Thanksgiving and its Connection to our Partaking

Bible Book: Colossians  1 : 1-14
Subject: Thanksgiving; Salvation, Praise for
Series: The Thanksgiving Connection

As we enter into the month of November, my mind is on the subject of “Thanksgiving.” And in looking at the various occurrences of this word this week, I noticed that some form of the word “thanks” is used in each chapter of the book of Colossians.

In chapter 1, verse 12, Paul said that Thanksgiving is Connected to us being Partakers of God’s inheritance for us.
In chapter 2, verses 6 and 7, Paul said that Thanksgiving is Connected to the Path of believers.
In chapter 3, verse 15, he said that Thanksgiving is Connected to our Peace as believers.
And in chapter 4, verse 2, Paul said that Thanksgiving is Connected to our Praying.

In his introductory remarks on this book, Warren Wiersbe mentioned…

I. The City

Colosse was one of a trio of cities (Hierapolis and Laodicea being the other two) located about 125 miles southeast of Ephesus. This was a rich area both in mineral wealth and merchandising, with a large population, both Jewish and Gentile. These three cities were almost within view of each other.

II. The Church

Paul had never visited Colosse (see 2:1). During his three years of ministry in Ephesus, “all Asia” heard the Gospel (Acts 19:10, 26). One of Paul’s converts in Ephesus was a man named Epaphras, whose home was in Colosse. Epaphras had taken the message of the Gospel back home, and through his ministry the church was founded (1:4-7; 4:12-13). This fellowship may have met in the home of Philemon, for he lived at Colosse (Colossians 4:9 and Philemon).

III. The Crisis

Paul was now a prisoner in Rome. Epaphras had come to visit him and to report that a new teaching was invading the church and causing trouble. This heresy today is generally called “gnosticism,” from the Gk. word gnosis which means “to know.” The Gnostics were “in the know” - that is, they professed to have a superior knowledge of spiritual things. Their doctrine was a strange blending of some Christian truth, Jewish legalism, Greek philosophy, and Eastern mysticism.

For one thing, these heretics taught that all matter was evil, including the body; and therefore God could not come in contact with matter. How, then, was the world created? By a series of “emanations” from God, they claimed. And, since Christ had a human body, He was only one of these “emanations” and not truly the Son of God. The Gnostics proposed a complex series of “emanations” (including angels) between man and God and thus denied the preeminence of Christ.

Their system was supposed to give the believer a special “full knowledge” not possessed by others. The Gnostics loved to use the word “fullness,” and so you find Paul using it many times in this letter. Their doctrine called for legalistic practices (2:16) and strict discipline of the flesh (asceticism, 2:18-23). “Touch not, taste not, handle not!” was one of their rules. They taught that certain days were holy and certain foods sinful. The Gnostic system had a semblance of spirituality but was of no real spiritual value (see Colossians 2:21-23).

IV. The Correspondence

It is likely that Paul sent Onesimus and Epaphras, along with Tychicus, back to Colosse with the letters to the Colossian Christians, to the Ephesians (Ephesians 6:21-22), and to his friend Philemon. Some students think that the letter to the Laodiceans (Colossians 4:16) is our Ephesians.

As we look today at some verse in chapter 1…

I. We See Paul’s Demonstration Of Thanksgiving In This Passage

(Colossians 1:1–8)

Haddon Robinson mentioned a little line of verse in his book on “Biblical Preaching”…

I had six faithful friends,

They taught me all I knew,

Their names are How and What and Why,

When and Where and Who.

Paul answers some of those questions as he gives thanks here.

A. He Mentions The “Who” Of Thanksgiving

(Colossians 1:1-3) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, {2} To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. {3} We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

(Colossians 1:7-8) As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; {8} Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

1. Notice Those Who Render Thanks

Paul, Timotheus, and Epaphras must also have been thankful in declaring their faith and love.

Barnes said of this word “apostle”…

[An apostle] One sent to execute a commission. It is applied because the apostles were sent out by Jesus Christ to preach his gospel, and to establish his church;

Barnes said of the mention of Timotheus and then later of Ephaphras …

There was a particular reason why Timothy should be associated with him in writing this Epistle. He was a native of the region where the church was situated (Acts 16:1-3), and had been with Paul when he preached there, and was doubtless well known to the church there.

