The Knowledge of the Will of God
Colossians 1:9-12
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you…


1. The phrase brings before us the personality of Deity. He is not a blind force, but a conscious being, or He could not have a will.

2. The text contradicts Deism, which says: "God does not concern Himself with us."

3. But imagine God to have a malevolent will concerning us! As it is, however, the will of God moves not merely under the influence of His intelligence and righteousness, but of His mercy. It is "in Christ Jesus concerning us."

4. This will has reference to our whole nature.

(1) To our mind; and therefore God has put before us doctrine. God has a will concerning our thoughts, and therefore has provided us with themes for meditation.

(2) To our hearts. We may not trust, distrust, love, everything we please. God has indicated the objects and the measure of our confidence and affection.

(3) To our will; giving us principles and motives, and rules of action, so that His will directs us in all things. This is not bondage, but freedom. He is the slave who is tethered to his whims and wishes; he is free who moves in harmony with the will which is connected with perfect wisdom and love.

II. The will of God REVEALED.

1. Not entirely, as, e.g., to your future circumstances; these are mercifully concealed.

2. The media employed.

(1)  Conscience — imperfect, but under Christ's influence gradually becoming sound.

(2)  God's Word.

(3)  God's Spirit.

(4)  Providence.

(5)  Christ, in whom it is perfectly embodied.

3. There is some little difficulty in getting at this will. You must search the Scriptures, and carefully analyze your own conscience to judge whether it is an index of God's will. But the knowledge is well worth the trouble. If you take no trouble you will be perplexed, but if you do He will teach you.

III. The will of God KNOWN. The revelation is distinct from the knowledge, and may be possessed without it. The knowledge must be sought. Look at it as —

1. Full.

(1) We may know doctrine and not precept; both, and not the promises; or all partially. Knowledge is full when we know all we need to know.

(2) A young disciple in his novitiate cannot know all that is revealed, nor indeed the mature. There are many things concealed from the Church in its present state.

(3) But there are things which can be comprehended in the present age, and the present state of the believer's mind. The Bible opens like flowers. You must sometimes wait before a text and seek a right influence on your spirit before the meaning will be manifest. The Bible to the child has one manifestation, to the young man another, and to the mature man another.

2. Correctly applied. It may be misapplied; hence the prayer "in all wisdom," etc. We must get below the letter to the underlying Spirit, and with Divine sagacity apply it to our circumstances.

3. A fit subject for prayer.

4. A subject of deep anxiety to ministers as essential to the holiness and activity of the Church.

(S. Martin.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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;

WEB: For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don't cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

The Knowledge of the Divine Will
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