Wives and Husbands

Colossians 3:18-19 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 

‘Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.’ Submission will always fall under that which is lawful and right, not in things criminal and wrong. If a husband is sinful and demands his wife to leave off the things that save the soul, she is not under obligation to him. Her God and her soul must come first (Matt. 22:37; Luke 14:26-27). Obedience to the husband in all things is based upon him loving his wife, as Christ does His body (Eph. 5:25, 28, 33).

‘Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.’ Husbands are warned in Ephesians 5:28 that they must love their wives as their own bodies, for he that loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord does to the members of His body, flesh and bones.

Eight commands for husbands: To be head (taking lead, not rule) of the wife (Eph. 5:23). To love their wives as Christ loved His body (Eph. 5:25). To love their wives as their own bodies (Eph. 5:28, 33). To nourish [Greek: ektrepho] bring up, care for, protect (Eph. 5:29; 6:4; Rev. 12:6). To cherish [Greek: thalpo] to foster, warm in one’s bosom (Eph. 5:29; 1Thess. 2:7). To be joined as one flesh (Eph. 5:30-31). To leave his parents for their wives (Eph. 5:31), not cling to his father and mother and never stand on his own feet to become the head of his home. To cleave to their wives (Eph. 5:31; Matt. 19:5).

Whatsoever You Do

Colossians 3:14-17 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. 

‘Charity’ – Divine love is to be put on as the outer garment and finishing touch to a well-dressed Christian. After putting on the eight other things of Colossians 3:10, one is to put on this outer cloak as the bond of perfectness or as a girdle. It is to cover all, unite all, and bind all together as one. This is true perfection (Matt. 5:43-48; 1Cor. 13:1-13).

‘Rule’ [Greek: brabeuo] to be an umpire; to arbitrate, direct, and govern.

‘Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs’ – Spiritual songs mean those of the spiritual life and the given psalms.

‘Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.’ Twelve obligations of the Christian life: Seek those things above (3:1). Set affections on things above (3:2) and mortify all sinful members (3:5-7). Put off the old man (3:8-9). Put on the new man (3:10-12). Forbear with all men (3:13; 1Cor. 13:1-13). Forgive all men (3:13; Matt. 18:35). Put on divine love (3:14; 1Cor. 13:1-13). Let peace umpire the life (3:15). Know the Bible (3:15; 2Tim. 2:15; 3:16-17). Teach and admonish one another (3:16). Use the Christian’s power of attorney (3:17; John 16:23).

When we do anything to mortify the flesh we are disobedient to this commandment of doing everything – in word and deed – in the name of the Lord. No selfishness, self-pride, self-gain or self-glory can be done in His name, for all the glory belongs to Him and Him alone (1Cor. 10:31).

Christ is All in All

Colossians 3:11-13 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you. 

‘Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision.’ In the new creation, there is no distinction made in rights and privileges because of race, sex, colour, or position in life (1Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28).

‘Scythian’ – Regarded by the ancients as the lowest type of barbarians. Bond slaves.

‘Christ is all, and in all’ – Christ is all things to all believers and is in all believers For if Christ is in us, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised Jesus from the dead dwell in us, He that raised Christ from the dead shall also quicken our mortal bodies by His Holy Spirit that dwells in us (Rom. 8:9-16).

‘The elect of God’ – All classes, races, colours, sexes, and types of people in Christ make the elect, not just the Jews. Anyone chose by God – an individual or nation – is the elect of God (Luke 18:7).

‘Holy and beloved’ All true Christians are: Holy [Greek: hagios] (Rom. 11:16; 12:1; 2Cor. 3:17; Eph. 1:4; 2:21; 3:5; 5:27; Col. 1:22; 3:12; 1Thess. 5:27; 1Tim. 8; Tit. 1:8; Heb. 3:1; 1Pet. 1:15-16; 2:5, 9; 3:5; 2Pet. 1:21; 3:2; Rev. 22:11) and the beloved of God [Greek: agapao] Rom. 1:7; 2Cor. 7:1; Col. 3:12; 1Thess. 1:4; 2Thess. 2:13; 1Jn. 3:2; 4:1, 7, 11).

