Colossians 3* The Colossians exhorted to be heavenly-minded; (1-4) tomortify all corrupt affections; (5-11) to live in mutual love,forbearance, and forgiveness; (12-17) and to practise the dutiesof wives and husbands, children, parents, and servants. (18-25)1-4 As Christians are freed from the ceremonial law, they mustwalk the more closely with God in gospel obedience. As heavenand earth are contrary one to the other, both cannot be followedtogether; and affection to the one will weaken and abateaffection to the other. Those that are born again are dead tosin, because its dominion is broken, its power gradually subduedby the operation of grace, and it shall at length beextinguished by the perfection of glory. To be dead, then, meansthis, that those who have the Holy Spirit, mortifying withinthem the lusts of the flesh, are able to despise earthly things,and to desire those that are heavenly. Christ is, at present,one whom we have not seen; but our comfort is, that our life issafe with him. The streams of this living water flow into thesoul by the influences of the Holy Spirit, through faith. Christlives in the believer by his Spirit, and the believer lives tohim in all he does. At the second coming of Christ, there willbe a general assembling of all the redeemed; and those whoselife is now hid with Christ, shall then appear with him in hisglory. Do we look for such happiness, and should we not set ouraffections upon that world, and live above this? 5-11 It is our duty to mortify our members which incline to thethings of the world. Mortify them, kill them, suppress them, asweeds or vermin which spread and destroy all about them.Continual opposition must be made to all corrupt workings, andno provision made for carnal indulgences. Occasions of sin mustbe avoided: the lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world;and covetousness, which is idolatry; love of present good, andof outward enjoyments. It is necessary to mortify sins, becauseif we do not kill them, they will kill us. The gospel changesthe higher as well as the lower powers of the soul, and supportsthe rule of right reason and conscience, over appetite andpassion. There is now no difference from country, or conditionsand circumstances of life. It is the duty of every one to beholy, because Christ is a Christian's All, his only Lord andSaviour, and all his hope and happiness. 12-17 We must not only do no hurt to any, but do what good wecan to all. Those who are the elect of God, holy and beloved,ought to be lowly and compassionate towards all. While in thisworld, where there is so much corruption in our hearts, quarrelswill sometimes arise. But it is our duty to forgive one another,imitating the forgiveness through which we are saved. Let thepeace of God rule in your hearts; it is of his working in allwho are his. Thanksgiving to God, helps to make us agreeable toall men. The gospel is the word of Christ. Many have the word,but it dwells in them poorly; it has no power over them. Thesoul prospers, when we are full of the Scriptures and of thegrace of Christ. But when we sing psalms, we must be affectedwith what we sing. Whatever we are employed about, let us doevery thing in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in believingdependence on him. Those who do all in Christ's name, will neverwant matter of thanksgiving to God, even the Father. 18-25 The epistles most taken up in displaying the glory of theDivine grace, and magnifying the Lord Jesus, are the mostparticular in pressing the duties of the Christian life. We mustnever separate the privileges and duties of the gospel.Submission is the duty of wives. But it is submission, not to asevere lord or stern tyrant, but to her own husband, who isengaged to affectionate duty. And husbands must love their wiveswith tender and faithful affection. Dutiful children are themost likely to prosper. And parents must be tender, as well aschildren obedient. Servants are to do their duty, and obey theirmasters' commands, in all things consistent with duty to Godtheir heavenly Master. They must be both just and diligent;without selfish designs, or hypocrisy and disguise. Those whofear God, will be just and faithful when from under theirmaster's eye, because they know they are under the eye of God.And do all with diligence, not idly and slothfully; cheerfully,not discontented at the providence of God which put them in thatrelation. And for servants' encouragement, let them know, thatin serving their masters according to the command of Christ,they serve Christ, and he will give them a glorious reward atlast. But, on the other hand, he who doeth wrong, shall receivefor the wrong which he hath done. God will punish the unjust, aswell as reward the faithful servant; and the same if masterswrong their servants. For the righteous Judge of the earth willdeal justly between master and servant. Both will stand upon alevel at his tribunal. How happy would true religion make theworld, if it every where prevailed, influenced every state ofthings, and every relation of life! But the profession of thosepersons who are regardless of duties, and give just cause forcomplaint to those they are connected with, deceives themselves,as well as brings reproach on the gospel.
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