The next part in our series of topical studies from Paul’s Letter to the Colossians is the power we have in Christ Jesus. This series of studies was first taught more than 40 years ago as part of a verse-by-verse study that became a series of topical insights from Paul’s great Letters to the Christians in Colossae and Ephesus. Our prayer is that this study will be clear and powerful and help you in your life.
As with other Teaching Notes, we invite you to use this study in any way God leads.
[These notes are from a Bible study taught more than 40 years ago. The notes are in outline form.]
I. The Source of the Power
“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” Colossians 1:11
A. “strengthened with all might”
The verb “strengthened”(dunamoó) means “to be empowered, filled with power, enabled for something.”
Paul also wrote to the Ephesians about the importance of being “strengthened” with might –
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19
The noun “power” is an inherent power which resides in us by virtue of our new nature.
B. “according to His glorious might”
The word “according” means dominated by. Our strength and power are to be dominated by “His glorious might.” The glory here stands for the majesty and greatness of God. The word “might” translates as a relative and manifested power.
“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” Colossians 1:28-29
“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.” Ephesians 1:15-19
II. The Purpose of the Power
A. “for the attaining of all steadfastness”
The word “steadfastness” means longsuffering. It literally translates as “long temper.” Long-suffering is that quality of self restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish. It is the opposite of anger, and is associated with mercy, and is used of God in many places plus enjoined of saints.
“And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” Exodus 34:6
“The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” Numbers 14:18
“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Psalm 86:15
It is also enjoined of the saints:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22
“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Colossians 3:12
(Point attention back to context of “walk worthy of the Lord.”)
B. “and patience”
Patience is literally “an abiding under” and is the quality that does not surrender to circumstances nor succumb under trial. It is the opposite of despondency and is associated with hope. This word is used specifically with saints and believers.
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” Romans 12:10-12
In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul pointed out that the first quality of love is patience.
“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.” 2 Timothy 2:24
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from more than 40 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you, your family and your ministry.]