Colossians 3

* The Colossians exhorted to be heavenly-minded; (1-4) to

mortify all corrupt affections; (5-11) to live in mutual love,

forbearance, and forgiveness; (12-17) and to practise the duties

of wives and husbands, children, parents, and servants. (18-25)

1-4 As Christians are freed from the ceremonial law, they must

walk the more closely with God in gospel obedience. As heaven

and earth are contrary one to the other, both cannot be followed

together; and affection to the one will weaken and abate

affection to the other. Those that are born again are dead to

sin, because its dominion is broken, its power gradually subdued

by the operation of grace, and it shall at length be

extinguished by the perfection of glory. To be dead, then, means

this, that those who have the Holy Spirit, mortifying within

them 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 is

safe with him. The streams of this living water flow into the

soul by the influences of the Holy Spirit, through faith. Christ

lives in the believer by his Spirit, and the believer lives to

him in all he does. At the second coming of Christ, there will

be a general assembling of all the redeemed; and those whose

life is now hid with Christ, shall then appear with him in his

glory. Do we look for such happiness, and should we not set our

affections upon that world, and live above this?
5-11 It is our duty to mortify our members which incline to the

things of the world. Mortify them, kill them, suppress them, as

weeds or vermin which spread and destroy all about them.

Continual opposition must be made to all corrupt workings, and

no provision made for carnal indulgences. Occasions of sin must

be avoided: the lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world;

and covetousness, which is idolatry; love of present good, and

of outward enjoyments. It is necessary to mortify sins, because

if we do not kill them, they will kill us. The gospel changes

the higher as well as the lower powers of the soul, and supports

the rule of right reason and conscience, over appetite and

passion. There is now no difference from country, or conditions

and circumstances of life. It is the duty of every one to be

holy, because Christ is a Christian's All, his only Lord and

Saviour, and all his hope and happiness.
12-17 We must not only do no hurt to any, but do what good we

can to all. Those who are the elect of God, holy and beloved,

ought to be lowly and compassionate towards all. While in this

world, where there is so much corruption in our hearts, quarrels

will sometimes arise. But it is our duty to forgive one another,

imitating the forgiveness through which we are saved. Let the

peace of God rule in your hearts; it is of his working in all

who are his. Thanksgiving to God, helps to make us agreeable to

all men. The gospel is the word of Christ. Many have the word,

but it dwells in them poorly; it has no power over them. The

soul prospers, when we are full of the Scriptures and of the

grace of Christ. But when we sing psalms, we must be affected

with what we sing. Whatever we are employed about, let us do

every thing in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in believing

dependence on him. Those who do all in Christ's name, will never

want matter of thanksgiving to God, even the Father.
18-25 The epistles most taken up in displaying the glory of the

Divine grace, and magnifying the Lord Jesus, are the most

particular in pressing the duties of the Christian life. We must

never separate the privileges and duties of the gospel.

Submission is the duty of wives. But it is submission, not to a

severe lord or stern tyrant, but to her own husband, who is

engaged to affectionate duty. And husbands must love their wives

with tender and faithful affection. Dutiful children are the

most likely to prosper. And parents must be tender, as well as

children obedient. Servants are to do their duty, and obey their

masters' commands, in all things consistent with duty to God

their heavenly Master. They must be both just and diligent;

without selfish designs, or hypocrisy and disguise. Those who

fear God, will be just and faithful when from under their

master'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 that

relation. And for servants' encouragement, let them know, that

in serving their masters according to the command of Christ,

they serve Christ, and he will give them a glorious reward at

last. But, on the other hand, he who doeth wrong, shall receive

for the wrong which he hath done. God will punish the unjust, as

well as reward the faithful servant; and the same if masters

wrong their servants. For the righteous Judge of the earth will

deal justly between master and servant. Both will stand upon a

level at his tribunal. How happy would true religion make the

world, if it every where prevailed, influenced every state of

things, and every relation of life! But the profession of those

persons who are regardless of duties, and give just cause for

complaint to those they are connected with, deceives themselves,

as well as brings reproach on the gospel.

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