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Col 2:1-23. HIS STRIVINGS IN PRAYER FOR THEIR STEADFASTNESS IN CHRIST; FROM WHOM HE WARNS THEM NOT TO BE LED AWAY BY FALSE WISDOM.
1. For--He explains in what respect he "labored striving"
Translate as Greek, "I wish you to know how great a
conflict (the same Greek word as in
"agony of a conflict" of fervent, anxious prayer; not conflict
with the false teachers, which would have been impossible for him now
in prison) I have for you."
2. Translate, "That their hearts may be comforted." The "their,"
compared with "you"
proves that in
the words, "have not seen my face in the flesh," is a general
designation of those for whom Paul declares he has "conflict,"
including the particular species, "you (Colossians) and them at
Laodicea." For it is plain, the prayer "that their hearts may be
comforted," must include in it the Colossians for whom he expressly
says, "I have conflict." Thus it is an abbreviated mode of expression
for, "That your and their hearts may be comforted." ALFORD translates, "confirmed," or allows "comforted" in
its original radical sense strengthened. But the Greek
supports English Version: the sense, too, is clear:
comforted with the consolation of those whom Paul had not seen,
and for whom, in consequence, he strove in prayerful conflict the more
fervently; inasmuch as we are more anxious in behalf of absent, than
present, friends [DAVENANT]. Their hearts would be
comforted by "knowing what conflict he had for" them, and how much he
is interested for their welfare; and also by being released from doubts
on learning from the apostle, that the doctrine which they had heard
from Epaphras was true and certain. In writing to churches which he had
instructed face to face, he enters into particular details concerning
them, as a father directing his children. But to those among whom he
had not been in person, he treats of the more general truths of
3. Translate in the Greek order, "In whom (not as ALFORD, 'in which') mystery; Christ is Himself the
and to Christ the relative refers) are all the treasures of wisdom and
knowledge hidden." The "all" here, answers to "all" in
as "treasures" answer to the "riches"; it is from the treasures
that the riches
are derived. "Are" is the predicate of the sentence; all the treasures
ARE in Him; hidden is predicated of the
state or manner in which they are in Him. Like a mine of unknown and
inexhaustible wealth, the treasures of wisdom are all in Him
hidden, but not in order to remain so; they only need to be
explored for you to attain "unto the riches" in them
but until you, Colossians, press after attaining the full
knowledge (see on
of them, they remain "hidden." Compare the parable,
"treasure hid." This sense suits the scope of the apostle, and sets
aside ALFORD'S objection that "the treasures are
not hidden, but revealed." "Hidden" plainly answers to "mystery"
which is designed by God, if we be faithful to our privileges, not to
remain hidden, but to be revealed (compare
1Co 2:7, 8).
Still as the mine is unfathomable, there will, through eternity, be
always fresh treasures in Him to be drawn forth from their hidden
4. And--"Now." Compare with "lest any man," &c.
Col 2:8, 16, 18.
He refers to the blending of Judaism with Oriental philosophy, and the
combination of this mixture with Christianity.
5. For--argument against their suffering themselves to be beguiled, drawn from a regard to his personal authority as though he were present.
6. "As therefore ye received (once for all; the aorist tense; from Epaphras) Jesus the Christ as your Lord (compare 1Co 12:3; 2Co 4:5; Php 3:8), so walk in Him." He says not merely, "Ye received" the doctrine of Christ, but "Jesus" Himself; this is the essence of faith (Joh 14:21, 23; Ga 1:16). Ye have received once for all the Spirit of life in Christ; carry into practice that life in your walk (Ga 5:25). This is the main scope of the Epistle.
8. Translate, "Beware (literally, 'Look' well) lest there shall be (as I fear there is: the Greek indicative expresses this) any man
(pointing to some known emissary of evil,
leading you away as his spoil (not merely gaining spoil out of
you, but making yourselves his spoil) through (by means of) his
philosophy," &c. The apostle does not condemn all philosophy,
but "the philosophy" (so Greek) of the Judaic-oriental
heretics at Colosse, which afterwards was developed into Gnosticism.
You, who may have "the riches of full assurance" and "the
treasures of wisdom," should not suffer yourselves to be led
away as a spoil by empty, deceitful philosophy: "riches"
are contrasted with spoil; "full" with "vain," or empty
(Col 2:2, 3, 9).
9. For--"Because." Their "philosophy"
is not "after Christ," as all true philosophy is, everything which
comes not from, and tends not to, Him, being a delusion; "For in Him
(alone) dwelleth" as in a temple, &c.
10. And--And therefore; and so. Translate in the Greek order, "Ye are in Him (by virtue of union with Him) filled full" of all that you need (Joh 1:16). Believers receive of the divine unction which flows down from their Divine Head and High Priest (Ps 133:2). He is full of the "fulness" itself; we, filled from Him. Paul implies, Therefore ye Colossians need no supplementary sources of grace, such as the false teachers dream of. Christ is "the Head of all rule and authority" (so the Greek), Eph 1:10; He, therefore, alone, not these subject "GOTO NEXT CHAPTER - D. J-F-B INDEX & SEARCH