Put On the New Man

Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him

‘Put on the new man.’ Nine things to put on (3:10, 12): The new man (Eph. 4:24); bowels of mercies (2Cor. 6:12); kindness (1Cor. 13:4); humbleness of mind; meekness (1Cor. 13:4); longsuffering (1Cor. 13:4); forbearance (Gal. 5:22); forgiveness (Matt. 18:35); divine love (1Cor. 13:4).

‘New man’ – This is the Spirit and nature of God in renewed man (Eph. 4:23-24; 2Pet. 1:4; Rom. 8:9, 14-16).

‘Renewed in knowledge’ – Therefore, because we do not know any man after the flesh, not even Christ, it is vain for any man to profess a relationship with Christ according to the flesh, while he is unchanged in heart and life and dead in trespasses and sins. One must be renewed in the attitude of your mind by renouncing its vanity (Eph. 4:17), its darkness and blindness (Eph. 4:18) and learning of Christ (Eph. 4:20-21).

‘Knowledge’ [Greek: epignosis] full and true knowledge (3:10; 1:9-10; Rom. 1:28; 3:20; 10:2; Eph. 1:17; 4:13; Php. 1:9; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Tim. 3:7; Heb. 10:26; 2Pet. 1:2, 3, 8; 2:20) and acknowledge (2:2; 2Tim. 2:25; Tit. 1:1; Phm. 1:6). Ignorance is the state of the average heathen who gets to know only a little about nature. Christianity teaches man the true and full knowledge of God and nature, and the origin and destiny of all things (Acts 15:18; Eph. 2:7; 3:9-11).

‘Image’ [Greek: eikon] This is one of three places where the word means a pattern or moral and spiritual likeness (3:10; Rom. 8:29; 2Cor. 3:18). The idea here is that God planned for man to have full knowledge. Now He renews man after the original pattern or plan and gives him a sound mind and true knowledge (2Tim. 1:7; 2Pet. 1:3-13). This could read, “renewed in knowledge according to the original pattern of God who created him.”

Put Off All These

Colossians 3:8-9 But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds

‘Put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.’ Seven things to put off: Anger (3:8; Eph. 4:26); wrath; malice (3:8; Eph. 4:31); blasphemy (3:8; Matt. 12:31); filthy communication, foul language (Eph. 4:29; 5:4); lying (3:9; Eph. 4:25); the old man (3:9; 2Cor. 5:17).

‘Old man with his deeds’ – Two old things that pass away: [1] The spirit, nature, and power of sin the old man, which is nothing more nor less than the spirit, nature, and power of the devil working in men of disobedience (John 8:44; Eph. 2:2; 2Cor. 4:4; 1Jn. 3:8; 5:18). This is what the Bible calls: The old man (Rom. 6:6; Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:9); sin (John 1:29; 8:34; Rom.  6:4 – 8:2); the body of sin (Rom. 6:6); the power of satan (Acts 26:18); the body of this death (Rom. 7:24); the lusts of the flesh (Eph. 2:3); the lust of the eyes (1Jn. 2:15-17); the pride of life (1Jn. 2:15-17); the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19); the world (1Jn. 2:15-17; Jas. 4:4); vile affections (Rom. 1:26, 29); the lusts of the mind (Eph. 2:3); the lusts of sin (Rom. 6:11-12); the motions of sins (Rom. 7:5); the law of sin and death (Rom.  7:7 – 8:2); the carnal mind (Rom. 8:1-13); the god of this world (2Cor. 4:4); spiritual wickedness in high places … rulers of darkness (Eph. 6:12); the lusts of your father (John 8:44); sin that dwells in me (Rom. 7:17); the course of this world (Eph. 2:2); the body of the sins of the flesh (2:11; Gal. 5:24; Rom. 8:1-39). [2] Outward sin or transgression of the law (1Jn. 3:4; Rom. 4:15; Jas. 1:13-15). The outward acts are listed in Mark 7:19-21; Romans 1:18-32; 2Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21 and Colossians 3:5-10.

