THEME: CHRIST, THE FULLNESS OF GOD TO US
V. Practical‑‑"That Ye Walk Worthy." V. 3:1‑4:6
1. In Personal Purity. V. 1‑11
1. "If" = since; in the Greek this is a condition of a first class sentence assumed as being true, not a hypothetical condition.
2. "Then" = therefore; in view of the fact.
3. "Be risen with Christ" = a phrase referring to being saved; the tense speaks of a past action thus referring to the point of their salvation when they received new life and became new creatures (II Cor. 5:17); this phrase is similar to the phrase "be dead with Christ" in Col. 2:20; there is such a union between Christ and His people, that in virtue of His death, they became dead to sin; in virtue of His resurrection, they rise to spiritual life; and since Christ now lives in heaven, they should fix their affections heavenward where they are already seated. (Eph. 1:3; 2:6)
4. "Seek" = desire; inquire; to aim at; to strive; the tense reveals a continuous habitual lifestyle.
5. "Things above" = reference to heavenly things; refers to location which is described as "where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" = indicates a position of supreme authority; therefore, Christ, not some angel as the Gnostics taught, must be the focal point for proper moral conduct.
1. "Set your affection" = to direct one's mind to a thing; basically the same expression is repeated for emphasis‑‑you must not only seek heaven, you must also think heaven; it matters what we think, and we are responsible for our thoughts.
2. Paul does not mean that we should never think about the things upon the earth, but that these should not be our aim, our goal, or our master. Some things on the earth are not in themselves sinful, but become so if sought and thought on in preference to the things above.
1. "For" = because; gives the reason for Paul's statement in verse 2‑‑"ye are dead."
2. "Ye are dead" = refers to a past fact, "ye died" = were separated from the former life and everything of an evil nature that pertained to it‑‑dead to sin, dead to the world, and dead to earthly pleasures. (Rom. 6:2)
3. "Life" = refers to the resurrection life which the saints enjoy; it is the eternal life given the believer as the motivating energy and directive agent of the new kind of life he lives.
4. "Is hid" = concealed; the language here is probably taken from treasure which is hid or concealed in a place of security; the idea is, that eternal life is a valuable jewel or treasure, which is laid up with Christ in heaven where God the Father is and there it is safely deposited; the tense is perfect which indicates a past completed act with existing results; at the point of salvation, a believer's life was hid with Christ in God and will always remain hidden with Him.
1. Christ is our life. (John 1:4; 11:25; I John 5:12)
2. "Shall appear" = to make manifest or visible; this is a reference to the second coming of Christ as looked for and longed for, but wholly uncertain as to time.
3. "Then" = at that time.
4. "Ye" = saints.
5. "Also" = indeed.
6. "Shall appear" = shall be manifested with Him.
7. "Glory" = magnificence; splendor; brightness; majesty; manifestation that brings forth praise. (I John 3:2; Rom. 8:18)
8. This life is not always to remain hidden. It will be manifested at the second coming, at which time all saints will appear with Him in glory. The veil which now shrouds the saint's eternal life from others, will then be withdrawn, and the world which now persecutes, despises, and ignores us will then be blinded with the dazzling glory of the revelation.
1. "Therefore" = in view of that fact.
2. "Mortify" = to put to death; to deprive of power; to destroy the strength of; the tense indicates this act should be done and remain in that condition.
3. "Members" = a limb; a member of the human body; refers to the physical members of our body as they are exerted in the service of sin.
4. "Which are upon the earth" = describes these members as organs of the earthy, sensuous life.
5. Paul now list (a representative list) some of the ways or manners in which the members exert themselves in a sinful way.
A. "Fornication" = general word for wrong sex relations of any kind‑‑adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, sex with animals and corpses, and incest; used in the Bible mainly referring to sex relations between the unmarried.
B. "Uncleanness" = refers to the impurity of lustful and luxurious living; thoughts being unfit to appear before God; any unnatural pollution, whether acted out by one's self or with another.
C. "Inordinate affection" = depraved passion; unbridled lust; translated "affections" in Rom. 1:26 and "lust" in I Thess. 4:5.
D. "Evil concupiscence" = desire for what is forbidden; evil, wicked cravings.
E. "Covetousness" = greedy desire to have more; described as "idolatry" = worship of an image or the false god represented by it; placing the affection of one's heart on something beside the true God; to call covetousness idolatry is not too strong, if we realize that, when we strongly desire to own a thing, it actually owns a part of us.
1. "For which things' sake" = on account of these things, referring to the representative list of verse 5.
2. "Wrath of God" = God's display of displeasure against sin.
3. "Cometh" = be established.
4. "Children of disobedience" = characteristic of the lost in Eph. 2:1‑3.
5. This is a call for self examination as in II Cor. 13:5, for one cannot practice naturally these sins or any other sins and be saved. (I John 3:9) God is longsuffering and good to sinners (Rom. 2:4), but there comes a time when He has no choice but to loose His wrath upon those who commit such. (I Thess. 1:9‑10; 5:9)
1. "In the which" = also refers to the things in verse 5.
2. "Ye" = saints.
3. "Walked" = to live; to regulate one's life; to conduct one's self; to order one's behavior.
4. "Some time" = refers to the saints past life‑‑time when they were not saved.
5. "Lived" = refers to their manner of living and acting; the tense reveals continuous action past time.
6. "In them" = in the sphere of those sins listed in verse 5; their entire lives were controlled by these sins; they were totally depraved (corrupted) and so is every man.
1. "But" = contrast.
