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (vs. 10).

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