Both outward and inward sin must pass away or one cannot claim to be in Christ. The theory that only outward transgressions are forgiven and one is still under the control of the old man (the devil) is one of the most erroneous doctrines in Christendom (2Cor. 5:17-18; Eph. 4:24; 1Jn. 5:18; Rom. 6:6-23; 8:1-13).

Mortify Therefore Your Members

Colossians 3:5-7 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which you also walked some time, when you lived in them. 

‘Mortify’ [Greek: nekroo] put to death (3:5); be dead (Rom. 4:19; Heb. 11:12). The same in meaning as thanatoo, mortify (Rom. 8:13); kill (Rom. 8:36; 2Cor. 6:9); put to death (Matt. 26:59; 27:1; Mark 14:55; 1Pet. 3:18); cause to be put to death (Matt. 10:21; Mark 13:12; Luke 21:16); and become dead (Rom. 7:4).

Five things to put to death: [1] Fornication, all manner of unlawful sexual relationships (Matt. 5:32). [2] Uncleanness, homosexuality and all other forms of sexual perversion. [3] Inordinate affection, unnatural, unrestrained, excessive, and out-of-bounds passion and lust (Rom. 1:26). [4] Evil concupiscence, evil, wicked, and depraved desire, lust, passion or appetite. The Greek word for “evil” is kakos, translated “evil” 38 times (3:5; Mark 7:21); “ill” (Rom. 13:10); “harm” (Acts 16:28; 28:5); “evil things” (Luke 16:25; Rom. 1:30; 2Cor. 10:6); “bad” (2Cor. 5:10); “noisome” (Rev. 16:2); and “wicked” (Matt. 21:41). The Greek word for “concupiscence” is epithumia and means any strong or vehement desire. It is used for good desires a few times, but mainly for evil and depraved lusts. It is translated “desire” (Luke 2:15; Php. 1:23; 1Thess. 2:17); “concupiscence” (Rom. 7:8; Col. 3:5; 1Thess. 4:5); and “lust” 31 times (John 8:44; Rom. 1:24; Eph. 2:3). [5] Covetousness [Greek: pleonexia] It is translated “covetousness” (Mark 7:22; Luke 12:15; Rom. 1:29; 2Cor. 9:5; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1Thess. 2:5; 2Pet. 2:3); “covetous practice” (2Pet. 2:14); and “greediness” (Eph. 4:19). Here it is equated with idolatry because the thing coveted becomes an idol. That this sin is also mainly a sexual sin seems clear from the fact that it is listed with four other sex sins in this passage.

‘The children of disobedience.’ Fivefold state of sinners: They walk according to the world system (Eph. 2:2). The word “course” refers to the evils that run like a stream through the whole world. According to the will of satan (Eph. 2:2). In the lusts of the flesh (Eph. 2:3; Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:5-10; Rom. 1:19-32). In the lusts of the mind or spirit (Eph. 2:3; 2Cor. 7:1; 1Jn. 2:15-17). By nature as children of wrath (Eph. 2:3; Ps. 51:5; John 8:44; Rom. 5:12-21).

With Him in Glory

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory. 

‘When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory.’ This is the 1st New Testament prophecy in Colossians (3:4,) and is still unfulfilled. When is not stated, but the fact of it is (John 14:1-3; 1Thess. 4:16). This refers to the rapture.

‘Our life’ – Eternal life is in Jesus Christ (John 17:2-3; Rom. 5:10; 1Jn. 5:11-13).

‘Appear’ [Greek: phaneroo] to make visibly manifest. Translated “make manifest” (3:4; 1:26; John 1:31; 3:21; 9:3; Rom. 16:26; 1Cor. 4:5; 2Cor. 2:14; 4:10-11; 5:11; 11:6; Eph. 5:13; 2Tim. 1:10; Heb. 9:8; 1Jn. 2:19; Rev. 15:4); “manifest” (Mark 4:22; John 17:6; Rom. 3:21; Tit. 1:3; 1Jn. 1:2; 3:5, 8; 4:9); “manifest forth” (John 2:11); “declare manifestly” (2Cor. 3:3); “be manifest” (1Tim. 3:16; 1Pet. 1:20); “show one’s self” (John 21:1, 14); and “appear” (Mark 16:12, 14; 2Cor. 5:10; 7:12; Col. 3:4; Heb. 9:26; 1Pet. 5:4; 1Jn. 2:28; 3:2; Rev. 3:18). Here it means to make Himself visibly manifest to those whom He translates or causes to meet Him in the air (John 14:1-3; 1Thess. 4:16-17; 1Jn. 2:28; 3:2). It is in glory that we shall apear with Him. We must first appear with Him in the glory of heaven before we come back with Him in His glory to the earth to reign (John 14:1-3; 1Thess. 2:12; 4:16-17; Eph. 5:27; Jude 1:24). The word “glory” is used of heaven in 1Timothy 3:16 and 2Peter 1:17.