2. "Now" = now that you are saved; Paul contrasts what they were when they were lost to what they are now as saved.
3. "Ye" = saints.
4. "Put off" = strip off, and put aside or away; contains the idea of laying aside, as a person would lay aside old worn‑out clothing; the tense reveals a one time for all time action.
5. "All these" = these vices or sins he is about to list (again this is a representative list); theses sins may not seem as bad as those in verse 5 but they are and need to be put off as well.
6. "Anger" = an abiding, settled, habitual anger that includes in its scope the purpose of revenge; anger exhibited in punishment. (Eph. 4:26)
7. "Wrath" = the boiling agitation of the feelings; a sudden violent anger.
8. "Malice" = malignity; ill‑will; desire to injure; wickedness; depravity.
9. "Blasphemy" = slander; detraction (to speak ill of; to take away something desirable); speech injurious to another's good name; to speak reproachfully toward another.
10. "Filthy communication" = foul speaking; low and obscene (offensive to accepted standards of decency) speech.
1. "Lie" = to speak deliberate false‑hoods; the Greek construction forbids the continuance of an action already going on.
2. "One to another" = reciprocally; mutually.
3. "Seeing that ye have put off" = one word in the Greek; means wholly put off from one's self; denotes separation from what is put off.
4. "The old man" = refers to their former corrupt and evil nature; this refers to the time that they were saved and became a new creature in Christ.
5. "Deeds" = doings; practice; works; in context refers to wicked deeds.
6. Paul is saying that the old life of sin is already crucified (Rom. 6:6) and dropped once and for all as a mode of life. He cautions, "Don't live the way you used to live, the way the unsaved crowd lives. Christ is your life and you died with Him and are risen with Him. Now let His life show through you day by day."
1. "Have put one" = having put on; refers to the time of their salvation at which time they put on the new man like as putting on new clothes.
2. "New man" = refers to the new creature that they are now in Christ. (II Cor. 5:17)
3. "Is renewed" = being renewed; to be changed into a new kind of life as opposed to the former corrupt state; the tense reveals a continuous action; this is the sanctification process.
4. "Knowledge" = precise and correct knowledge; refers to the true knowledge in Christ as opposed to the false knowledge of the false teachers.
5. "After" = according to.
6. "Image" = figure; likeness; refers to the likeness of God (1st Him) being seen in those made new creatures in Christ (saved).
7. "Created" = to completely change or transform.
8. This is referring to the spiritual man who like Adam was created after God's image. (Gen. 1:26‑27) When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, he ceased being in the image of God and every man born into this world is made after the image of Adam and not God. But at the point one is saved they are a new creation‑‑made in the image of God.
1. "Where" = in which state; speaking of the renewed state‑‑the new man.
2. "There is neither" = the verb signifies not only the fact but the impossibility; not only does the distinction not exist, it cannot exist; the meaning is that all are on the same level‑‑there is no distinction of nations in Christ which is where the new man is.
3. "Greek nor Jew" = national diversities; refers to racial prejudice.
A. To the Jew the whole world was divided into Jews and Greeks (Gentiles) with himself being superior.
B. To the Greeks the world was divided into Greek and Barbarians.
4. "Circumcision nor uncircumcision" = ritual diversities; refers to religious bias; this division made the cleavage between the Jew and Gentile more distinct.
A. Circumcision = the seal (rite or token) of the covenant made with Abraham and his descendants; physical circumcision to the OT Jew meant (at least it was suppose to mean) the putting off of sin and the entering into a covenant relationship with God.
B. "Uncircumcision" = Gentiles; all who are not Jews.
5. "Barbarian, Scythian" = intellectual diversities; refers to cultural distinctions.
A. "Barbarian" = one whose speech is rude; denotes one who spoke an inarticulate, stammering, unintelligible language.
B. "Scythian" = the lowest type of the barbarian; regarded by the more civilized nations as the wildest of barbarians.
6. "Bone nor free" = social diversities; refers to social barriers.
A. "Bond" =a slave.
B. "Free" = freeborn; one who is not a slave.
7. "Christ is all, and in all" = Christ has done away with all distinctions of religious identifications, intellectual divisions, and social circles; the ground is level at the foot of the cross.
2. In Christian Fellowship. V. 12‑17
1. "Therefore" = in view of the fact there is no line of distinction.
2. "Put on" = to envelope in; clothe with; the tense indicates a one time occurrence for all time; Paul applies the figure of the new man as a new garment.
3. "Elect" = picked out; chosen by God to obtain salvation through Christ; this refers to all the saved and not just a distinction for Israel only as some try to say and in so doing they cause a misinterpretation of Scripture; based upon three things: (I Peter 1:2; II Thess. 2:13)
A. "Foreknowledge" = He sees and knows what He can do in one's heart (I Sam. 16:7); a potter knows his clay.
B. "Sanctification of the Spirit" = refers to the setting apart work of the Holy Spirit called "godly sorrow" (II Cor. 7:10), "Holy Ghost conviction", or "reproval" (John 16:8‑11) whereby the Holy Spirit brings one out of the kingdom of darkness and sphere of the Devil's control into the kingdom of light and the sphere of God's control; this works repentance and produces faith in the sinner.
C. "Obedience" = point when repentance and faith are worked then a sinner can repent and believe unto salvation thus obedience; man must repent and believe to be saved. (Luke 13:3; Acts 16:31)
4. Paul refers to the saved not only as the "elect" but as "holy and beloved."
5. "Holy" = to set apart for God; all saved are set apart for God; this word speaks of their standing in grace as separated ones living a separated life; this same word is translated "saints" in Col. 1:2.
