Filled and Fulfilled

“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.” (Colossians 1:9)

In this precious prayer, Paul sought for the Colossian Christians the full knowledge of the will of God. For the Christians at Rome, he prayed that they might be filled “with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13). For the Ephesians, he prayed that they “might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:19), and then urged them to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). He wrote to the Philippians, “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; . . . Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11). For the Colossians, he also prayed for their “full [same as ‘filled with’] assurance of understanding” (Colossians 2:2).

Together, all these prayer requests constitute an ideal description of a complete Christian—an ideal for which we should all strive and pray—both for ourselves and for others. Summarizing again, the list is as follows:

“Filled with all joy and peace in believing.”

“Filled with the fruits of righteousness.”

“Filled with the knowledge of his will.”

“Filled with the Spirit.”

“Filled with all the fulness of God.”

“Filled with assurance of understanding.”

It is also worth noting that the Greek word for “filled” is the same as for “fulfilled.” When a Christian is “filled” with all these wonderful realities, he becomes a “fulfillment,” as it were, of God’s purpose in creating and redeeming him. His ultimate goal, of course, is to measure up to “the fulness of Christ” Himself (Ephesians 4:13). HMM

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