[As ye also learned of Epaphras] Epaphras was then with Paul. He had probably been sent to him by the church at Colossae to consult him in reference to some matters pertaining to the church there. It is evident from this, that Epaphras was a minister of the church at Colossae. … The apostle here says that they had learned from Epaphras the true nature of the gospel, and he designs undoubtedly to confirm what he had taught them in opposition to the teachings of errorists.

[Our dear fellow-servant] This shows that Paul had contracted a strong friendship for Epaphras. There is no reason to believe that he had known him before, but his acquaintance with him now had served to attach him strongly to him. It is possible, as has been conjectured, that there was a party in the church at Colossae opposed to Epaphras and to the doctrines which he preached, and if this were so, Paul’s strong expression of attachment for him would do much to silence the opposition.

2. Notice Those Who Are The Reason For Thanks

the saints and faithful brethren

John MacArthur wrote…

Paul addresses his readers as the saints and faithful brethren … who are at Colossae. Saints and faithful brethren are not two distinct groups; the terms are equivalent. And [kai] could be translated, “even.” Hagios, which translates saints, refers to separation, in this case being separated from sin and set apart to God. Faithful notes the very source of that separation—saving faith. Believing saints are the only true saints.

3. Notice He Who Receives Thanks

God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

Paul does not advocate some vague thankfulness as is so common in our day, but he says that we should thank God specifically. God’s grace (charis) is flowing down in verse 2, and then gratitude (thanks – eucharisteo) is flowing up in verse 3.

B. He Mentions The “When” Of Thanksgiving

(Colossians 1:4) Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

Some versions render the statement “having heard of your faith.”

1. Paul’s Statement Draws On A Special Memory

Adam Clarke said…

[Since we heard of your faith] This is very similar to Ephesians 1:15-16. And it is certain that the apostle seems to have considered the church at Ephesus, and that at Colassa to have been nearly in the same state, as the two letters are very similar in their doctrine and phraseology.

2. Paul’s Statement Draws In A Special Meaning

heard – Greek 191. akouo, ak-oo'-o; a prim. verb; to hear (in various senses):--give (in the) audience (of), come (to the ears), ([shall]) hear (-er, -ken), be noised, be reported, understand.

3. Paul’s Statement Draws From A Special Messenger

Albert Barnes wrote…

[Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus] To wit, by Epaphras, who had informed Paul of the steadfastness of their faith and love; Colossians 1:7-8. This does not prove that Paul had never been at Colossae, or that he did not establish the church there, for he uses a similar expression respecting the church at Ephesus (Ephesians 1:15), of which he was undoubtedly the founder. The meaning is, that he had heard of their faith at that time, or of their perseverance in faith and love.

C. He Mentions The “Why” Of Thanksgiving

Paul made a statement in 1 Corinthians that reflects what these Colossians had experienced and why Paul is giving thanks…

(1 Corinthians 13:13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Of these Colossian believers, Paul said that they had experienced faith, love, and hope…

(Colossians 1:4-6) Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, {5} For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; {6} 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:

1. They Had The Experience Of Faith

MacArthur said…

Pistis (faith) means to be persuaded that something is true and to trust in it. Far more than mere intellectual assent, it involves obedience. Pistis comes from the root word peithoô (“obey”). The concept of obedience is equated with belief throughout the New Testament. … True saving faith contains repentance and obedience as its elements. … The repentance in saving faith involves three elements: a turning to God, a turning from evil, and an intent to serve God. No change of mind can be called true repentance without all three. Repentance is not merely being ashamed or sorry over sin, although genuine repentance always involves an element of remorse. It is a redirection of the human will, a purposeful decision to forsake all unrighteousness and pursue righteousness instead.