6. "Beloved" = having been loved; indicates God's love shown at Calvary (John 3:16); expresses the deep and constant love and interest of a perfect being toward unworthy objects (Rom. 5:8); the tense if perfect which reveals a completed act past time with existing results; the perfect tense is used to show the far reaching and the abiding character of that love; Christ's love was demonstrated on Calvary and at our conversion and continues to be demonstrated to us and will always continue to be demonstrated to us.
7. Paul now lists 7 things that the saints are to put on:
A. "Bowels of mercies":
1) "Bowels" = seat of tender affection especially kindness, benevolence, compassion; speaks of our heart in which mercy resides.
2) "Mercies" = compassion; pity; mercy; refers to a heart of compassion.
B. "Kindness" = moral goodness; gentleness; speaks of a gentle, gracious disposition.
C. "Humbleness of mind" = humility; having a humble opinion of one's self; a deep sense of one's littleness; modesty; lowliness of mind.
D. "Meekness" = an inwrought grace of the soul; that temper of spirit in which we accept God's dealings with us as good, without disputing or resisting; part of the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22‑23)
E. "Longsuffering" = patience; endurance; perseverance; speaks of steadfastness of the soul under provocation; the idea is forbearance and patient endurance of wrong under ill treatment by others without anger or thought of revenge; this also is a part of the fruit of the Spirit.
F. "Forbearing one another" = to bear with one another; to endure.
G. "Forgiving one another" = to show one's self gracious to others; kind; benevolence; to grant forgiveness; from the same root word as "grace" which means a favor freely bestowed upon one (even enemy) expecting nothing in return.
8. "If any man have" = a third class conditional sentence which shows a condition undetermined but with the prospect of determination.
9. "Quarrel" = cause of blame; matter of complaint.
10. "Any" = anybody; anyone.
11. "Even as" = according as; just as; in proportion as; in the degree that; we are to forgive others because Christ forgave us and we are to do so in the degree that He forgave‑‑that is a full forgiveness; in fact Jesus said forgiveness of others is a prerequisite to our obtaining forgiveness from God. (Mat. 6:14‑15)
1. "Above" = upon.
2. Paul is carrying on the figure of putting on as a garment, all the qualities spoken of in verses 12 and 13, and exhorts to put on over these, love as the binding factor, which will hold all those qualities together and make them usable.
3. "Charity" = agape; God kind of love produced in the heart of a believer (Rom. 6:5; Gal. 5:22); this is the "bond of perfectness."
4. "Bond" = that which binds together; refers to the power which unites and holds together all those graces and virtues which together make up "perfectness."
5. "Perfectness" = completeness; full growth; maturity.
6. Two things cannot be held together without a third. They must have the same bond of union. Love is that bond. An example: a husband and wife must be bound together with the bond of God, who is love (not lust) or they will not stay together.
1. "Peace" = the tranquility of soul and spirit based on the consciousness of a right relation with God.
2. "Peace of God" = peace that passeth all understanding even in the midst of troubles; refers to peace that God gives when we worry about nothing, pray about everything, and thank God for anything. (Phil. 4:6‑7)
3. "Rule" = to be an umpire; control; to direct; to decide; determine; wherever there is a conflict of motives, impulses, or reasons, the peace of God must step in and decide which is to prevail.
4. "Hearts" = the center of all spiritual life; the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, and endeavors.
5. "To the which also" = to which peace also.
6. "Ye" = saints.
7. "Are called" = were called; refers to the point of salvation at which time you were called to participate and enjoy peace "in one body" = this peace not only refers to individual tranquility of heart, but extends to having harmony (peace) among the members of the body (local church) in their relations to one another.
8. "Thankful" = grateful; the tense reveals a continuous habitual lifestyle; a spirit of thankfulness tends to promote harmony and peace while an ungrateful people is commonly a tumultuous, agitated, restless, and dissatisfied people; nothing tends to promote peace and order better than gratitude to God for His mercies.
1. "The word of Christ" = refers to the written Word; the entire body of truth; it is "of Christ" because He being God is the origin of the Word. (II Peter 1:21; II Tim. 3:16)
2. "Let dwell" = to be at home; to be an influence; the Greek construction reveals that this is a command of a continuous lifestyle; this command is to the effect that the Christian is to so yield himself to the Word that there is a certain at-homeness of the Word in his being; the saint should give the Word unrestricted liberty in his life.
3. "Richly" = abundantly.
4. "Wisdom" = broad and full of intelligence; denotes mental excellence in the highest and fullest sense, expressing an attitude as well as an act of the mind; implies goodness, including the striving after the highest ends, as well as the using of the best means for their attainment; that by which we are to teach and admonish one another.
A. "Teaching" = to impart instruction by word of mouth; to instill doctrine into one.
B. "Admonishing" = to warn; exhort; also contains the idea of encouragement, reproof, and blame.
5. "One another" = each other; implies this was not to be done showing partiality.
6. This teaching and admonishing was to be in the form of:
A. "Psalms" = usually refers to the Psalms of David which were a part of the early Christians worship; they are religious songs and has the idea of a musical accompaniment.
B. "Hymns" = designates a song of praise to God.
C. "Songs" = general expression for all kinds of songs, secular or sacred, accompanied or unaccompanied, but this word is set apart by the word "spiritual" which means only the songs that are imparted by the divine Spirit, therefore having the Spirit and the truth in them which is necessary for true worship (John 4:24); this eliminates these so called "Christian rock songs and singers."
7. "Singing" = implies lyrical emotion in a devout soul using your mouth.
