Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
For 10¢ a day you can enjoy StudyLight.org ads
free while helping to build churches and support pastors in Uganda.
Click here to learn more!

Bible Commentaries
Colossians 2

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verses 1-14

The Secret of Christ

23 The scope of reconciliation is not confined to mankind: it is as broad as creation. Its proclamation was made to every creature under heaven. It is God's loving purpose to bind all His creatures to Him with the cords of affection. To accomplish this purpose demands suffering-not only the essential suffering of Christ on the cross, but those of His afflictions which He endures in His members in the course of its dispensation.

25 This epistle may not have been the very last of the Greek Scriptures to be penned. The Revelation of Jesus Christ and John's writings might have been written, as we are told, long afterward. Paul completed or filled up the word of God in another sense. All the other

Scriptures were limited in their scope to the terrestrial, as to space, and to the eons, as to time. They were concerned with a fragment of the universe. In them the nations could have only a subordinate place and portion. As the secret of Christ breaks beyond the barriers of Judaism, these restrictions vanish. On earth Messiah never left the land of Israel. Now, in spirit, He walks among the nations, dispensing blessing as He did in the days of His earthly sojourn. Christ, Who never went among the nations before His ascension, met Paul outside the land, on the Damascus road, not as the lowly Jesus, but as the glorified Son of God. Gradually, in spirit, through the apostle's ministries, He unfolds His secret purpose to be to the nations, in spirit, all that He had been to Israel in flesh, and far more. This is the secret: Christ among the nations, a glorious expectation . Not a subordinate place in the earthly kingdom, but a preeminent place in His celestial domains. Let us, too, note the tremendous importance which he attaches to an appreciation of this most marvelous mystery or secret. It satisfies both the heart and the head. It reveals depths of affection in which we may revel. It discloses the treasures of wisdom and knowledge for which earth's sages and philosophers have been groping without avail. It solves the riddle of the universe-its beginning and its end, its creation and its reconciliation.


8 It is difficult to discern that the divine religion given to Israel in the flesh may be one of the greatest hindrances toward an appreciation of the grace which is ours in Christ Jesus. Hence the Spirit of God forces it down to the same level with human philosophy and tradition by alternating them in this passage. The empty seduction and rudiments, the circumcision, baptism, and shadows refer to the rites and ritual Jehovah gave His earthly people. Yet they are interspersed with references to the authority and teachings of men. Ritual is just as dangerous an enemy as rationalism. As God's Complement, Christ is the answer to philosophy: as our Complement, He is the end of religion.

8 By a striking figure the apostle warns us lest we lose all our possessions in Christ by a legal process, such as is served when property is seized for debt. Legality levies an attachment on us so that we lose the enjoyment of our possessions and philosophy interferes in the same way.

11 The spiritual history of those who know Christ as their Complement may be summarized in three words: death, and burial and resurrection. Not, of course, literally, but in Him. Two rites, in Israel, set this forth in figure. Circumcision is the cutting off of the flesh. It signifies death. Baptism pictures both burial and resurrection. Now, the believer need not be circumcised, for Christ, his Complement, descended into death itself. In Christ's burial he has been baptized. In His resurrection he has been raised from the dead. Faith in God's operation is all the ceremony needed to place the believer beyond the tomb in full possession of every privilege ever procured by the rites of religion. Christ, our Complement, makes full provision for our approach into the divine presence, just as the brazen altar and the laver provided for the approach of the priest in the tabernacle ( Exo_27:1 ; Exo_30:17 ).

14 The decrees issued by the apostles from Jerusalem ( Act_15:23-29 ) were a standing symbol of the subjection of the nations to the Circumcision even though they absolved them from observing all the rudimentary rites, especially circumcision.

Verses 15-23

Doctrinal Correction

15 Not only is the believer exempt from the authority of the apostles of the Circumcision, but, in spirit, he is beyond the reach of all human jurisdiction. Even before His resurrection our Lord reminded Pilate that he had no authority whatever in His case except what had been granted him from above ( Joh_19:10-11 ). By His rising He reversed the sentence of death pronounced against Him by the Sanhedrin and the Roman governor.

16 The prohibition of certain foods under the law, the observance of festivals and fasts and rest days, all foreshadowed the rest and joy and plenty of that future kingdom on the earth, in which the body of Christ has no part. The divine picture of our portion is the physical body of Christ, risen and ascended and seated at God's right hand in the celestial spheres. As the physical members are to this body, so we, His spiritual members, are to Him. We, too, are roused and seated there, and are the instruments through which He will effect His Father's will in the empyrean.

19 "Holding the Head" is a succinct expression of our duty as members of the body of Christ. A conscious connection and subjection to Him as our Head will sever us from the things of the world, whether it be its religion (however divine its origin) or its philosophy. Any attempt to improve our position before God by physical means, whether it be an appeal to the senses or a curbing of its normal needs, denies our completeness in Christ.


The secret of pleasing God is a conduct conformed to our spiritual position. The key to this position is the great truth that we have not only died and have been roused with Christ, but have ascended with Him into celestial spheres. Our interests, our expectations, are no longer on earth at all, but among the celestials. Let this great and glorious truth be behind our motives and guide us into the path that pleases Him.


5 We are exhorted to transform faith into fact. Are we dead to the world? Then let us live as those who are past the practices which pollute it. How can we keep on in the course which will draw down God's indignation not upon us-but upon those who do not trust Him?

9 The old humaniity, with its diversity and division, no longer reflects the Image of its Creator. In the new, or fresh, humanity, in which Christ displaces Adam, these divisions disappear. The religion of the Jew and the philosophy of the Greek, the privileges of the

Circumcision and the proscription of the Uncircumcision, the subjection of the slave and the superiority of the freeman-all these find no place in the young humanity of which Christ is the Head. We should so behave that it will be recognized as created in His image.

12 The greater our appreciation of our Lord's grace toward us, the greater grace will we show towards all who belong to Him. Without this compelling power we shall be able only to exercise our natural, ungracious dispositions.

14 Love, the greatest of the abiding trinity ( 1Co_13:13 ), is the tie which binds us to the Lord and should be the tie which unites us to our fellow saints. Before maturity, in the preparatory era preceding the present economy, the saints were united (or rather divided) by a common rite, as Circumcision, or a common ancestor, as Israel. Now that these are abolished there is a spiritual unity unmarred by any division ( Eph_4:3-6 ). Love is the tie that makes us one, peace is the tie that keeps us one.

15 All difficulties should be submitted to the arbitration of the peace of Christ.

16 The sincerest source of song is a heart full of grace. It should be the overflow of a heart surcharged with an appreciation of God's love. All other motives are a mockery, and discordant to His ears.

17 God is jealous that His Son be duly honored in all we do or say. Even our thanksgiving must be accompanied by the incense of His name.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Colossians 2". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/colossians-2.html. 1968.
Ads FreeProfile