Bible Commentaries
Colossians 1

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1



1. Apostolic Greetings and Prayer, V. 1-8.

2. Paul’s Prayer for (7) things, V. 9-14.

3. The exaltation and reconciliation work of Christ, V. 15-23. 4. Christ’s Plan for His Church (an unveiled mystery), V. 24-29.


1. God in Christ - source of all wisdom, V. 1-3.

2 Dangers of enticing words, V. 4-8.

3. Nothing can be added to completeness, V. 9-13.

4. Law of Moses abolished, V. 14-17.

5. Warnings:

a) Against mysticism, V. 18, 19.

b) Against asceticism, V. 20-23.


1. Union with Christ, V. 1-4.

2. Proper Christian living or "The Christian Dress Code", V. 5-17.

a) Wives, V. 18

b) Husbands, V. 19

c) Children, V. 20

d) Fathers, V. 21

e) Servants, V. 22


1. Christian dress code cont., V. 1-6 f) masters, V. 1

2. Christian fellowship greetings, V. 7-18

3. The circulatory letter, V. 15, 16


1) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ," ’(Paulos Apostolos Christou lesou) "Paul, an apostle (one sent from) or envoy of Jesus Christ"; Paul, the writer of this letter, did not seem to be personally known by the brethren in Colosse, but desired to affirm that he was an apostle of Jesus Christ, truly, 2 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 11:5.

2) "By the will of God" (dia thelematos theou) "Through (the) will of God"; This is a disclaimer of his apostleship as a mere choice of profession, but a call and appointment from and of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 15:9; Romans 11:13.

3) "And Timotheus our brother" (kai Timotheos ho adelphos) "And (also) Timothy, the brother," a Missionary brother from Lystra and Derbe whose father was a Greek and mother a Jewess, a companion in travel with Paul and Silas for near 12 years, Acts 16:1-5. This Timothy is believed to have done the physical writing of the letter for Paul, God’s envoy or missionary to the Gentiles.

Verse 2

1) "To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse” (tois en Kolossais hagiois) to the holy ones, saints in Colosse," (Kai pistois adelphois en Christo) "Even to the faithful brethren in Christ," at the church in Colosse. These faithful brethren constituted the church of the Lord at Colosse, which was in mutual fellowship and association with the Church at Laodicea. Colossians 4:16.

2) "Grace be unto you, and peace," (Charis humin kai eirene) "Grace to you all and peace;” This apostolic salutation of devoted good will toward faithful brethren, church assemblies of saints, was at the heart of Paul’s mission work. He yearned for the best of God’s grace and peace for them.

3) "From God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (apo theou patros hemon) "Originating from God, Father of us, or our Father;" apart from the will, purpose, and provision of God, wrought through Jesus Christ, Paul held there was no redemption, no salvation, and no hope for man from sin. Romans 11:5-6; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:5; Ephesians 2:7-10.

Verse 3

1) "We give thanks" (eucharistoumen) "We express gratitude or give thanks" for the Christian graces of his readers at the Church of Colosse and at Laodicea, Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3. This reflects pleasant memories.

2) "To God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (to theo patri tou kuriou hemon lesou Christou) To God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ;" 2 Corinthians 1:3.

3) "Praying always for you" (pantote peri humon proseuchomenoi) Always praying concerning all of you" or "We always give thanks when we pray for you" -- the idea expressed is one of continuing earnest care for the welfare of others, Philippians 2:4.

Verse 4

1) "Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus" (akousantes ten pistin humon en Christo lesou) "Having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus by Epaphras (Colossians 1:7), Faith of saints, when mingled with good works, always influences others, and is heard abroad, Matthew 5:15-16; 1 Thessalonians 1:8-9. This was the ground of Paul’s thanks to God.

2) "And of the love which ye have to all the saints" (kai ten agapen hen echete eis pantas tous hagious) " And the love which ye have or hold toward all the saints;” They obeyed the words of their Lord, John 13:34-35; In this they confirmed the faith of others and glorified God 1 John 2:5-6; 1 John 3:14; 1 John 4:7.

Verse 5

1) "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven" (dia ten elpida ten apokeimenen humin en tois ouranois) "Because of the hope (already) laid up for you in the heavens;" Christ is that hope, sure anchor of, the Soul, sure and steadfast, blessed Hope for whom faithful saints, church brethren wait, Hebrews 6:17-19; Titus 2:14; Ephesians 1:13-14.