2. They Had The Expression Of Fellowship (Love)

MacArthur further said…

Genuine faith does not exist in a vacuum but will inevitably result in a changed life. One of the visible and strong fruits of true saving faith is love for fellow believers (cf. John 13:34-35). The apostle John emphasizes that truth repeatedly in his first epistle:

The one who says he is in the light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (2:9-11)

By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. (3:10)

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (3:14-15)

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. (4:20)

A true child of God will love fellow believers.

Love is not sanction for anything you might do. Somebody said that the man who takes the strongest stand against your sin is probably the one who prays for you the most!

3. They Had The Expectation Of A Future (Hope)

(Colossians 1:5) For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

Here is the explicit reason for Paul’s thanksgiving; he says “we give thanks … for the hope.”

hope – Greek 1680. elpis, el-pece'; from a prim. elpo (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation (abstr. or concr.) or confidence:--faith, hope.

MacArthur says of “hope”…

Paul is thankful not only for the Colossians’ faith and love, but also for their hope. Faith and hope are inseparably linked. We believe, and so we hope.
Paul describes that hope as laid up for you in heaven. Apokeimai (laid up) means “in store,” or “reserved.” Peter speaks of “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:4). … Hope is the Christian’s anchor chain, connecting him inseparably to God’s throne. … One result of our hope is a willingness to sacrifice the present on the altar of the future.

Consider these other statements about “hope” in the New Testament…

Notice verses 23 and 27 of this same chapter.

(Romans 15:13) Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

(1 Corinthians 15:19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

(Galatians 5:5) For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

(Titus 1:2) In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

(Titus 2:13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

(Titus 3:7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

(Hebrews 6:18-19) That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: {19} Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

Paul said it is “laid up for you in heaven.” Of this statement, A. T. Robertson explained…

Laid up ‎apokeimeineen‎. Literally, “laid away or by.” An old word used in Luke 19:20 of the pound laid away in a napkin. See also ‎apotheesaurizoo‎, to store away for future use (1 Timothy 6:19). The same idea occurs in Matthew 6:20 (treasure in heaven) and 1 Peter 1:4 and it is involved in Philippians 3:20.

Illustration: In ‘Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations & Quotes,’ Robert J. Morgan said, “The words ‘Thank’ and ‘Think’ hail from the same root, reminding us that thanksgiving comes from thinking about our blessings.”

It is wonderful and thankworthy to think about God saving us personally, but thinking about His salvation of others around us should also evoke thanksgiving.

As the passage progresses, Paul is praying for them. And he says in verse 9 that it is not just a prayer but a desire. In other words, these are some things that Paul is asking God to do in the lives of these Colossian believers, and these are some things that he has a longing in his heart to see among the Colossian believers. There are several things that Paul mentions in this prayer, but in verse 12…

II. We See Paul’s Desire For Thanksgiving For These People

(Colossians 1:9–14)

A. Let’s Consider The Concept Of Thanksgiving That Paul Mentions

(Colossians 1:12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

1. Notice How This Word Is Explained

giving thanks – Greek 2168. eucharisteo, yoo-khar-is-teh'-o; from G2170; to be grateful, i.e. (act.) to express gratitude (towards); spec. to say grace at a meal:--(give) thank (-ful, -s).

In his Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W. E. Vine said…

“Thanksgiving” is the expression of joy Godward, and is therefore the fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:22; believers are encouraged to abound in it (e. g., Colossians 2:7).

The United Bible Societies New Testament Handbook Series says that…

Give thanks represents a participle, understood by TEV as an injunction or command, not as a circumstance (“as you give thanks”) or as a participle of means, dependent on the main verb “to live” in verse 10, that is, (walk worthy) “by giving thanks” (so NIV).

2. Notice How This Word Is Employed

John MacArthur said…

Giving thanks is too often demoted to a secondary place in the prayers of Christ’s people. Our attitude in approaching God is often reminiscent of the leech’s daughters: “Give, Give” (Prov. 30:15). We are quick to make our requests and slow to thank God for His answers. Because God so often answers our prayers, we come to expect it. We forget that it is only by His grace that we receive anything from Him.

The Bible repeatedly stresses the importance of giving thanks. “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving” (Ps. 50:14). “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing” (Ps. 107:21-22). “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High” (Ps. 92:1). “Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father” (Eph. 5:20). “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Col. 3:17). “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name” (Heb. 13:15). Thanksgiving should permeate our speech, our songs, and our prayers.