8. "Grace" = that which provides joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and loveliness; the definite article "the" occurs before "grace," marking it out as a particular grace‑‑the grace of God supplied by the Holy Spirit to the yielded saint; that divine energy produced in the heart by the Holy Spirit.
9. "Hearts" = the center of all spiritual life; some say they do not sing outwardly but they have a song in their heart using this verse and Eph. 5:19 as their basis; but what is on the inside does come out like the Psalmist said and it will affect others. (Psa. 40:1‑3)
10. "To the Lord" = He is the recipient firstly; our singing should have for its purpose the glory of God, not the display of one's voice or musical technique.
1. "Whatsoever" = anything and everything whether it be classified sacred or secular for really all is sacred.
2. "Do" = produce; practice; perform.
3. "Word" = refers to what you say‑‑your speech.
4. "Deed" = refers to what you do‑‑your actions.
5. "All" = everything.
6. "In the name of the Lord Jesus" = refers to the Lord Jesus' authority (Mat. 28:18); indicates according to His command, in compliance with His authority, and by strength derived from Him.
7. "Lord" = supreme in authority; master; owner; controller.
8. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed with flesh); the Saviour of mankind.
9. "Giving thanks" = to be grateful; to feel thankful; the tense reveals a continuous habitual lifestyle (I Thess. 5:18); failure to do so leads a person down the road to ruin as described in Rom. 1:21‑32. (See Notes on Romans, Volume 1)
10. "To God and the Father" = God the Father; this is not referring to two different persons; could be translated "to God also the Father."
11. "By him" = through Him; reveals that He only is our strength and enabler to do anything; He is our only mediator of our praises as well as our prayers. (Heb. 7:25)
12. Verse 15‑17 could be compared with Eph. 5:18‑22. And in so doing you will see that allowing the Word to dwell in you richly in all wisdom produces the same blessing as being filled with the Spirit. To be filled with the Spirit means simply to be controlled by the Word.
3. In the Home. V. 18‑21
1. "Wives" = a woman married to a man; also speaks of a betrothed woman in the Jewish economy.
2. "Submit" = to place under; to subject; be submissive; this is a military term meaning to arrange (troop division) in a military fashion under the command of a leader; in non‑military use, it was a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.
3. "Your own" = pertaining to one's self; belonging to one's self; wives were to be submissive to their own husband not someone else's.
4. "Husband" = a man married or betrothed to a woman.
5. "As it is fit in the Lord" = refers to that which is in harmony with the Lord's will; that which is becoming‑‑adds to or strengthens.
6. Wives have rights and privileges, but recognition of the husband's leadership is essential to a well‑ordered home because he is the head and the one whom the Lord holds responsible. (I Cor. 11:3)
1. The husband as head has a great responsibility‑‑to love his wife.
2. "Love" = agape; love in action; the God kind of love shown at Calvary and produced in the heart of every saint by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5; Gal. 5:22); the tense reveals a continuous habitual lifestyle; this kind of love is not "phileo" love which is a fondness or affection; all husbands demonstrate that kind of love.
3. The "agape" kind of love will cause the husband to meet his responsibility and in return his wife will be more than glad to submit to her husband. Christ's love for the church is the model for the husbands love for his wife. (Eph. 5:25) That love was demonstrated by:
A. Sacrifice without complaint. (John 10:15)
B. Forgiveness without reminder. (Heb. 10:17)
C. Giving without getting. (Luke 6:38)
D. Selflessness without resentment.
4. "Bitter" = to render anger; to deal bitterly with; negated by "not"; thus meaning to show no bitterness or behave not rashly; the Greek construction is a command against something already going on; thus, Paul is saying "stop being bitter against your wives."
5. "Against" = towards; with regard to.
1. "Children" = refers to both boys and girls; born ones physically.
2. "Obey" = to listen under (as looking up to); to hearken; give heed; follow; the tense reveals a continuous habitual lifestyle not occasional obedience.
3. "Parents" = refers to those who give birth to the children and also to those who adopt children; can also apply to guardians of children as well.
4. "In all things" = refers to each and every instruction given by the parents; the qualifying phrase is "unto the Lord" = Paul in Eph. 6:1 used the phrase "in the Lord;" a Christian father or mother will not make unreasonable or unjust demands of a child; if parents command children to do things immoral or against God's Word, then this command does not apply; God's command is superior and should be obeyed.
5. This command places a great responsibility upon the parents to "train up their child." (Pro. 22:6) This involves instruction, discipline, and an example for the children to follow. Waves of lawlessness are sweeping over the world, because children are not taught to obey.
6. "Well pleasing" = acceptable; commendable; fully agreeable; Paul also says in Eph. 6:3 that the child's life will be lengthened if they obey their parents.
1. "Fathers" = usually applies to the male parent, but can apply to both parents; same word is translated "parents" in Heb. 11:23; both parents are responsible in training up their children; Paul may have intended for this admonition to be to the "father" since they are the spiritual leaders of their homes and as such they ultimately will be accountable for what happens in the home.
2. "Provoke" = excite; to stir up; stimulate; irritate; implies fretful, ill tempered, sullen, and gloomy; negated by "not"; Paul is saying, "Do not be too severe and excessive in demands that are not in accord with God's Word for if you do the children will become irritated."
3. "To anger" = not in the original Scripture, but supplied by the translators because "provoke" implies anger as well as irritation.
4. "Lest" = implies the possibility of this happening.
5. "Be discouraged" = to lose heart; broken in spirit; to be disheartened; the will of a child must be broken but not their spirit; the tense indicates a continuous habitual action.
