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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Colossians 1

 

 


Verses 1-19

Colossians 1:1-14. Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: as ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

As we read these words, we cannot help noticing how positively the apostle speaks. There are no “hope so’s,” “trust so’s,” and “ifs,” and “buts”; but it, is all, “it is so,” and “it is so.” And, beloved brethren, concerning eternal matters, nothing but certainties will suffice for us. Allow uncertainties about your estates if you will, but we must have positive assurance concerning eternal things; and nothing short of this ought to content our spirits. Can we all say, as we listen to these words, “God hath delivered us from the power of darkness; he hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son, in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins”?

Colossians 1:15. Who is the image of the invisible God,—

Admire this delightful passage, in which the apostle seems to burn and glow while he describes his Lord and Master: “who is the image of the invisible God,”—

Colossians 1:15-19. The firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him,, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell.

Blessed be his glorious name! Amen.

This exposition consisted of readings from John 14:1-12 : and Colossians 1:1-19.


Verses 1-29

Colossians 1:1-2. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Kindness is the very breath of Christianity, so the apostle will not begin the subject matter of his letter until first of all he has breathed out a benediction upon those to whom he writes.

Colossians 1:3. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

Paul very graciously blends his giving of thanks and his constant prayer for these Christians at Colosse, and therein sets us an example that we may well imitate.

Colossians 1:4-6. Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

If there is a way of knowing the grace of God which is of no value, it is when it is not known in truth, that is to say, when it is only head-knowledge, not heart-knowledge. But, oh, when in truth the grace of God sinks into the soul, and changes the whole nature, then it is an experience for which we may well give thanks to God.

Colossians 1:7-8. As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

Epaphras told them of Paul’s prayers for them; and when he came back from Colosse, he told Paul of their great love in the Spirit.

Colossians 1:9. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in his wisdom and spiritual understanding,

See! the apostle asks for them something more even than faith, and hope, and love, — that they “might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” This shows what a valuable thing it is to know and understand the will of God.

Colossians 1:10-11. That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

If we have faith, and hope, and love, it is desirable that we add to these a fullness of knowledge, and to this holiness of life and fruitfulness of service that we may have patience to endure the afflictions of this life, and longsuffering with which to put up with the provocations of the ungodly.

Colossians 1:12-14. Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

And now Paul, having mentioned his Master’s great work, — redemption by blood and the forgiveness of sins — goes on at a tangent, as it were. He is so enthusiastic with regard to Christ and his great atoning sacrifice that the very thought of Christ’s blood stirs his own blood, and he seems like a man all on fire with holy fervor as he writes: —

Colossians 1:15-17. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

How can anyone ever read this passage, and yet say that Christ Jesus is only a man? By what twisting of words on such language as this be applied to the most eminent prophet or apostle who ever lived? Surely he must be God by whom all things were created, and by whom all things consist. But Paul’s next sentence is to us the sweetest of all: —

Colossians 1:18. And he is the head of the body, the church:

He is joined by an indissoluble union to his people, and is the head of their glory, their wisdom, and their strength.

Colossians 1:18. Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Are we giving him the pre-eminence in all things? That theology must be false which puts Jesus in the second place, or even lower than that, and that experience is a wrong one which does not put Christ always in the front. He must in all things always stand first.

Colossians 1:19. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;

That we might have to go to him for it; it pleased the Father to make errands for us so as to take us to Christ, and to make our very emptiness thus to minister to the glory of Christ.

Colossians 1:20-23. And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable his sight: if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled,

This is a text that ought to be read and pondered every day by the many unstable professors who are in the church at this present time: “if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled,” like a building that will have no further settlements, no more starting of the stones, no more cracking of the walls, because your foundation is secure, and you are firmly built upon it.

Colossians 1:23-24. And be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven, whereof I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you,

Oh how blessed it is when a man has so mastered himself that his sufferings for his fellow-Christians become a matter of rejoicing for himself! He not only accepts them, and bears them with patience, but he says: —

Colossians 1:24. And fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

There is nothing “behind” as to the atoning efficacy of the sufferings of Christ, but there is much yet to be endured in order that all the elect may be brought to Christ. Some must suffer through their extraordinary labours in preaching the gospel, others through bearing reproach for the truth’s sake, and Paul was glad to take, in his mortal body, his share of the sufferings to be endured for the sake of Christ’s Church, which is his mystical body.

Colossians 1:25-27. Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the world of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ is you, the hope of glory.

This is the most blessed of all mysteries, I trust that many of us understand it; may the Holy Ghost reveal it to any who know it not!

Colossians 1:28. Whom we preach, —

That is, Christ; it is not so much what we preach as whom we preach. We preach the person of Christ: “whom we preach,” —

Colossians 1:28-29. Warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

There will never be any mighty work come from us unless there be first a mighty work in us, no man truly labours for souls unless the Holy Ghost has first wrought mightily in him.

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Colossians 1:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/colossians-1.html. 2011.

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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