Our Lord knew the importance of giving thanks. In Matthew 11:25 He said, “I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes.” Before feeding the five thousand, Jesus “took the loaves; and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated” (John 6:11). Just before raising Lazarus from the dead, “Jesus raised His eyes, and said, ‘Father, I thank Thee that Thou heardest Me”’ (John 11:41).

Revelation 7:11 tells us that the angels give thanks: “All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”’

David (2 Sam. 22:50; Ps. 28:7), the Levites (1 Chron. 16:4; Neh. 12:24), Asaph and his relatives (1 Chron. 16:7), Daniel (Dan. 6:10), and the priests, Levites, and descendants of Asaph (Ezra 3:10-11) also gave thanks to God.

In addition to those positive examples, the Bible teaches that failing to give thanks characterizes the wicked. One indictment of unbelievers is that “even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks” (Rom. 1:21). Evil men are marked by ungratefulness (Luke 6:35; 2 Tim. 3:2).

Scripture instructs us to thank God for many things. We are to thank Him for who He is. Psalm 30:4 says, “Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name” (cf. Ps. 97:12). We should also thank God for His nearness. “We give thanks to Thee, O God, we give thanks, for Thy name is near” (Ps. 75:1). Paul gave thanks to God for his salvation and his opportunity to serve Him: “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me, faithful, putting me into service; even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. And yet I was shown mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Tim. 1:12-13).

The apostle also gave thanks for the spiritual growth of others: “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater” (2 Thess. 1:3).

Even mundane things like food call for giving thanks (1 Tim. 4:3-4). First Thessalonians 5:18 sums it up: “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

What makes Christians most thankful is the work of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 9:15, Paul exclaims, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

3. Notice How This Word Is Expressed

unto the Father

Albert Barnes said…

The particular point which the apostle here says demanded thanksgiving was, that they had been called from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. This had been done by the special mercy of the Father who had provided the plan of salvation, and had sent his Son to redeem them. The connection shows that the word “Father” refers, in this place, not to God as the Father of his creatures, but to the Father as distinguished from the Son. It is the “Father” who has translated us into the kingdom of the “Son.” Our special thanks are due to the “Father” in this, as he is represented as the great Author of the whole plan of salvation-as he who sent his Son to redeem us.

Again, the United Bible Societies New Testament Handbook Series says that…

It is frequently impossible to speak of God as “the Father,” since a kinship term such as “father” must be possessed, that is to say, a father is always the father of someone. … In other instances, it may be necessary to use an expanded phrase such as “God our father.” It is important not to conclude that one can communicate the meaning of father in this context merely by a device such as capitalization. The Scriptures are heard far more widely than they are read, and obviously capitalization does not show up in pronunciation.

B. Let’s Consider The Companions Of Thanksgiving That Paul Mentions

(Colossians 1:9-11) 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; {10} That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; {11} Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

1. In Addition To Thanksgiving, Paul’s Desire For Them Included An Inclusive Productivity

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work

John MacArthur said…

The Bible defines fruit in various ways. Here Paul speaks of bearing fruit in every good work. Converts are referred to as fruit. Paul spoke of the household of Stephanas as the “first fruits of Achaia” (1 Cor. 16:15). He also desired some fruit among the Romans (Rom. 1:13). Hebrews 13:15 defines praise as fruit: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” Giving money can also be fruit (Rom. 15:26-28). Godly living is fruit, as indicated when the writer of Hebrews tells us that God’s discipline produces in us “the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11). Finally, the holy attitudes mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 are referred to as “the fruit of the Spirit.”

What produces fruit in believers’ lives? First, union with Christ. Jesus said in John 15:4-5, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Second, wisdom is a necessary prerequisite for bearing fruit. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).