4. In daily work. V. 22‑4:1
1. "Servants" = slaves; these were Christian slaves in the service of pagan masters; it is estimated that approximately one‑third of the population of the Roman world consisted of slaves; Paul did not recommend outright revolt by slaves against their masters but rather advocated faithful service; this would apply to employees of our day.
2. "Obey" = to listen; hearken; give heed; follow; the tense shows a continuous action; this was to be done in "all things" = this refers to all things not in violation to God's Word.
3. "Masters" = owners; bosses; lords; these are described as "according to the flesh" = this describes the earthly masters as contrasted to the Lord who was the Master of these slaves with reference to their spiritual lives; applies to employers in our day.
4. "Eyeservice" = service performed under the master's eye; service which is most zealous when the eye of the master or overseer is upon them; refers to an obedience to save appearances and gain undeserved favor, which is not rendered when the master is absent; negated by "not."
5. "Menpleasers" = refers to obeying only to please men or to gain their favor; if the main reason of the servant's conduct is the pleasing of men, he will neglect his first duty‑‑to please the Lord. (Gal. 1:10)
6. "But" = contrast; Paul is contrasting how to obey with how not to obey.
7. "Singleness of heart" = not in formality, pretence, or hypocrisy, but with an inward reality and sincerity and with an undivided heart. (James 1:8)
8. "Fearing" = reverential awe of God; this is in contrast to fearing their masters according to the flesh.
9. An employee as well as a slave should obey what his master or employer instructs him to do because he respects and reverences the Lord. This obedience should only be carried out when the master's command is not in violation of God's Word.
1. "Whatsoever" = all things.
2. "Ye" = saints.
3. First "do" = perform; refers to the mere doing of something and applies to whatever it may be (whatsoever).
4. Second "do" = different Greek word from first "do" but is an advance upon the first word; means to labor; work; this word is opposed to inactivity or idleness.
5. "Heartily" = out of soul; refers to labor (do) being done diligently with a careful steady effort, putting all your heart and soul into it.
6. "As unto the Lord, and not unto men" = the servant's work should be done as if it were actually for the Lord that he was doing it and not for a mere human master.
1. "Knowing" = understand; to put together in the faculty of understanding (mind).
2. "Of" = from; the Lord is the one who gives the reward of inheritance.
3. "Shall receive" = to receive what is due or promised; the tense is future; refers to the judgment seat of Christ which is right after the rapture. (II Tim. 4:8; II Cor. 5:10)
4. "Reward" = that which is paid back; a just recompense.
5. "Of the inheritance" = an explanatory equivalent of "reward"; the reward consist of the inheritance.
6. "Inheritance" = the prospective condition and possessions of the believer in the new order of things to be ushered in at the return of Christ.
7. "For" = because; gives the reason you will receive a reward‑‑"ye serve the Lord Christ."
8. "Serve" = do service; obey; submit to; the tense is continuous action.
9. "The Lord Christ" = the Master who is Christ.
10. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the O.T.
11. Paul wants these slaves to know:
A. It makes no difference what their earthly master may reward them for their service, there is a Master who will give them a just recompense.
B. Although a slave cannot receive an earthly inheritance, there is a Master who will give them a heavenly inheritance. (Rom. 8:17)
12. This applies to an employee who has an earthly boss (employer) and if they are saved they have a heavenly Boss, who is Christ; therefore, they should obey their earthly boss for Christ's sake. This, one can do if they have dedicated their job to the Lord and realize He is the One who gave it to them. Sometimes employees have become so selfish they keep seeking more and more from employers until eventually companies are forced to close.
13. Paul could have encouraged the slaves to rebel against their owners. Instead he reminded them of the permanent reward they would receive from the Lord, providing they were laboring for His glory. The Bible promises God's people an eternal reward that will far outweigh the difficulties experienced in these few years upon this earth. (II Cor. 4:17‑5:1)
1. "But" = shows contrast.
2. "Doeth wrong" = act unjustly or wickedly; this reference is primarily to the slave, but the following clause extends it to the master.
3. "Shall receive" = to recover; to get back; to be repayed.
4. "Wrong he hath done" = one word in the Greek and the same as "doeth wrong" and he will be repayed accordingly; the law of sowing and reaping applies here. (Gal. 6:7)
5. "Respect of persons" = showing partiality; judging upon the basis of outward appearance; the fault of one who when called on to give judgment has respect of the outward circumstances of man and not to their intrinsic merits, and so prefers, as the more worthy, one who is rich, high born, or powerful, over another who does not have these qualities; negated by "not" (no); God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) and it makes no difference whether slave or master who does wrong, he will be repaid for that wrong.
1. This verse goes with the material of Chapter 3 and contains a final word to the earthly masters of slaves. In the original manuscripts, there were no chapter and verse divisions. They were placed there by the translators.
2. "Masters" = lords; owner; boss; applies to employers; Paul is addressing this to those who were Christians.
3. "Give" = to exhibit or offer on one's part; to render or afford from one's own resources or by one's power; the Greek construction reveals a command to do so and it was to be exercised by a continuous action.
4. "Servants" = slaves; applies to employees.
5. "Just" = right; upright; impartial; render to each his due.
6. "Equal" = equity; fairness; what is equitable; literally, the equality, not equality of condition, but the brotherly equality
growing out of the Christian relation, in which there is neither bond nor free.
7. "Knowing" = to understand.
8. "Master" = the Lord Jesus Christ.
