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The Epistle to The Colossians, Chapter 2
The Agony of Paul
Part 1 of 6
Dr. Harley Howard
1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have
for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as
have not seen my face in the flesh;
The word conflict is built from the same root word,
striving in 1:29. Keep in mind that Paul is in prison
at the time that this letter is written. We have also
seen that he implies that his sufferings were on their
behalf (1:24) so the conflict may relate to this
imprisonment. However, Paul uses this word as it
relates to prayer (Romans 15:30, Colossians 4:12). I
believe that this is the primary usage of the word
here. Prayer for Paul was a conflict and he described
it as great. His prayers are described as a struggle
on behalf of the saints in the church in Colosse. We
have already been introduced to Paul's great prayer
life in 1:9-11. The foundation of Paul's prayer is
strictly spiritual. I believe that nothing has changed
at all in Paul's mind about the substance of his
prayers for the church. Not only was Paul in agony for
the church that they would place spiritual matters as
top priority, but he agonized in prayer, knowing of
the false teaching that had already crept into the
church at Colosse, challenging them to trust in
teachings that had nothing to do with Christ, and as
we will see, were completely useless for the believer.
The false teaching challenged the believers at the
very foundation of their faith, that being, the
sufficiency of Jesus Christ, and biblical salvation.
We have seen this in great detail in our study of the
first chapter. The church today is challenged with
the same deluge of false teachings and teachers who
are attempting to rob saints of their faith in Jesus
Christ and the salvation that He provides. As a
pastor, I understand the agony in prayer as I pray
that the saints leave the trivial, the sha ...
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