Colossians 1:6-10
Col 1:6 (KJB)
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:
The Colossians were bearing much fruit because they received the true Gospel and it permeated them and this had allowed them to flourish in the truth and create a great outreach to others. Once you have an outreach, you will bear fruit and this is what happened at Colossae. This passage is interesting in that it states that they began to flourish in the Gospel from the day they heard of it. They did not sequester themselves in schools for ten years or wait to reach some other plateau, instead, they received the Gospel and got busy getting it out. An interesting scenario happened right after World War 2. General MacArthur had told the churches that they need to get their missionaries over to Japan but what happened? The Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other cults got their missionaries over there quickly while the churches were having meetings. The church failed because they did not act on a great open door. At that time the Japanese were very superstitious and they would have gravitated to the true God because they had connected God with the United States. Since we won the war, they would have been open to the true Gospel thinking our God was more powerful than theirs. The problem was the churches knew the grace of God in truth, but because of their idleness, many Japanese fell prey to the cults. The Colossians knew the grace of God in truth and immediately acted on it. Not only were they bearing fruit among themselves, their fruit bearing had spread out. In this case, the apples did fall far from the tree.
Col 1:7 (KJB)
As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Learned - Understand, find out, or discover
Fellowservant - Fellow slave
Minister - Servant
The name “Epaphras” means “Foamy or Charming.” Epaphras had brought the true Gospel to Colossae. He was not only a faithful servant and teacher but he was also a fellow slave of Christ with Paul and had attended to many of his needs. Epaphras may have met Paul while he was there in Ephesus for three years and learned from the Apostle. (Acts 20:31 KJV) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. No doubt he had returned home to Colossae to help establish the Colossian church.
Col 1:8 (KJB)
Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
Declared - Revealed or made manifest
It is not sure, but Epaphras may have become the Pastor of the church at Colossae and therefore would have been aware of the heartbeat of the church and he could then make the statement that he revealed unto Paul the great love that the Colossians had for each other in the Spirit and also for all those they have ministered unto. They also had a great love for Paul and this was also conveyed to him. Paul could say they had genuine love because genuine love is always accompanied by works of love.
Col 1:9 (KJB)
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;
Ye might be filled - Make full or supply fully
Here Paul is stating that since the day that he heard of the spiritual growth and life of the Colossians, he has not ceased to pray for them, that is, he continually brings them before the throne of God that they continue growing and bearing fruit. Paul brings the principle of persistent prayer because he desires that they are filled with the knowledge of God’s will. First it is important for them to know God’s will so they will know their place, where God would have them perform ministry in the grand plan. Of course, the Colossians were already bearing much fruit and being a light right where they were. Then they need to know God’s will because they need to know God’s plan for them. Would they continue to expand the church or would they begin to send out missionaries to other areas of the region and finally to the whole empire? Then they would need to know God’s will so they may know how they could accomplish the task which the Lord would give them. Paul prays that they would have all wisdom and spiritual understanding. That is, so they have the spiritual sight of seeing things from God’s point of view. Remember the Prophet Habakkuk was told that the Chaldeans were being raised up to bring judgment against Judah. Habakkuk saw this from his point of view but neglected to see this action from God’s point of view and that is where the Christian must keep their spiritual eyes focused. The Christian needs to look beyond the physical. (Prov 4:7 KJV) Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. This is why Proverbs teaches us that we need to get spiritual wisdom because with spiritual wisdom comes true understanding. This is why Paul prayed these great things for the Colossians.
Col 1:10 (KJB)
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Worthy - Suitably or in a manner becoming
Increasing - Grow or become greater
Paul then builds on verse 9 where he prayed that the Colossians would have an increased knowledge of God, which is not an end in itself. Paul prays that they walk worthy of the Lord. In Romans 6:4 we as redeemed creatures are to walk in the newness of life, that is, we are to keep our eyes and mind focused on the Lord and our backs to the world system. As the Colossians continue to walk worthy of the Lord, Paul prays that they are fruitful in every good work. (Jer 17:7-8 KJV) Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. {8} For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. The Believer is to be like a tree because a tree pushes its roots down. The farther our roots go down into Christ, the stronger our Christian walk will be. A tree drinks all the water it can and we are to drink the water of the Word constantly so we remain like a healthy tree and after the tree continues to drink the water it spreads out its roots and reaches to other areas with the Gospel while remaining strong in the Lord. Then Paul prays that they increase in the knowledge of God. For one cannot grow unless they have that knowledge. We gain the knowledge from the Scriptures in three ways. The first, is that we look at the past actions of God. (2 Chr 20:7 KJV) Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? Jehoshaphat was facing a major army and as he prayed, he reminded God that He was the one who drove out the inhabitants of the land before Israel. It was not that God needed reminding, it was for Jehoshaphat’s benefit to remember God’s dealings in the past. We too, like Jehoshaphat, need to remember how God has dealt with us in the past and how He has protected us and guided us. We then seek the knowledge of God by where He has placed us at present. If God has placed us in a ministry or in a job plus a ministry, then we need to continue to pray that the Lord make us fruitful wherever He has placed us, even if it is in a bad situation. Then we seek the knowledge of God from the perspective of growth in our Christian lives. We should always seek to expand our outreach and ministry. Just as the tree spreads out its roots, we need to do the same thing. As God continues to bless us in a ministry, we need to always plan for expansion. If we remain faithful to the truth of the Gospel, then God may “enlarge our borders.”