Colossians 3 - Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Bible Comments
  • Colossians 3:1-17 open_in_new

    What it Means to be Risen with Christ. Those who are risen with Christ must aspire to the things above, in the region of Christ's heavenly session at God's right hand. Their minds must be set, not on terrestrial things, but on things high and heavenly. So far as their old life was concerned they died (i.e. in baptism); their life now is a hidden life in God. That is what it means to be united with Christ (Colossians 3:3). It is Christ who is our life. Hidden though He be, He shall be manifested at His coming: and His manifestation will involve our manifestation also with Him in glory (Colossians 3:4). Put to death then the members on the earth fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil lust, covetousness. These things incur God's wrath. The Colossians had formerly practised them; but they must now, like other Christians, put them all away; and with them anger, wrath, malignity, slander, abusive speech, and lying.

    The old man with his deeds must be put off and the new man put on the man who is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of his Creator. In the sphere of the new manhood petty strife is unthinkable. The most radical differences are cancelled; distinctions of race, rank, status, civilisation, or religious privilege cease to have any relevance; there is only Christ everywhere and in all the relations of life (Colossians 3:11). As men chosen of God, members of His holy people and objects of His love, the Colossians must put on a heart of compassion, a kindly disposition, a temper of humility, gentleness, and long-suffering: there must be mutual forbearance and, in cases of grievance, mutual forgiveness they must forgive even as they have been freely forgiven. Above all, they must put on love, the bond which binds men together in Christian perfection, and let Christ's peace rule in their hearts, for to that end were they called, so as to be in one body. They must become thankful.

    Christ's word should dwell in them richly, so that in outbursts of psalm and hymn and spiritual song they may teach and admonish one another, singing thankful songs of praise in their hearts to God. Everything that they undertake, whether in word or deed, is to be in Christ's name; it is to be the expression of their thankfulness to God the Father through Him.

    Colossians 3:3. Cf. Php_1:21, Galatians 2:20.

    Colossians 3:5. your members. earth: the members which are of the earth, earthy; the phrase is in loose apposition with the list of sins which follows. which is idolatry: Ephesians 5:5 *, and cf. with the whole passage Ephesians 5:3-5.

    Colossians 3:9. the old man: the old non-Christian self; cf. Ephesians 4:22; Romans 6:6.

    Colossians 3:10. after. him: cf. Genesis 1:26-28.

    Colossians 3:11. Cf. Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 4:13.

    Colossians 3:16. the word of Christ: either the gospel which Christ is regarded as proclaiming or the voice of Christ speaking to them in their hearts.

    Colossians 3:16 b. Cf. Ephesians 5:19.