2) "Whereof ye heard before" (hen proekousate) which (hope) ye previously heard"; of the hour of rewards reserved for the faithful at the coming of the Lord and the marriage of the Lamb, 1 Corinthians 3:14; Revelation 22:12; 2 Corinthians 1:1-3; 2 John 1:8.

3) "In the word of the truth of the gospel" (en to logotes aletheias tou auangeliou). "In the word of the truth of the gospel;" The good news of the truth of the gospel offers and assures salvation to every believer in Jesus Christ and rewards for good and faithful services rendered to the Lord after one is saved, born again, or becomes a child of God; John 5:24; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15. Every child of God is guaranteed an entrance into heaven but only faithful, fruitbearing servants shall have an 11 abundant entrance" into the everlasting heirsetting kingdom, 2 Peter 1:5-12; Romans 8:17-18. Everyone with a pure heart, saved by faith in Christ, shall see God, enter heaven, Matthew 5:8; Acts 15:9. But only those who serve Him faithfully are promised an "abundant" entrance, with greater rewards and glory for him.


Tis great reason that we should continue to pray, because our wants continue; and ’tis as great reason that we should continue to praise, because our mercies continue. Who is there so full that wants nothing? and who so empty, but hath something? Let none give over praying, but he that wants nothing; and let none give over praising, that hath anything. Is not the mercy we want worth asking? and is not the mercy we have worth asking? and is not the mercy we have worth acknowledging?


Verse 6

1) "Which is come unto you" (tou parontos eis humas) ’I which (hope) is coming unto you all;" True hope in Christ, "Anchor of the soul," manifested in the spiritual gift of hope, that "maketh not ashamed," is come and causes the true saint to labor out of love, Hebrews 6:17-20; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Romans 5:5; Titus 2:11-14.

2) "As it is in all the world" (kathos kai en panti to kosmo) “Just as also in all the world." This hope has appeared in the Grace-appearing of Jesus Christ to and for all men, calling believers to holy and fruitbearing

lives. John 1:14; John 1:18; John 15:8; John 15:14.

3) "And. bringeth forth fruit" (estin karpophoroumenon) "It is bearing fruit," even now, (Kai auksanomenon) "and growing." John 14:2; Matthew 7:17. Every vital branch, heart-connected branch in Christ, bears fruit-sucker-branches, false professors, do. not. Good trees bear good fruit-bad trees do not.

4) "As it doth also in you" (kathos kai en humin) "As also in you all." Paul rejoiced that the Colossian brethren had been serving the Lord, bearing fruit in life, testimony, worship, and deed, Colossians 1:2; Colossians 1:4.

5) "Since the day ye heard of it" (aph’ hes hemeras ekousaie-) "From which day ye heard it;" the grace of God that calls man to salvation and service with the blessed promise and sure hope of awaiting rewards, John 17:3.

6) "And knew the grace of God in truth" (kai epegnote ten charin tou theou en aletheia) “And fully knew the grace of God in truth;" that grace came by Christ, not by the law. Romans 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 1:7-9; Grace-truth calls to a service of gratitude - a Godly helpful walk. 2 John 1:1-6; 3 John 1:1-4; 3 John 1:8.

Verse 7

1) "As ye also learned of Epaphras" (kathos emathete apo Epaphra) "Even as ye learned from Epaphras" This Epaphras was a member of the body (church body, assembly) in Colosse, an Evangelist Colossians 4:12; Philemon 1:23. As Paul’s helper he had reported to his home church.

2) "Our dear and fellowservant" (tou agapetou sundoulou hemon) "our beloved fellow-slave or slave in colleague, close association." The term fellow-slave or servant indicates a bond of affinity of two persons in intimate fellowship, united for one cause.

3) "Who is for you a faithful minister of Christ" (hos estin pistos huper humon dikainos tou Christou) "Who is a faithful minister of Christ, on your behalf." This Epaphras was the kind of Missionary helper who was worthy and trustworthy, who later was also a prisoner with Paul. Philemon 1:23; Ephesians 6:21; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2.

Verse 8

1) "Who also declared unto us" (ho kai delosas hemin) ’Who even showed to us" by his conduct, testimony, and devotion to Paul and his prison companions.

2) "Your love in the Spirit" (ten humon agapen en pneumati) "Your love in the Spirit." This refers to the high holy spiritual love of brethren, who showed the fruits of the Spirit by their sending Epaphras to minister to Paul’s physical needs and assure him and his brethren that the brethren at Colosse cared for them. Galatians 5:22-25.

Verse 9


1) "For this cause we also" (dia touto kai hemeis) “on account of this we also." The faithfulness of saints in one church, one community can challenge and influence for good those in another community, to the good of each, 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10.

2) "Since the day we heard it" (aph’ hes hemeras ekousamen) "From the day on which we heard.’’ Faith comes by hearing-the faith of one saint or church expressed in word or deed, may bless, encourage another, to the help of each, Romans 10:17-18; Psalms 19:4.

3) "Do not cease to pray for you" (ou pauometha huper humon proseuchomenoi) “Do not cease praying on your behalf." 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17.

4) "And to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge” (kai aitoumenoi hina pierothete ten ;epignosin) "And asking (God) in order that ye may be filled with the full knowledge;" Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:10; Ephesians 5:17. It is a worthy thought that one may know the will of, God through prayer, Acts 9:6.

5) "Of his Will" (tou thelematos autou) "of the will of God"- John 7:17, Luke 11:9-13.

6) "In all wisdom and understanding" (en pase sophia kai sunesei pneumatike) "In wisdom and spiritual understanding." Such comes both through study of the Word and prayer in the Spirit, James 1:5; Ephesians 1:8.

Verse 10

1) "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,” (peripatesai haksios tou kuriou eis pasan areskeian) "To walk worthily of the Lord, pleasing unto all," without offense to all, Ephesians 4:1; Philippians 1:27; 1 Thessalonians 2:12. Even as Christ pleased not himself, but all to edification. Romans 15:1-3; 1 Corinthians 10:33; 1 Thessalonians 4:1.

2) "Being fruitful in every good work" (en panti ergo agatho karpophorountes) "Bearing fruit in every good work;" John 15:16; 2 Corinthians 9:8, sowing bountifully, Philippians 1:11; Titus 3:1; Hebrews 13:21.

3) "And increasing in the knowledge of God" (kai auksanomenoi te epignosei tou theou) "and growing in the full knowledge of God" 2 Peter 3:18; Philippians 3:10-14. Paul pursued such knowledge through study, prayer, and reading till death-Read 2 Timothy 4:13.

Verse 11

1) "Strengthened with all might" (en pase dunamei dunamoumenoi) "Being empowered with all might," Ephesians 3:16; Philippians 4:13.

2) "According to his glorious power" (kata to kratos tes dokses autou) "according to the glory of his mighty power." The Divine supply of his power is both abundant and available to all who seek it or ask for it, aright; Ephesians 6:10; Joshua 1:5-6; Joshua 1:9.

3) "Unto A patience and longsuffering with joyfulness" (eis pasan hupomonen kai makrothumian meta charas) "unto all endurance and longsuffering, with joy;" 2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:2. Great joy may be found in the will of the Lord, even in times of troubles and great cares, 2 Corinthians 8:2; Hebrews 10:34.

Verse 12

1) "Giving thanks unto the Father" (eucharistountes to patri) "giving out thanks (continually) to the Father," conscious thanksgiving for the benefits of salvation and service made available to us Gentiles through the Church.

2) "Which hath made us meet" (to hikanosanti humas) “To the one having made you (us) fit," or having qualified us, made us competent; this seems to refer to a status rather than character. Romans 9:23-24; 2 Corinthians 11:1-2; Revelation 5:9-10.

3) "To be partakers" (eis ten merida) "for the part," or lot. Ephesians 3:2-7.

4) "Of the inheritance of the saints in light" (tou klerou ton hagion en to photi) "of the heritage of the saints in the light," the glory, honor, and rewards that await church saints, who serve and give him glory in the Church, who shall receive special glory, their "heir-setting" to reign with Christ, on the earth, in coming ages. The heir-setting of Church saints "in light" refers to their faithful service to him through the Church in the Gentile age, for which each is pledged a reigning lot during the millennium, Matthew 25:1; Matthew 25:14; Matthew 25:19-23; Luke 19:12-19.

Verse 13

1) "Who hath delivered us" (hos errusato hemas) who delivered us," loosed or set us free. 2 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 1:13.

2) "From the power of darkness" (ek tes eksousias tou skotous) "out of the power (authority) of the darkness." This refers to an absolute soul or spirit liberty from damnation’s - darkness into salvation’s light 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; John 8:12.

3) "And hath translated us" (kai metestesen) “and transferred, stood us up," or carried us upright in a transition. This he did when he not only died to redeem the lost, but also purchased the church, the new worship body, or assembly, by his own blood. Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25.

4) "Into the kingdom of his dear Son" (eis ten Basileian tou humiou tes agapes autou) "Into the kingdom or domain of the love of his Son;" as salvation is freely offered and must be freely received by the unbeliever for him to receive salvation, even so translation or a transition from the status of a servant of the Devil to a servant of God while in the flesh requires one’s voluntary acceptance of baptism and obedience to God’s call for the believer to follow his Son in the Church in this Church-kingdom age. The Church, in her administrative work today, is the present kingdom of God’s dear Son, which He will one day return to receive, for Millennial usage purposes. Luke 19:12-19; Mark 13:34-37.

Verse 14

1) "In whom we have redemption" (en ho echomen ten apolutrosin) "in whom we have, hold, or possess the redemption or deliverance." This redemption or deliverance is (exists) in, by, and through the Lord Jesus Christ. If we possess Christ, in him we possess redemption. Redemption is ransom by an agreed payment price. Mark 10:45. Jesus paid the price to ransom our souls from death.

2) "Through his blood," Omit this for it is not in better manuscripts, considered to be an interpolation, yet the truth is clearly stated later, Colossians 1:20; Ephesians 1:7.

3) "Even the forgiveness of sins" (ten aphesin ton hamartion) "The forgiveness of the (our) sins." Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:16; 1 Peter 1:19; Acts 5:31; Acts 13:38; Acts 26:18.


Someone asked Luther, "Do you feel that you have been forgiven?"

He answered, "No, but I’m assure As there’s a God in Heaven.

For feelings come, and feelings go, And feelings are deceiving.

My warrant is the Word of God,

Naught else is worth believing.


Verse 15


1) "Who is the image" (hos estin eikon) who is an image;” Jesus Christ is the reflected glory of what God the Father is to become in his children. 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6.

2) "Of the invisible God," (tou theou tou aoratou) "Of the God, the invisible God;" 2 Corinthians 4:4; Hebrews 1:3. God is not only invisible and incomprehensible in total essence of his nature but so also is Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:27. It was this nature that enabled him to appear and disappear in houses with closed doors. John 20:19; John 20:26.

3) "The firstborn of every creature" (prototokos pases ktiseos) "Firstborn one of all creation" or over all creation" or over all creation, giving to him the priority and hereditary right to his reigning throne, Luke 1:33; 1 Corinthians 15:23-25; Revelation 3:14.

Verse 16

1) "For by him were all things created" (hoti en auto ektisthe ta panta) "Because in him all things were created." In Jesus Christ existed the cause of the creation. The creation is therefore logically to be subject to the lordship of its creator, Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 3:4; John 1:1-2. Jesus was also the agent of creation. 1 Corinthians 8:6.

2) "That are in heaven, and that are in earth" (en tois ouranois kai epi tes ges) "In the heavens and on the earth." The things in the heavens refer to the entire system of the Sun, moon, planets, stars and galaxies, the winds, and powers of magnetism, and all things existing in the third heaven and in the earth.

3) "Visible and invisible" (ta horata kai ta aorata) “the visible and the invisible" There are visible things and invisible things both in heaven and on earth, all elements in simplest form, apart from compounds and mixtures, are invisible. In creation objects and creatures were formed from them. Hebrews 11:3; Romans 1:29. Even positions of Divine angelic service were made by him. John 1:1-2; Hebrews 1:14.

4) "Whether they be" (eite) "Whether," they exist as,

(a) "Thrones" (thronoi) "thrones," positions of present Angelic service to God and the redeemed from which good Angels operate.

(b) "Or dominions" (eite kuriotetes) "or lordships," positions of jurisdictional divine service over which Michael, Gabriel, Seraphims, and Cherubims direct angelic service. Daniel 9:16; Daniel 12:1; Isaiah 6:1-7; Ezekiel 1:10.

(c) "Or principalities" (eite archai) or rulers, governments, of the unseen world of angelic service, 1 Peter 1:12,

(d) "Or powers’ (eite eksousiai) "or authorities," existing in the angelic realm of service to God and the redeemed. Hebrews 1:14.

5) "All things were created by him, and for him:" (ta panta di autou kai eis auton ektistai) "all things through him, and for him have been created" Hebrews 2:10; Romans 11:36.

Verse 17

1) "And he is before all things” (kai autos estin pro panton) "and he exists (apriori) before all things," or antecedent to all things, John 1:1-2; John 8:58; John 17:5; Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 1:8. He may also be considered before all things in the sense of superiority in rank of all existing principalities and powers and authorities before whom all shall one day bow. Romans 14:11-12; Revelation 5:9-13.

2) "And by him all things consist" (kai ta panta en auto suenesteken) “And all things in him consisted," or held together, John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6. He is the first and last in all things to be loved, obeyed, and worshipped by men, in whom we live and move and have our existence and subsistence, John 15:5; Acts 17:28.

Verse 18

1) "And he is the head of the body, the church" (kai autos estin he kephale tou somatos tes ekklesias) "and he is the head of the body (assembly), that is, of the Church!" In this position he is supreme as; originator of the Church and the one who presides over and is to be obeyed by her, Matthew 16:18-19; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 1:22.

2) "Who is the beginning," (ho estin arche) "who exists as (or is) from or in beginning." In him time and alI things exist John 1:1-2.

3) "The firstborn from the dead” (prototokos A ton nekron) “Firstborn from the dead corpses," first in order or rank to come forth alive, living, from the realm of the dead, "alive forevermore," Revelation 1:5; Revelation 1:18; Acts 26:23; 1 Corinthians 15:20; 1 Corinthians 15:23.

4) "That in all things he might have the preeminence,” (hina genetai en pasin autos proteuon) “In order that in all things he might have or hold preeminence or first place," priority of honor, respect, and obedience. This is a strong affirmation of the nature, power, and eternality of Jesus Christ SS 5:10; Matthew 28:18; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Romans 14:9. He is to be sought and shared as the Saviour, Master, Intercessor, Judge, and coming King over all men.


"Don’t you know, young man," said an aged minister in giving advice to a younger brother, "that from every town, and every’ village, and every little hamlet in England, there is a road to London?"

"Yes," was the reply. "So," continued the venerable man, "from every text in Scripture there is a road to the metropolis of Scripture, that is, Christ And your business is, when you get a text, to say, Now, what is the road to Christ? and then preach a sermon running along the road towards the great metropolis - Christ"

--Gray & Adams, p. 324

Verse 19

1) "For it pleased the Father" (eudokesen) "was well pleased (the Godhead)- (a) John 3:16 God pleased to give his Son for the salvation of all, (b) He pleased to call all to salvation through repentance and faith, Acts 17:30-31; 2 Peter 3:9; and (c) He pleased to commit all things into his hands, John 3:35.

2) "That in him should all fulness dwell" (hoti en auto pan to pleroma katoikesai) "That in him all the fulness to dwell," or all the fulness of the Godhead was pleased to dwell in Him, John 1:16; John 5:22; Colossians 2:9. As believers receive of His fulness they receive of the fulness of the Godhead, so that with Paul and the Corinthian Church brethren we may declare to all members of his church body "all things are yours," by redemption and inheritance in Him and through Him, 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23.

Verse 20

1) "And having made peace through the blood of his cross” (kai erenopoiesas dia tou haimatos tou staurou auton) "And making peace through the blood of the cross." This He did when He offered Himself on the cross, one for all, Hebrews 7:27; 2 Corinthians 5:18.

2) "By him to reconcile all things unto himself" (di autou apokatallaksai ta panta eis auton) "Through him to reconcile all things to the Godhead," himself. 1 Corinthians 15:23-28; Romans 11:15; 2 Corinthians 5:19.

3) "By him, I say" (di autou) "Through him, (I say)" or affirm reconciliation of all from enmity to peace with God was effected, Romans 5:10.

4) "Whether they be things in earth or things in heaven" (eite ta epi tes ges eite ta en tois ouranois) whether the things (to be reconciled) be on the earth or the things in the heavens" This indicates that things exist in the heavens that require reconciliation to God, as well as things on earth -- Inclusive of the planet earth and her orbital luminaries, Romans 8:19-23.

Verse 21

1) "And you that were sometimes alienated" (kai humas pote ontas apellotriomenous) "And you then being - having been alienated," in a former state or condition of alienation from God, holiness, and heaven. Ephesians 2:1-2; Ephesians 2:12.

2) "And enemies in your mind by wicked works" (kai echthrous te dianoia en tois ergois tois ponerois) "And enemies in mind by the wicked works (of you)." The term "enemies" refers to persons in active, opposition to God and righteousness. Romans 1:30; Romans 8:7; Matthew 12:30; James 4:4; Titus 1:15-16.

3) "Yet now hath he reconciled" (nuni de apokatellaksen) "now and hereafter forever, without cessation, hath he reconciled," restored to Divine favor, once for all. Romans 5:10-11.

RECONCILIATION, Comfort of: A boy who had offended his father came to him, saying "Papa, I cannot learn my lesson unless you are reconciled. I am sorry I have offended you, and hope I shall never do so again. I hope you will forgive me." This confession won from the father the kiss of reconciliation. "Now," exclaimed the boy, "I will learn Latin and Greek with anybody."

--Illustrations, Baker

Verse 22

1) "In the body of his flesh" (en to somati tes sarkos autou) ’in the body of the flesh of him" Restoration from the state of alienation from and enmity toward God was effected in the body (flesh-body) of Christ on the cross -- not in or through the Church body. Ephesians 2:15-16.

2) "Through death" (dia tou thanatou) " Through his death;" Reconciliation from sin and eternal death was provided through the flesh-body of Christ on the cross, where he paid man’s sin debt -- not in the Church body, 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 10:10; Hebrews 10:19-20.

3) "To present you" (parastesai humas) "to stand you forth (before him),"

(a) "holy" (hagious) "as holy ones," Colossians 3:12.

(b)”and unblameable" (kai amomous) " and blameless ones,

(c) "and unreprovable" (kai anegkietous) "and irreproachable ones,"

4) "In his sight" (katenopion lautou) "Before his face," Ephesians 5:27; Titus 2:14. The Church-body is called to a life of separation, dedication, and service of Christ that will when pursued bring them before Jesus as His bride, presented in fullest glory, 2 Corinthians 11:1-2; Revelation 19:7-9.

Verse 23

1) If ye continue in the faith" (ei ge epimenete te pistei "if indeed ye go on, continue or abide in the system of the faith," to abide by or adhere to -reconciliation is restoration from disfavor to favor with God for service and worship in the new body of worship and service (the church) Ephesians 1:22.

2) "Grounded and settled" (tethemliomenoi kai hedraioi) "Having been founded and steadfast" This faith in Christ for salvation needs no supplement of deeds of the law or ceremonies. But it calls to a life-walk of service to Christ and His Church, Hebrews 3:14.

3) "And be not moved away from the hope of the gospel” (kai me metakinoumenoi apo tes elpidos tou euangeliou) "And not being moved away from the hope of the gospel," to forms, ceremonies, or traditions of men, but pursuit of ’ the faith in holiness of a fruitbearing life, 2 Peter 1:5-12.

4) "Which ye heard" (hou ekousate) "which ye heard;" -These Colossian brethren had heard the faith (system or body of Christian and Church truth from Christ); men should examine themselves, take inventory, that they contend earnestly for and in them. 2 Corinthians 13:5; Judges 1:1-3.

5) "And which was preached to every creature which is under heaven" (tou keruchthentos en pase ktisei te hupo ton ouranon) "proclaimed in all creation under the heaven;" as it appeared to all men, was preached to all, “whosoever will" by Christ John 3:14-16; Titus 2:11-12; Mark 16:15.

6) "Whereof I Paul am made a minister" (hou egenomen ego Paulos diakonos) "Of which I Paul became a common Minister," 1 Corinthians 1:17; Galatians 2:2; Romans 1:14-16.

Verse 24

"CHRIST’S PLAN FOR HIS CHURCH" (An unveiled Mystery)

1) "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you" (nun chairo en tois pathemasin huper humon) "Now and continually I rejoice in my sufferings on behalf of you all," on behalf of the Church at Colosse, Matthew 5:11-12; Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 1:5-6.

2) "And fill up that which is behind" (kai antanaplero ta husteremata) "And fill up the things lacking." As Paul’s ministry began with persecution, like our Lord’s, he observed it was to continue as he served Christ, 2 Corinthians 4:10.

3) "Of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh" (ton thlipseon tou Christou en te sarki mou) "Of the tribulations or afflictions of Christ in my flesh." Deeds of the flesh nature are to be continually mortified, put to death, and the life of the true saint in witnessing must endure afflictions of Christ, 2 Timothy 3:12.

4) "For his body’s sake, which is the Church" (huper tou somatos autou, ho estin he ekkesia) "On behalf of his body, which is the Church;" To serve Christ in his “new body." The Church-an institution where the redeemed Jew and Gentile may both worship without a barrier-inner or outer Court-was Paul’s great delight Ephesians 2:14; Ephesians 2:22. He yearned to make men love the Church, and worship and serve in it, as the "espoused" to Christ 2 Corinthians 11:1-2; The "pillar and the ground of the truth," 1 Timothy 3:15; and the Church which he also purchased with his own blood." Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25.

Verse 25

1) "Whereof I am made a minister" (hes egenomen ego diakonos) "Of which I became a common minister" Paul was not only a preacher of the gospel but also a Mission director, fund-raiser for the needy, councilor, and educator. All of this is included in the Greek term (diakonos) translated-minister, 1 Corinthians 9:17.

2) "According to the dispensation of God" (kata ten oikonomian tou theou) "according to the stewardship (houselaw) of God." The term dispensation is one derived from the idea of an household steward or porter with a charge to keep and perform. Mark 13:34-37; 1 Corinthians 4:2.

3) "Which is given to me for you" (ten dotheisan moi eis humas) “which is given (committed) to me with reference to you all," the church at Colosse, 2 Timothy 4:2; 2 Timothy 4:5. Paul felt himself a life-debtor to help save the souls and lives of all men, Romans 1:14-16; Colossians 1:10-11.

4) "To fulfill the word of God" (plerosai ton logon tou theou) to fulfill, complete, sustain, or confirm the Word of God" John 20:21. As the Father sent the Son to seek and to save the lost, so has he sent the Church, Luke 19:10; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8-11; Acts 26:16-23.

Verse 26

1) "Even the mystery which hath been hid" (to musterion to apokekremmenon) "The mystery which had been hidden" or concealed. The term mystery refers to a truth undiscovered by the masses, except by revelation, a holy secret This formerly hidden mystery, like ancient rites and doctrines, had been communicated only to a limited number in -old Testament times. The hidden mystery was that Jesus Christ should establish the Church body to carry on his program of work and worship among the Gentiles in this age.

2) "From ages and from generations" (apo ton aionion kai apo ton geneion) ’From the ages and generations" of the past, though a few prophets prophesied and alluded to its establishment by and work for Jesus Christ as (a) an handful of corn, (b) a kingdom never to be destroyed and (c) a flock, Psalms 72:16-17; Daniel 2:44-45, Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31-32.

3) "But now is made manifest to his saints" (nun de ephaerothe tois hagiois autou) "Yet (for now and continuing hereafter) was manifested to or for his saints." The Church is that "hidden mystery," veiled from other ages, yet not an afterthought of God. This “new body" of worship and service, the church, differed from the old Jewish Body of worship and service in that not only was salvation procured for both Jew and Gentile alike on the cross but also the Church Jesus established has free entrance by all believers through baptism into a program of worship and service to the Lord, without circumcision and inner or outer courts as barriers of separation of Jews and Gentiles. Through this Church which Christ loved, built, for which he gave himself, and which he purchased with his own blood, commissioned, and empowered, is to make known to the world the manifold wisdom of God until he comes for her as his bride. Ephesians 5:25; Acts 20:28; Matthew 16:18-19; Matthew 28:11-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4; Ephesians 3:8-10; Ephesians 3:21; John 3:29; Revelation 19:7-9.

