1:9 knowledge. “Knowledge” is the same as “science.” The “knowledge of His will” could be considered as the science of God’s will; perhaps one could call this science thelemology (the Greek word for “will” is thelema)! God has indeed given us guidelines for knowing His will. The principles of “thelemology” could be grouped in two categories: God’s general will for all His people; and God’s specific will for each individual believer. His general will includes knowledge and acceptance concerning creation (Revelation 4:11, the last occurrence of “will” in the Bible, there translated “pleasure”), redemption (Hebrews 10:7-10), salvation (II Timothy 1:9), regeneration (John 1:13; Ephesians 1:5), security (John 6:39; 17:24), sanctification (I Thessalonians 4:3; 5:18; I Peter 2:15), and our eternal presence with Christ (John 17:24; Ephesians 1:9-11). The knowledge of His particular will is conditioned on willingness to follow it (John 7:17; Romans 12:1-2), obedience when known (James 1:22; Matthew 7:21), prayer for guidance (I John 5:14-15), obedience to the relevant Scriptures (Psalm 119:105), recognition of relevant circumstances (I Corinthians 12:4,11; Romans 8:26-28), and inner confidence (Philippians 4:6-7; Psalm 32:8; Proverbs 3:5-6).

1:9 his will. It is noteworthy that forty-nine of the sixty-four occurrences of thelema (“will”) in the New Testament refer directly to God’s will, not man’s. Of the other fifteen, three refer to Jesus in His humanity and three to the Father as represented in parables by a human father. Thus, only nine (or fourteen percent) refer to man’s will. Based on this relative frequency of occurrence in the Spirit-inspired Scriptures, it would seem that He considered the will of God far more important than that of man.

1:10 walk worthy. Among Paul’s prayer requests—and evidently the normal results of being fulfilled with the knowledge of God’s will—were a “worthy walk,” “fruitful in every good work,” an “increasing knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10), strength and joy in suffering (Colossians 1:11), and a thankful heart (Colossians 1:12).


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