2. In Addition To Thanksgiving, Paul’s Desire For Them Included An Increasing Perception

(vs. 9) that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding

Kenneth Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament says of this word “knowledge” …

“Knowledge” is epignoesis. The word is an advance upon gnosis (knowledge) in that it denotes a larger and more thorough knowledge. It is a knowledge which grasps and penetrates into an object. It was a favorite word of the Gnostics who used it to designate the superior knowledge which they claimed as their exclusive possession. Paul prays that all the saints might become possessors of this knowledge, indicating that it was open for all to appropriate, not a secret mystery into which only a favored few could be initiated.

a. He Desired A Saturating Knowledge For These Believers

filled – Greek 4137. pleroo, play-ro'-o; from G4134; to make replete, i.e. (lit.) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (fig.) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.:--accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.

b. He Desired A Specific Knowledge For These Believers

of his will – Greek 2307. thelema, thel'-ay-mah; from the prol. form of G2309; a determination (prop. the thing), i.e. (act.) choice (spec. purpose, decree; abstr. volition) or (pass.) inclination:--desire, pleasure, will.

The Barnes’ Notes Commentary says…

They had shown by their faith and love that they were disposed to do his will, and the apostle now prays that they might be fully acquainted with what he would have them do. He offered a similar prayer in behalf of the Ephesians; see the parallel place in Ephesians 1:17-19, and the notes at those verses.

To have “the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” is to have a proper focus upon the work of God and the ways of God. To “be filled” with this type of knowledge enables us to move forward in the right path without reservation or hesitation. “Father, give our church a filling of the knowledge of your will as we move forward.”

Wuest’s Word Studies says…

Wisdom (Sophia) embraces the whole range of mental faculties; understanding (sunesis) is the special faculty of intelligence or insight which discriminates between the false and the true, and grasps the relations in which things stand to each other.

He Is Praying For A Special / Spiritual Type Of Wisdom

spiritual – Greek 4152. pneumatikos, pnyoo-mat-ik-os'; from G4151; non-carnal, i.e. (humanly) ethereal (as opposed to gross), or (daemoniacally) a spirit (concr.), or (divinely) supernatural, regenerate, religious:--spiritual.

understanding – Greek 4907. sunesis, soon'-es-is; from G4920; a mental putting together, i.e. intelligence or (concr.) the intellect:--knowledge.

(vs. 10) increasing in the knowledge of God

increasing – Greek 837. auxano, owx-an’-o; a prolonged form of a prim. verb; to grow (“wax”), i.e. enlarge (lit. or fig., act. or pass.):--grow (up), (give the) increase.

knowledge – Greek 1922. epignosis, ep-ig'-no-sis; from G1921; recognition, i.e. (by impl.) full discernment, acknowledgment:--(ac-) knowledge (-ing, -ment).

‎Marvin Vincent said that this phrase “increasing in the knowledge of God” is “Literally ‘unto’ the knowledge. The best texts read ‎tee ‎‎epignoosei ‎ ‘by the knowledge:’ by means of.” So we are not just increasing in the knowledge of God, but we are increasing by means of the knowledge of God.

3. In Addition To Thanksgiving, Paul’s Desire For Them Included An Interesting Power

(Colossians 1:11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

a. Notice The Bigness Of This Strength

strengthened – Greek 1412. dunamoo, doo-nam-o'-o; from G1411; to enable:--strengthen.

might – Greek 1411. dunamis, doo'-nam-is; from G1410; force (lit. or fig.); spec. miraculous power (usually by impl. a miracle itself):--ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.

In other words, we are enabled with all miraculous power and ability to do what God calls us to do.

Cf. (Matthew 28:18-19) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. {19} Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Jesus has the power, but He tells us to go.

b. Notice The Basis Of This Strength

glorious – Greek 1391. doxa, dox'-ah; from the base of G1380; glory (as very apparent), in a wide application (lit. or fig., obj. or subj.):--dignity, glory (-ious), honour, praise, worship.

power – Greek 2904. kratos; vigor [“great”] (lit. or fig.):--dominion, might [-ily], power, strength.

A. T. Robertson said...

According to the might of his glory (according to his glorious power). “Might” is an old word for perfect strength. In the New Testament it is applied only to God. Here his might is accompanied by glory (Shekinah).

