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Commentary » Colossians 1:9-Colossians 1:14 »

Four Ways to Please God

English evangelist George Whitefield (1714-1770) learned it was more important to please God than to please men. Knowing that he was doing what was honoring to the Lord kept him from discouragement when he was falsely accused by his enemies. Once Whitefield received a vicious let … More


Paul prays for the Colossians (v. 9). He had never met the Colossians but he wanted them to know what he is faithfully praying for them. It has to do with the knowledge of God’s will and a life lived in accordance with that will. Paul now states four ways that we can please God:

  1. By bearing fruit (v.10). It is true that works has nothing to do with our salvation but we must be careful in emphasizing this that we do not overlook the fact that we are saved to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). Our problem usually is not what we don’t know, but rather living up to what we do know.
  2. By increasing in the knowledge of God (v.10). Since eternal life consists in knowing Him (John 17:3) it is important that we don’t just know about Him but really get to know Him.
  3. By being strengthened (v. 11). Usually we are willing to take what comes up to a certain point then we assert “our rights” and strike back. This is the arm of the flesh which is weak against the power of Satan.
  4. By giving thanks to the Father (v.12). Just as we appreciate someone showing gratitude to us, so God is pleased when our words show we are grateful.

Probably no section in the new testament contains more concentrated doctrine about Jesus than these two verses (vv. 13-14). He delivered us from sin and made us victors over Satan’s kingdom (v. 13). He rescued us from Satan’s prison and transferred us to a new freedom of forgiveness (v. 14).


The size of my treasure in heaven depends entirely on how much I work for Christ down here (Col. 3:24). I want to work for the rewards that God will give in heaven for doing things that please Him.


Colossians 1:9-14 (English Standard Version)

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »