God’s Will in Christ Jesus & Perseverance of the Saints
The Apostle Paul told the Colossians a specific prayer he had for their church. The prayer was they “may be filled with the knowledge of His (God’s) will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding …” (Colossians 1:9).
God’s will is the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. This is known as giving Jesus Christ preeminence (first place) in all things. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess Jesus is Lord. God has put all things on earth in subjection to Christ; every dominion, tribe, kingdom, ruler, authority, and government is under His Lordship. All the principalities and powers of the heavens are subject to Christ’s rule as well. It is God’s perfect plan, and God’s good pleasure, in Christ all the fullness will dwell. Nothing will stand in the way to prevent God’s will from taking place.
The Apostle Paul desired Christians to understand God’s will fully, completely and practically. Paul understood how the knowledge of God’s will ought to shape and control the life of those that follow Christ. Our ambition, energy, words, accomplishments, and our response to every situation and circumstance we face (every function of our being) must always have the goal of exalting Christ. In even the most mundane, ordinary tasks of everyday life; Christ is to have first place. Anything and everything we do that is not Christ-like, not exalting Christ, not giving Jesus Christ first place; is outside of God’s will.
Paul told the Colossians an outcome of the prayer would be their being strengthened for perseverance (1:11). The strengthening would be with the same Holy Spirit power God anointed Christ with for ministry; declaring Him to be the Son of God with power; the power for Christ to do good, heal the sick, and cast out demons. It is the power strengthening the Gospel for salvation. It is the power raising us up on the last day.
Just as God wanted the Colossians to know His will, God wants us to also know His will. God also wants us to know as a result of this knowledge, we will be strengthened for all steadfastness and perseverance.
God grants tomorrow’s resurrection power today so we may persevere, overcome sin, walk in the Spirit and not the flesh, power to continue walking in Christ. God gives us this power, “according to His glorious might.” The Greek word used here by Paul means a “power able to overcome any resistance.” It is God’s miracle working power. Nothing may stand against God’s power. It “disarmed the rulers and authorities of darkness, and made a public display of them, having triumphed over them.” It is the power giving God the name, “Almighty God.” The power of almighty God to split the Red Sea, crumble the walls of Jericho, the power used to spin a tornado, and the power used to create the Universe and set it in motion, is working in us so we steadfastly and patiently persevere.
It is this almighty power of God keeping the saints steadfast in faith, even in the worst of circumstances; even the intense persecution described at the end of Hebrews 11: torture; destitute conditions; affliction; ill-treatment; wandering in deserts; mocking and scourging; chains and imprisonment; put to death with the sword; stoned; and being sawn in two.
The Saints in Christ are given this miraculous power to steadfastly continue in the faith, waiting patiently for God’s sure deliverance, never losing hope.
We cannot save ourselves and neither may we continue in our salvation on our own. It is only by the power of God we can continue in the faith. The Saints walking in Christ are not ill and weak Christians, but able to stand strong in every situation.
Why, because this is God’s will in Christ Jesus. Think about this. God has ordained a body of believers to be members of the body, with Christ as the Head. How does it bring Jesus Christ glory if He loses even one member? How is Christ preeminent if one, which God ordained elect before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), is lost along the way? Paul told the Philippians, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” God purposes to complete each and every work of salvation that He begins. All the Father gives Christ, the Father keeps in Christ. The Body of Christ, the Church, the Bride, will be presented on the last day with EVERY member present, complete, to the glory of God.
God is our deliverer, nothing can snatch us out of His hand, and nothing can separate us from His love. His power cannot be overcome. God will not and cannot be defeated. Knowing God’s will, with all spiritual wisdom and understanding, allows us to face any circumstance and know we will be with Jesus someday. Knowing God, whose plans cannot be thwarted, is highly exalting the Son allows the Saints in Christ to see HOPE brightly shining in the darkest of nights.