Set Your Affection on Things Above

Colossians 3:1-3 If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 

‘You then be risen with Christ.’ Note the contrast between this and Colossians 2:20 – if you are dead with Christ from rudiments of the world, act like a dead man. Here, if you ‘are risen’ with Christ, act like a living man (3:1-3).

‘Seek those things which are above.’ Focus on that which is given to us from God, His Word and promises. Not this world and its problems.

‘Where Christ sits on the right hand of God.’ Another proof of God and Christ being separate and distinct persons who sit side by side.  From Acts 2:32-33 we see Jesus had been raised by God and exalted by the right hand of God and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost. Proof of three separate and distinct persons.

‘Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.’ Love heavenly things and be engrossed by them and not earthly things (1Jn. 2:15-17). Think about Godly things, not earthly (Php. 4:8), casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled (2Cor. 10:5-6). We have the warning from Luke 21:34-35 to take heed of ourselves, lest at any time our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and the cares of this life so that the day of the Lord come upon us unawares. Take your cares to Him!!

‘You are dead.’ Christians are dead to three things: Sin (Rom. 6:2, 7, 11; 1Pet. 2:24); the law (Rom. 7:4; Gal. 2:19); the rudiments of the world (2:20).

Be Dead with Christ

Colossians 2:20-23 Wherefore if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. 

‘If you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world.’ If you are dead with Christ, having been freed from the elementary rules of the world and rudiments of Judaism, why then be subject to them any longer? All such things are to perish. They are mere traditions of men, not laws of God in the new covenant (2:20-23).

‘After the commandments and doctrines of men.’ To follow the commands and doctrines of men and not God, have always been the basis of most religions and also idolatry (Matt. 15:9; Mark 7:7; 1Tim. 4:1).

‘Will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body.’ This is any form of worship man chooses for himself apart from the true worship of God (Rom. 1:21-25). Some forms have a great show of refinement, humility, and asceticism, but they are powerless to deal with sin and the old man. They only feed self-righteousness and pride and do not change the heart.

Having Nourishment Ministered

Colossians 2:18-19 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he had not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increased with the increase of God. 

‘Let no man beguile you of your reward.’ Let no man take your prize. You have found Christ and been made free from sin by the gospel and the Holy Spirit. You started in the spirit so do not let any man induce you to finish in the flesh (Gal. 3:1-5).

‘Voluntary humility and worshipping angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.’ Five facts about false cults: [1] Self-imposed fastings and self-denials of many things to appear religious, that is not forbidden in Scripture – touch not, taste not and handle not (2:18, 20-23). [2] The Greek word threskeia means worshipping (2:18) and religion (Acts 26:5; Jas. 1:26-27). Here it is a cult or religion of angels and demons (2:18, 23; 1Tim. 4:1-8). [3] Religion that is based upon visions that are supposed to come from God and angels (2:18; Deut. 18:1-22; Jer. 23:1-40; Ezek. 13:1-23). [4] Religion that is based upon the superior knowledge, new discoveries, occult secrets, piety, and sensuous feelings (2:18, 8; Rom. 1:21-23; 1Tim. 6:20). [5] Religion that is not Christ-centered and true to the gospel (2:19; Eph. 4:14; 5:11-12; 2Cor. 11:14-15; Matt. 7:15)

‘Holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered.’ Not acknowledging the Head of the body (Christ) on whom every member depends for nourishment and life.