Colossians Chapter 3
From The Open Bible Project
3:1 If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.
- (1) Another part of this epistle, in which he takes occasion by reason of those vain exercises, to show the duty of a Christian life: which is an ordinary thing with him, after he has once set down the doctrine itself. (2) Our renewing or new birth, which is accomplished in us by being partakers of the resurrection of Christ, is the source of all holiness, out of which various streams or rivers afterwards flow.
- (a) For if we are partakers of Christ, we are carried as it were into another life, where we will need neither meat nor drink, for we will be similar to the angels. (3) The end and mark which all the duties of Christian life aim at is to enter into the kingdom of heaven, and to give ourselves to those things which lead us there, that is, to true godliness, and not to those outward and physical things.
3:2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth.
- (b) So he calls that show of religion which he spoke of in the former chapter.
3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
- (4) A reason taken of the efficient causes and others: you are dead with regard to the flesh, that is, with regard to the old nature which seeks after all transitory things. And on the other hand, you have begun to live according to the Spirit; therefore give yourselves to spiritual and heavenly, and not to carnal and earthly things. (5) The taking away of an objection: while we are yet in this world, we are subject to many miseries of this life, so that the life that is in us, is as it were hidden. Yet nonetheless we have the beginnings of life and glory, the accomplishment of which lies now in Christ’s and in God’s hand, and will assuredly and manifestly be performed in the glorious coming of the Lord.
3:4 When Christ, our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory.
3:5 Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry;
- (6) Let not your dead nature be effectual in you any more, but let your living nature be effectual. Now the strength of nature is known by the desires. Therefore let the affections of the world die in you, and let the contrary desires which are spiritual, live. And he reckons up a great long list of vices, and their contrary virtues.
- (c) The desires and lusts that are in us, are in this passage very properly called members, because the reason and will of man is corrupted, and uses them as the body uses its members.
3:6 for which things' sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience.
- (d) Used to come.
3:7 You also once walked in those, when you lived in them;
3:8 but now you also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful speaking out of your mouth.
3:9 Don't lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings,
- (7) A definition of our new birth taken from the parts of it, which are the putting off of the old man, that is to say, of the wickedness which is in us by nature, and the restoring and repairing of the new man, that is to say, of the pureness which is given us by grace. However, both the putting off and the putting on are only begun in us in this present life, and by certain degrees finished, the one dying in us by little and little, and the other coming to the perfection of another life, by little and little.
3:10 and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator,
- (8) Newness of life consists in knowledge which transforms man to the image of God his maker, that is to say to the sincerity and pureness of the whole soul.
- (e) He speaks of an effectual knowledge.
3:11 where there can't be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.
- (9) He tells them again that the Gospel does not refer to those external things, but true justification and sanctification in Christ alone, which have many fruits, as he reckons them up here: but he commends two things especially, that is, godly harmony, and continual study of God’s word.
3:12 Put on therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance;
- (f) Put on in such a way, that you never put off.
- (g) Those most tender affections of exceeding compassion.
3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do.
3:14 Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection.
- (h) Which bonds and knits together all the duties that take place between men.
3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
- (i) Rule and govern all things.
- (k) You are joined together into one body through God’s goodness, so that you might help one another, as fellow members.
3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord.
- (l) By "psalms" he means all godly songs which were written upon various occasions, and by "hymns", all such as contain the praise of God, and by "spiritual songs", other more special and artful songs which were also in praise of God, but they were made fuller of music.
3:17 Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him.
- (m) Call upon the name of Christ when you do it, or do it to Christ’s praise and glory.
3:18 Wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
- (10) He goes from precepts which concern the whole civil life of man, to precepts pertaining to every man’s family, and requires of wives subjection in the Lord.
- (n) For those wives do poorly, that do not set God in Christ before them in their love; but this philosophy does not know.
3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and don't be bitter against them.
- (11) He requires of husbands that they love their wives, and treat them gently.
3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this pleases the Lord.
- (12) He requires of children, that according to God’s commandment they are obedient to their parents.
- (o) In the Lord; and so it is expounded in (Ephesians 6:1).
3:21 Fathers, don't provoke your children, so that they won't be discouraged.
- (13) Of parents, that they are gentle towards their children.
3:22 Servants, obey in all things those who are your masters according to the flesh, not just when they are looking, as men pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God.
- (14) Of servants, that fearing God himself to whom their obedience is acceptable, they reverently, faithfully, and from the heart, obey their masters.
3:23 And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men,
3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
- (p) Because you will have duly obeyed your masters, the time will come, that you will be changed from servants to sons, and you will know this for certain, which will be when you are made partakers of the heavenly inheritance.
3:25 But he who does wrong will receive again for the wrong that he has done, and there is no partiality.
- (15) He requires of masters, that being mindful how they themselves also will render an account before that heavenly Lord and Master, who will avenge wrongful deeds without any respect of masters or servants, they show themselves just and upright with fairness to their servants.