The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 12 of 249
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and a period called "due time" for its making known, and a "committing" of the same to
Paul.  In Col. 2: 2 Paul writes, at the conclusion of another prayer, "that their hearts
might be comforted, being knit together in love and unto all riches of the full assurance of
understanding to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God--Christ (Revised text), in
Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2: 2, 3). We believe that
in Eph. 4: 13 and Col. 1: 9, 10, the truth is better expressed by "acknowledgment" than
knowledge. The verb epignosko occurs once in the epistle to the Colossians, namely, in
the phrase "and knew the grace of God in truth" (1: 6) and the substantive, epignosis,
occurs four times, as follows:
"That ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will" (1: 9).
"Increasing in the knowledge of God" (1: 10).
"To the acknowledgment of the mystery of God" (2: 2).
"Which is renewed in knowledge after the image . . . . ." (3: 10).
It will be observed that whether it be the verb or the noun, each reference is practical
in its character, and has growth as its goal.
In Col. 1: 6, we read of "fruit bearing" and "increase", although the A.V. here gives
no translation of the second word, auxanomenon, an omission supplied by the R.V. which
reads, "bearing fruit or increasing". Now this growth and evidence of life is associated
with "recognizing the grace of God in truth". "The truth" may be conceived as the
opposite of "the lie" (Rom. 1: 25), or "the truth" may be conceived as the opposite of
"type and shadow" (John 1: 17). That which is "true" is often placed in contrast with the
typical, as, for example, "the figures of the true" (Heb. 9: 24), or "the true bread"
(John 6: 32). The Colossians did not merely "know the grace of God", they "recognized,
or acknowledged, the grace of God in reality". This, as we saw in our last article, is
essential to maturity, as it is here essential to growth and fruitfulness.
In the prayer that commences at Col. 1: 9 the Apostle uses the word epignosis twice.
Care must be exercised in translating these two passages, otherwise the precise meaning
of the Spirit will be missed, and human ideas substituted. There is no preposition which
stands for "with" in the first reference, but the case of the word permits the translation
"filled with" or "filled as to". Ten epignosin is in the accusative case, "the accusative of
equivalent notion" (Jelf). Ten epignosin is the "fullness" implied in the preceding verb
"to fill". The reader will remember that "the fullness" comes in Eph. 4: 13 as part of
the "measure" of the perfect man.
Paraphrasing the Apostle's words, therefore, in order to bring out this meaning we
suggest the following:
"For this cause, namely, that you have `recognized' the grace of God `in reality' and
are manifesting this recognition by fruit-bearing and increase, we do not cease to pray for
you, and to desire that you might be filled, and this fullness is none other than the
`recognition' of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding."
This prayer is very much along the lines of that found in Eph. 1: 15-19 where the
Apostle prayed that in the sphere of this acknowledgment or recognition, the spirit of