(Colossians 1:11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

God doesn’t give us this enabling strength with the goal of performing great feats of strength. But the goal is patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.

c. The Goal Of Being Strong In The Lord Is Just Enduring With Trustworthiness

all patience – Greek 5281. hupomone, hoop-om-on-ay'; from G5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy:--enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

d. The Goal Of Being Strong In The Lord Is Joyfully Enduring With Toleration

longsuffering – Greek 3115. makrothumia, mak-roth-oo-mee'-ah; from the same as G3116; longanimity, i.e. (obj.) forbearance or (subj.) fortitude:-- patience.

joyfulness – Greek 5479. chara, khar-ah'; from G5463; cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight:--gladness, X greatly, (X be exceeding) joy (-ful, -fully, -fulness, -ous).

C. Let’s Consider The Cause Of Thanksgiving That Paul Mentions

(Colossians 1:12-14) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: {13} Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: {14} In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

1. Be Thankful That You Have Been A Recipient

(Colossians 1:12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

‎Albert Barnes said of his making us “meet”…

[Who hath made us meet] The word used here - ‎hikanooo ‎- means properly to make sufficient, from ‎hikanos ‎- sufficient, abundant, much. The word conveys the idea of having sufficient or enough to accomplish anything.

Cf. (2 Corinthians 3:5) Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

Adam Clarke said of this verse that we are…

Giving thanks unto the Father, who hath called and qualified us to be partakers

[Of the inheritance] ‎Eis ‎‎teen ‎‎merida ‎‎tou ‎‎kleerou‎. A plain allusion to the division of the Promised Land by lot among the different families of the twelve Israelite tribes. The ‎kleeros ‎was the lot or inheritance belonging to the tribe; the ‎meris ‎was the portion in that lot which belonged to each family of that tribe. This was a type of the kingdom of God, in which portions of eternal blessedness are dispensed to the genuine Israelites; to them who have the circumcision of the heart by the Spirit, whose praise is of God, and not of man.

[Of the saints in light] Light, in the sacred writings, is used to express knowledge, felicity, purity, comfort, and joy of the most substantial kind; here it is put to point out the state of glory at the right hand of God.

2. Be Thankful That You Have Been Relocated

(Colossians 1:13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

MacArthur said…

Delivered is from ruomai, which means “to draw to oneself,” or “to rescue.” God drew us out of Satan’s kingdom to Himself. … Those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ have been rescued from the domain of darkness. Exousias (domain, or power) could be translated “power,” “jurisdiction,” or “authority.”

Barnes said…

[And hath translated us] The word rendered here “translated” is often used in the sense of removing a people from one country to another. It means, here, that they who are Christians have been transferred from one kingdom to another, as if a people were thus removed. They become subjects of a new kingdom, are under different laws, and belong to a different community. This change is made in regeneration, by which we pass from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light; from the empire of sin, ignorance, and misery, to one of holiness, knowledge, and happiness.

3. Be Thankful That You Have Been Redeemed

(Colossians 1:14) In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

redemption (verse 14 – NT:629 – apolutrosis) It means “setting free for a ransom.” and is used of prisoners of war, slaves, and criminals condemned to death. (From Theological Dictionary of the New Testament)

Again, Adam Clarke said…

[In whom we have redemption] Who has paid down the redemption price, even his own blood, that our sins might be canceled, and we made fit to be partakers of the inheritance among the saints in light.


I had heard the chorus often, but I never realized that there were verses in this song written by Mr. and Mrs. Seth Sykes. The verses say…

Verse 1

Some thank the Lord for friends and home,

For mercies sure and sweet;

But I would praise Him for His grace

In prayer I would repeat:

Verse 2

Some thank Him for the flow’rs that grow,

Some for the stars that shine;

My heart is filled with joy and praise,

Because I know He's mine.

Verse 3

I trust in Him from day to day,

I prove His saving grace;

I’ll sing this song of praise to Him

Until I see His face.

Then here is the familiar chorus that which, when sung from the heart, fulfills Paul’s desire and prayer for what believers should be doing…


Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,

Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;

Thank you, Lord, for giving to me

Thy great salvation so rich and free.