Colossians 1To obtain the greatest and richest of all blessings for himself and his fellow-Christians, Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, was in the habit of seeking them from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, in a manner which showed that he knew them both to be divine. For the hope; that is, connecting these words with "we give thanks," on account of the hope. But we may better connect them with verse Col 1:4, and render, through the hope; meaning faith and love exercised under the influence of the hope laid up for them in heaven--the hope here standing for the inheritance which is its object. In all the world; wherever the gospel was embraced it produced the same effects as in Colosse. The gospel, wherever preached, influences all who embrace it in truth, whatever may have been their past character and condition, to lives of holy obedience; and inspires them with a hope which tends to purify them, even as Christ is pure. 1Jo 3:3. As ye also learned of Epaphras; learned "the grace of God in truth" of Epaphras, who seems to have been their first teacher, and was now with Paul in Rome. Love; that which the Holy Spirit produces. Spiritual understanding; understanding of spiritual things as revealed in the gospel. Unto all pleasing; in a manner constantly or every way pleasing to God. Patience; endurance under trials. That patient and joyful submission under trials which becomes the friends of Christ, it is difficult for them to exercise, and nothing will effectually secure it but the power of God. Made us meet; prepared us.Saints in light; in the enjoyment of the bliss of heaven. The power of darkness; dominion of sin and Satan. The image of the invisible God; the invisible God made manifest. Christ is the image of God, as possessing perfect equality with the Father in substance and divine perfections. Compare his own words: "He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father." Joh 14:9.The first-born of every creature; or, the first-born of all creation. Since Christ is the creator of all things, verse Col 1:16, he is not himself one of the creation. But he is the first-born of all creation, as being before all things, verse Col 1:17, and above them as their supreme head, verse Col 1:20. In heaven--in earth, visible and invisible; the apostle labors to assert in the most absolute way that the whole universe of created things is the work of Christ. Compare Joh 1:3, and Heb 3:4. "He that built all things is God."Thrones--powers; words that denote the different orders of created intelligences. Compare Eph 1:21; 3:10.For him; as their end. This is the highest possible assertion of Christ's proper deity. Consist; are upheld in their present state. Compare Heb 1:3. "Upholding all things by the word of his power." Head of the--church; source of its life, light, and all its blessings.First-born from the dead; the first who rose never again to die, and who will raise all the dead--some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Joh 5:28,29.Have the preeminence; as head of the created universe, and the object of supreme affection to all who put their trust in him. As Christ owns the bodies and souls of men by the right of creation and redemption, and as he made, redeemed, and preserves them for himself, not to devote themselves to his service is injustice and dishonesty. All fulness; all the fulness of the Godhead; as a Saviour, then, he has all that is needful to save to the uttermost those who come unto God by him. Heb 7:25. Made peace; opened the way for peace.Things in earth--things in heaven; that the opposition between heaven and earth, which sin has occasioned, may be removed, and all things in heaven and earth may be united under Christ as their head in one harmonious body. Alienated; from God.By wicked works; literally, in wicked works, these being, as it were, the element in which they lived. In the body of his flesh through death; by his propitiatory death on the cross in human nature.To present; to present you before God, as the final result of his work of redemption. Eph 1:4. In Eph 5:27, the nature of the figure--Christ and the church his bride--required the apostle to say, "that he might present it to himself." The two forms of speaking come to the same thing. Grounded and settled; firm and steadfast in the belief and practice of the truth.To every creature which is under heaven; the apostle in these words expresses the design of the gospel and its final destiny. Those who would be saved must not merely believe in Christ, profess him before men, and begin to serve him; they must continue in the belief of the truth, in the practice of piety towards God, righteousness and benevolence towards men, and in the conscientious discharge of their various personal and relative duties to the end of life. Mt 10:22; Heb 10:38,39. Fill up that which is behind; that which remains to be yet endured.The afflictions of Christ; afflictions to be undergone by Christ in his body the church; that is, in the persons of his disciples. Of these every believer has his share to fill up, and ought to rejoice in it, because God with these means works out his salvation and that of his brethren. Whereof; of which church.For you; for the benefit of you Gentiles.To fulfil the word of God; to fulfil my stewardship of God's word by dispensing it faithfully. Compare Ro 15:19, where the original is, "I have fulfilled the gospel of Christ." Even the mystery; added to show wherein the fulfilling of the word of God lies, namely, in unfolding the mystery, etc. The mystery is that so fully unfolded in Eph 2:13-22, namely, God's purpose to unite Jews and Gentiles through Christ on equal terms in one holy and spiritual body. This mystery among the Gentiles; because it is in the reception of the Gentiles to God's spiritual fold that the glory of this mystery is especially displayed. Striving; or struggling. See note to chap Col 2:1.Worketh in me; God working in Paul was the cause of his working, and the reason why his work was efficacious in reconciling men to God through Christ.
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