Verse 27

1) "To whom God would make known" (ois ethelesin ho theos gnorisai) "To whom (the saints, the body, the Church) God willed to make known." God willed to make known to the saints "holy ones" who followed our Lord through his ministry that after his resurrection “ they" the "saint-body" should be custodians of his worship and work, empowered to go into all nations, after he was gone. Read Matthew 26:31-32; Matthew 28:11-20; Luke 24:49-52; Acts 1:8-11.

2) "What is the riches of the glory of this mystery" (ti to ploutos tes dokses tou musteriou touto) "What or that which is the riches of the ’glory of this mystery;" The riches of the glory consisted in two truths: M-Jews and Gentiles had salvation available alike by repentance and faith, and (2) that worship positions of service no longer had any middle wall of separation or barriers in the Church. Ephesians 2:14-22; Ephesians 3:21.

3) "Among the Gentiles" (en tois ethuesin) "in the midst of or among the Gentiles." He called from among the Gentiles a people for his name’s sake -- the Church, taught these Galileeans (Jews and Gentiles) and sent them unto the Gentiles, into all the world. Acts 15:14; Matthew 4:13-15; Acts 10:37; Mark 16:15.

4) "Which is Christ in you" (hos estin Christos en humin) “which is Christ in you all," (the Church-body). Christ is with and in the midst of his church, each congregation in their worship and service always, to empower and bless, Matthew 28:20; John 17:20-24; John 20:21; Revelation 1:3; Revelation 1:16; Revelation 1:20.

5) "’The hope of Glory" (he elpis tes dokses) "The hope of the glory" Jesus Christ, anchor of the soul, sure and Steadfast, interceding in heaven for every believer, indwelling his church in Holy Spirit power, watches over his own children and his own bride till His coming and the resurrection, rapture, and marriage of the lamb hour (period) comes. What a hope! Hebrews 6:17-19; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 10:37; Titus 2:13.

Verse 28

1) "Whom we preach" (hon hemeis katangellomen) "Whom -we announce or herald;" Paul preached on every continent; Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and ceased not to preach His resurrection assurance, 1 Corinthians 1:20-24; Galatians 6:14.

2) "Warning every man" (nouthetountes panta anthropon) "Warning each or every man," Jew and Gentile, Acts 20:20-21; Romans 1:14-16; Romans 2:1-5; Romans 2:10-11.

The term warning is used in the sense of admonishing for good, as in Colossians 3:16.

3) "And teaching every man in all wisdom" (kai didaskontes panta anthropon en pase sophia) "and instructing every man in all wisdom," heavenly knowledge or the wisdom above all. Proverbs 1:7; James 1:5; 1 Corinthians 14:37. The true teacher confronts the pupils with alternatives of good and bad and gives exhortation to the good.

4) "That we may present every man" (hina parastesomen panta anthropon) "in order that we may stand every man up (present) every man," for judgment seat of Christ, inspection, 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Judges 1:24.

5) "Perfect in Christ Jesus" (teleion en Christo) mature, finished, or complete in Christ," Ephesians 5:27; Colossians 1:22; as commanded of our Lord, Matthew 5:48; Ephesians 4:12-13.

Verse 29

1) "Whereunto I also labor" (eis ho kai kopio) "For which I also labor." Though in chains, in bonds, in prison, Paul witnessed and labored on for his Master. Colossians 2:1.

2) "Striving according to his working" (agonizomenos kata ten energeian autou) "Struggling or striving continually (progressively) according to his inner working (in me)" both for verbal and writing inspiration, to get out and write down the message, his portion of the Scriptures; Philippians 2:12-13.

3) "Which worketh in me mightily" (ten energoumenen en emoi en dunamei) "Which (is) working in me in a dynamic power," like a generator, a dynamo, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. With what explicit power the Holy Spirit did call to and sustain Paul in these prison-epistle writings to Saints, Pastors, and Churches of the Lord! He kept on fighting the good fight, running and the good race, and standing sentry guard, and sending the Divine messages to the Lord’s churches, even from prison cells, shackles, cold, hunger, and pain; even to the triumphant end, 2 Timothy 4:7-8. This was so much like both his Lord and Stephens, by whose lingering message Paul likely was brought to his knees on the Damascus Road, Acts 7:54-60; Acts 8:1-4; Acts 9:1-6. Let us therefore, never be weary in well doing. Galatians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Colossians 1". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.