9. "In heaven" = refers to the third heaven where the Lord Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. ( Heb. 1:3)
10. If we would recognize that we have a Master in heaven, then we would do unto others as unto the Lord.
5. In Christian witness. V. 2‑6
1. Paul was a prisoner in Rome, but this did not stop him from bearing witness for Christ. He tells believers how to be witnesses for Christ.
1) Watch and pray.
2. "Continue" = steadfastly continue; to give constant attention to a thing; to give unremitting care to a thing; to persevere; to wait continually upon; to be in constant readiness for; the tense reveals a continuous habitual lifestyle.
3. "Prayer" = speaks of prayer to God; coupled with "continue" it means to give constant attention to prayer. (I Thess. 5:17)
4. "Watch" = to stay awake; to give strict attention to; to be active; to take heed lest through carelessness and laziness some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one; the tense reveals continuous action (Mat. 26:41); long continuance in prayer is apt to put one to sleep.
5. "In the same" = in it, referring to prayer.
6. "Thanksgiving" = grateful acknowledgment of God's mercies chiefly in prayer (I Thess. 5:18): failure to do so leads to idolatry. (See notes on Romans 1:18‑32)
1. "Withal" = at the same time.
2. "Us" = refers to Paul and those with him in the ministry, especially Timothy and Epaphras who are mentioned in Col. 1:1,7.
3. "That" = indicates the specific request for what Paul wanted them to pray.
4. "Would open" = may open.
5. "Door" = used of the opportunity of doing something;.
6. "Utterance" = speaking; saying; word; means the opportunity of preaching the gospel; this is similar to the request Paul made to the Ephesians in Eph. 6:18‑20.
7. "To speak" = to preach; to publish; to announce.
8. "Mystery of Christ" = a previously hidden truth, now divinely revealed; refers to the mystery of the gospel (Eph. 6:19) and the fact that both Jews and Gentiles are in the body of Christ. (Eph. 3:2‑6)
9. "For" = on account of; because of; it was because Paul preached this mystery that he was placed in prison.
10. "Also" = indeed.
11. "I am in bonds" = to fasten with chains; Paul was in prison chained to a Roman soldier 24 hours a day; the tense is perfect which means a completed action past time with existing results; Paul was arrested and placed in chains at a definite time in the past and he remained in that condition at this present time.
1. "That" = gives the reason for the request for the Colossians to pray for them.
2. "I" = Paul; the request was to "pray for us" because Paul did not leave out those who were with him but he was the one that was called and sent to the Gentiles to preach the gospel‑‑the mystery of Christ.
3. "Make manifest" = to make apparent; to make clear; to make visible or known what has been hidden or unknown.
4. "Ought" = it is necessary; there is a need of; indicates a necessity in the nature of things rather than just a personal obligation; describes that which must be done.
5. "Speak" = to preach; to publish; to announce; refers to the mystery of Christ‑‑the gospel.
2) Walk in wisdom.
1. "Walk" = to order one's behavior; to conduct one's self.
2. "Wisdom" = full of intelligence; denotes mental excellence in the highest and fullest sense; wisdom can only come from God. (James 1:5)
3. "Walk in wisdom" = refers to a conduct that is upright and honest dealing with others on the strictest principles of integrity, so that they may not have occasion to reproach the gospel you profess.
4. "Toward" = with regard to.
5. "Them that are without" = those outside; those not saved; unbelievers; without hope; without Christ; without peace; without forgiveness. (Eph. 2:12)
6. "Redeeming" = to buy up the opportunity for one's self; to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own.
7. "Time" = a strategic point of time; an opportune time.
8. We all have the same time but we must redeem it by using it rightly and taking every opportunity to be guided by wisdom.
3) Have godly speech.
1. "Speech" = words uttered by a living voice; conversation.
2. "Alway" = perpetually; at any and every time.
3. "With grace" = sweetness; gracious; pleasant; refers to impressing the heathen favorably by the sweetness and courtesy of their conversation.
4. "Seasoned" = prepared; arranged; the tense is perfect indicating a past completed action with existing results; the Lord gives believers a new tongue (not an unknown tongue) when saved and their lifestyle continues to reflect that in their daily speech; in the Greek "seasoned" applies both to "grace" and "salt."
5. "Salt" = symbol of lasting concord; a preservative; the OT Jew used salt in his sacrifices and it was a symbol of purity and preservation of that which is good (Lev. 2:13); salt gives flavor to things and holds back corruption; no believer should ever have to say "take this with a grain of salt" but instead his speech should be "seasoned with salt." (Mat. 5:14)
6. "That ye may know how ye ought" = "it is needful for you to know how" to answer every man (I Peter 3:15); this takes a speech prepared (seasoned) with grace and purity (salt).
7. "Answer" = to give an answer to a question; to begin to speak.
8. It is needful that believers guard their speech because unbelievers are listening. A thoughtless word of criticism, a shady remark, or an angry word could tear down in a minute whatever Christian testimony others have tried to build up.
6. In Christian service. V. 7‑17
1. While we honor Paul as a great apostle, we must never forget the many dedicated Christians who assisted Paul in his ministry. No pastor, evangelist, or missionary can do the Lord's work alone. (I Cor. 3:6‑9) We need each other.
2. "All my state" = all things concerning me; all that relates to me.
3. "Shall declare" = will make known.
4. "Tychicus" = identified as:
A. A beloved Brother.
B. A faithful minister.
5. "Beloved" = esteemed; dear; worthy of love.
6. "Brother" = from the same womb; refers to brethren in Christ, who are from the womb of God.
7. "Faithful" = trustworthy; steadfast; unswerving.
