1:9-14 The apostle was constant in prayer, that the believers might be filled with the knowledge of God's will, in all wisdom. Good words will not do without good works. He who undertakes to give strength to his people, is a God of power, and of glorious power. The blessed Spirit is the author of this. In praying for spiritual strength, we are not straitened, or confined in the promises, and should not be so in our hopes and desires. The grace of God in the hearts of believers is the power of God; and there is glory in this power. The special use of this strength was for sufferings. There is work to be done, even when we are suffering. Amidst all their trials they gave thanks to the Father of our Lord Jesus, whose special grace fitted them to partake of the inheritance provided for the saints. To bring about this change, those were made willing subjects of Christ, who were slaves of Satan. All who are designed for heaven hereafter, are prepared for heaven now. Those who have the inheritance of sons, have the education of sons, and the disposition of sons. By faith in Christ they enjoyed this redemption, as the purchase of his atoning blood, whereby forgiveness of sins, and all other spiritual blessings were bestowed. Surely then we shall deem it a favour to be delivered from Satan's kingdom and brought into that of Christ, knowing that all trials will soon end, and that every believer will be found among those who come out of great tribulation.
9. we also—on our part.
heard it—(Col 1:4).
pray—Here he states what in particular he prays for; as in Col 1:3 he stated generally the fact of his praying for them.
to desire—"to make request."
might be filled—rather, "may be filled"; a verb, often found in this Epistle (Col 4:12, 17).
knowledge—Greek, "full and accurate knowledge." Akin to the Greek for "knew" (see on Col 1:6).
of his will—as to how ye ought to walk (Eph 5:17); as well as chiefly that "mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself; that in the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ" (Eph 1:9, 10); God's "will," whereby He eternally purposed to reconcile to Himself, and save men by Christ, not by angels, as the false teachers in some degree taught (Col 2:18) [Estius]. There seems to have been a want of knowledge among the Colossians; notwithstanding their general excellencies; hence he so often dwells on this subject (Col 1:28; Col 2:2, 3; 3:10, 13; 4:5, 6). On the contrary he less extols wisdom to the Corinthians, who were puffed up with the conceit of knowledge.
wisdom—often mentioned in this Epistle, as opposed to the (false) "philosophy" and "show of wisdom" (Col 2:8, 23; compare Eph 1:8).
understanding—sagacity to discern what on each occasion is suited to the place and the time; its seat is "the understanding" or intellect; wisdom is more general and has its seat in the whole compass of the faculties of the soul [Bengel]. "Wouldst thou know that the matters in the word of Christ are real things? Then never read them for mere knowledge sake" [Quoted by Gaussen.] Knowledge is desirable only when seasoned by "spiritual understanding."