8. "Minister" = servant; one who executes the commands of another; attendant; he served the Lord while serving Paul. (Mat. 25:35‑40)
9. "Fellowservant" = one who serves the same master with another.
10. "In the Lord" = indicates the sphere of Tychicus' service as well as Paul's.
1. "Whom" = Tychicus.
2. "Have sent" = to send.
3. "Unto you" = to the Colossians.
4. "For the same purpose" = refers to Paul sending him so that the Colossians might know all things concerning Paul and at the same time Tychicus "might know your estate" = all things concerning you.
5. "Know" = may come to know; to understand.
6. "Comfort" = called along side to aid; to encourage.
7. "Hearts" = refers to their inner being‑‑soul and spirit.
8. Tychicus was faithful to carry this epistle to the Colossians and the one to the Ephesians as well. (Eph. 6:21‑22) He was faithful in spite of a long (over 1000 miles) and dangerous journey. No doubt when he arrived with the words of the state of Paul and the exhortation of this epistle, the saints were encouraged.
1. "Onesimus" = name means profitable or useful; identified as:
A. "A faithful brother" = same as Tychicus.
B. "A beloved brother" = also same as Tychicus.
C. "One of you" = Onesimus was a runaway slave of Philemon whom the Colossians had known before as a slave; the church at Colosse is believed to be the one which met in Philemon's house (Phm. 1-2); but now Paul commended Onesimus to them as no more a slave but a brother; no more dishonest and faithless, but trustworthy (faithful); no more an object of contempt, but of love, all because he had been saved.
2. "They" = Tychicus and Onesimus.
3. "Shall make known" = shall declare; reemphasis of what Paul said concerning Tychicus in verse 7.
4. "All things" = things relating to Paul himself and the state of the church in Rome.
5. "Here" = Rome, where Paul was in prison.
1. "Aristarchus" = name means the best ruler; a Christian of Thessalonica who accompanied Paul on his third missionary journey and was with him during the Ephesian riot where he was singled out as a leading Christian (Acts 19:29); he was also with Paul during the terrible storm in route to Rome. (Acts 27:2)
2. "Fellowprisoner" = he may have been in prison for his stand for Christ like Paul was or this may mean he voluntarily shared Paul's captivity by being faithful to stick by Paul through thick and thin.
3. "Saluteth" = to greet; to enfold in the arms; embrace; to draw to one's self; to receive joyfully.
4. "Marcus" = John Mark; John being his Jewish name and Marcus (Mark) being his Latin surname; the one who was the human instrument the Lord used to write the book of Mark.
5. "Sister's son" = cousin.
6. "Barnabas" = name means "son of consolation (comfort)." (Acts 4:36)
7. "Touching" = concerning; on account of.
8. "Whom" = Mark.
9. "Received commandments" = to receive orders; this parentheses may indicate Paul had written previously to the Colossian church concerning Mark.
10. It is possible that the Colossians knew about Mark leaving Paul on his first missionary journey. (Acts 13:13) Also they may have heard of the contention between Paul and Barnabas over Paul's refusal to take Mark with him on his second missionary journey. (Acts 15:36-40) Therefore, it seems Paul had sent orders (commandments) for the Colossians to receive him, for he feared they might have prejudice against him. Paul's mention of his relationship to Barnabas was probably intended as a recommendation to their kindness.
11. "If" = since; a statement assumed as true; Mark had already been sent, how we do not know.
12. "Receive" = to receive hospitality.
13. Paul had forgiven Mark for his failure on his first missionary journey and in his final letter he states Mark was "profitable" in the ministry. (II Tim. 4:11)
1. "Jesus" = a Jewish Christian called "Justus" = name means "just"; this is not the Lord Jesus Christ who in the Greek, is identified as "the Jesus" which sets Him apart from all others who bore the name "Jesus" in that day.
2. "Who" = refers to Aristarchus, Marcus, and Justus.
3. "Of the circumcision" = refers to the Jews; they were converts from Judaism.
4. "These" = these three.
5. "Only" = this word marks these three men out as the only Jewish Christians in Rome who were fellow‑workers of Paul; this does not imply that these men were the only Jews to accept the gospel message.
6. "Fellowworkers" = companions in work.
7. "Unto" = for.
8. "The kingdom of God" = that kingdom ruled by God; refers to the spiritual kingdom which is made up of the "born again" ones (John 3:3,5); Paul is speaking concerning preaching the gospel of the grace of God which parallels the kingdom of God. (Act 20:24‑25)
9. "Which" = who; refers to these three Jewish converts.
10. "Have been" = were; became; tense indicates point action past time.
11. "Comfort" = relief; consolation; encouragement; this is a medical term, thus, these converted Jews were medicine for Paul.
12. Here Paul is speaking of these three (only) Jewish converts. Others comforted him as well (Gentiles).
1. "Epaphras" = probably Paul's convert at Ephesus who carried the gospel message to Colosse and probably became their pastor; he is now at Rome with Paul; he brought the report of the things taking place at Colosse to Paul. (Col. 1:7‑8)
2. "Who is one of you" = he was a native of Colosse.
3. "Saluteth" = to greet; see notes on verse 10.
4. "Always" = at all times.
5. "Labouring fervently" = to contend in the gymnastic games; to contend with adversaries; in context means to contend or struggle with difficulties and dangers antagonistic to the gospel.
6. "For you" = in your (Colossians) behalf.
7. "Prayers" = prayer addressed to God; Epaphras was a prayer warrior, praying for the saints at Colosse to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
8. "Stand" = to stand fast; to stay put.
9. "Perfect" = complete; spiritually mature; full‑grown; this word does not mean "sinless."
10. "Complete" = to bear or bring to the full; to carry through to the end; to make full; to persuade fully; convince.
11. "In all the will of God" = in everything that is the will of God.
1. "I" = Paul.
2. "Bear record" = to be a witness; to affirm that one has seen, heard, or experienced something.
3. "Him" = Epaphras.
4. "Hath" = has; the tense reveals a continuous action.
5. "Zeal" = excitement of mind; fervor of spirit; described as "great" = much; this zeal manifested itself in much toil, both inward and outward.
6. "For" = in behalf of.
7. "You" = the Colossians.
8. "Laodicea" = a city in Asia, now in the country of Turkey, about ten miles from Colosse where the lukewarm church was that was addressed by Jesus in Rev. 3:14-19; today it lies in ruins.
9. "Hierapolis" = a city located in Asia, now the country of Turkey; it forms about a ten mile triangle with the cities of Laodicea and Colosse.
10. Epaphras had a great love and zeal for not only his home city, but for his neighboring cities as well. It is believed that he ministered in the churches in those cities as well as the one at Colosse.
1. "Luke" = a Gentile Christian; human instrument used to write the book of Luke and Acts; he accompanied Paul on parts of his second and third missionary journeys, as well as on his voyage to Rome.
2. "Beloved" = esteemed; dear; worthy of love; word reveals the love in Paul's heart for Luke that was produced by the Holy Ghost.
3. "Physician" = one who heals or cures; Luke was Paul's personal physician, and Paul shows his gratitude for his services by calling him "the beloved physician."
4. "Demas" = a companion of Paul at the time of his writing this epistle; he later deserted Paul when Paul was in prison in Rome his second time (II Tim. 4:10); notice that Paul does not give Demas a commendation even at this time which may have been two years before he left Paul.
5. "Greet" = to enfold in the arms; embrace; to draw to one's self; to receive joyfully.
6. "You" = the Colossians.
1. "Salute" = greet; see notes on verse 14.
2. "Brethren" = from the same womb; refers to the saved in Laodicea, all of whom are from the womb of God.
3. "Laodicea" = see notes on verse 13.
4. "Nymphas" = a wealthy and zealous Christian in Laodicea; we know very little about him, but he is believed to be wealthy because normally only people who were fairly wealthy could afford houses large enough for a group to gather in.
5. "Church" = a called out assembly; a group of baptized believers who meet together to glorify the Lord; the only called out assembly that exists today is the local church of which there are many which are only types of the church of the firstborn (Heb. 12:23) which will be called out at the rapture and then there will be a called out assembly in heaven.
1. "Epistle" = letter; referring to this letter to the Colossian saints we call the book of Colossians.
2. "Read" = to read; also means to know accurately which would involved more than a one time reading.
3. "Among" = seems to imply public reading.
4. "Cause" = to do; to carry out Paul's (really the Lord's) command.
5. "Laodiceans" = inhabitants of Laodicea.
6. "Church of the Laodiceans" = see notes on verse 15.
7. "Likewise" = also.
8. "The epistle from Laodicea" = Paul must have written a letter to Laodicea for he instructs the Colossians to read that one; we do not know for sure what letter was sent to the Laodiceans; some believe it was the epistle of Ephesians; others think it was lost; one thing about it, we have those epistles that the Lord wanted us to have, and we are to continually pass them around because they are to be read by all the saints.
9. This was usually done by copying the letter and sending it on to others while they kept the original.
1. "Say" = speak.
2. "Archippus" = he was given a ministry from the Lord; this seems to have been as a teacher at Colosse or even as what we would call "an interim pastor" at Colosse to fill Epaphras place during his absence; some think he may have been the son of Philemon and Apphia. (Phm. 2)
3. "Take heed" = to look to; to watch over; keep an eye on.
4. "Ministry" = place of service.
5. "Hast received" = been given.
6. "In the Lord" = from the Lord; this identifies Archippus' ministry as a "spiritual gift"‑‑a calling from the Lord rather than merely an organizational function appointed by the church.
7. "Fulfill" = to discharge fully; implies that there be nothing wanting, or lacking in any area he was called to perform; the tense is continuous.
8. "It" = the ministry.
VI. Conclusion V. 18
1. "Salutation" = a gesture of greeting.
2. "By the hand of me Paul" = this seems to indicate that Paul, as was his custom, affixed his signature in his own hand writing to his epistle which had been written by a secretary, but dictated by Paul, moved on by the Holy Ghost (II Peter 1:21); Paul had a eye problem, therefore, most of his letters were dictated but he signed them with his own handwriting; this was due to a letter that had been falsified and sent to the Thessalonians as if Paul had written it. (II Thess. 2:2)
3. "Remember" = to be mindful of; to call to mind; to make mention of.
4. "Bonds" = chains with which he was bound in prison as he writes this epistle; Paul had assured the Colossian saints that he was praying for them, and now as he writes the closing of the epistle, the chains that he is bound with rattles, and he asks the church to pray (remember; make mention of) for him while he is in bonds. (Heb. 13:3)
5. "Grace" = unmerited favor; refers to sanctifying grace, not justifying, for he is writing to saints who are already justified; this grace enables the saints of God to overcome obstacles in their daily living and keep on keeping on for the glory of God (II Cor. 12:9); we have access (freedom to enter through the assistance or favor of another) into this grace by faith. (Rom. 5:2)
6. "With" = to accompany.
7. "You" = the Colossians.
8. "Amen" = so be it; surely; truly; indeed.