Chapter 3

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1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

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

11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

16 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.

17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Commentary for Colossians 3

The Colossians exhorted to be heavenly-minded; (1-4) to mortify all corrupt affections; (5-11) to live in mutual love, forbearance, and forgiveness; (12-17) and to practise the duties of wives and husbands, children, parents, and servants. (18-25)1-4 As Christians are freed from the ceremonial law, they must walk the more closely with God in gospel obedience. As heaven and earth are contrary one to the other, both cannot be followed together; and affection to the one will weaken and abate affection to the other. Those that are born again are dead to sin, because its dominion is broken, its power gradually subdued by the operation of grace, and it shall at length be extinguished by the perfection of glory. To be dead, then, means this, that those who have the Holy Spirit, mortifying within them the lusts of the flesh, are able to despise earthly things, and to desire those that are heavenly. Christ is, at present, one whom we have not seen; but our comfort is, that our life is safe with him. The streams of this living water flow into the soul by the influences of the Holy Spirit, through faith. Christ lives in the believer by his Spirit, and the believer lives to him in all he does. At the second coming of Christ, there will be a general assembling of all the redeemed; and those whose life is now hid with Christ, shall then appear with him in his glory. Do we look for such happiness, and should we not set our affections upon that world, and live above this?

5-11 It is our duty to mortify our members which incline to the things of the world. Mortify them, kill them, suppress them, as weeds or vermin which spread and destroy all about them. Continual opposition must be made to all corrupt workings, and no provision made for carnal indulgences. Occasions of sin must be avoided: the lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world; and covetousness, which is idolatry; love of present good, and of outward enjoyments. It is necessary to mortify sins, because if we do not kill them, they will kill us. The gospel changes the higher as well as the lower powers of the soul, and supports the rule of right reason and conscience, over appetite and passion. There is now no difference from country, or conditions and circumstances of life. It is the duty of every one to be holy, because Christ is a Christian's All, his only Lord and Saviour, and all his hope and happiness.

12-17 We must not only do no hurt to any, but do what good we can to all. Those who are the elect of God, holy and beloved, ought to be lowly and compassionate towards all. While in this world, where there is so much corruption in our hearts, quarrels will sometimes arise. But it is our duty to forgive one another, imitating the forgiveness through which we are saved. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts; it is of his working in all who are his. Thanksgiving to God, helps to make us agreeable to all men. The gospel is the word of Christ. Many have the word, but it dwells in them poorly; it has no power over them. The soul prospers, when we are full of the Scriptures and of the grace of Christ. But when we sing psalms, we must be affected with what we sing. Whatever we are employed about, let us do every thing in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in believing dependence on him. Those who do all in Christ's name, will never want matter of thanksgiving to God, even the Father.

18-25 The epistles most taken up in displaying the glory of the Divine grace, and magnifying the Lord Jesus, are the most particular in pressing the duties of the Christian life. We must never separate the privileges and duties of the gospel. Submission is the duty of wives. But it is submission, not to a severe lord or stern tyrant, but to her own husband, who is engaged to affectionate duty. And husbands must love their wives with tender and faithful affection. Dutiful children are the most likely to prosper. And parents must be tender, as well as children obedient. Servants are to do their duty, and obey their masters' commands, in all things consistent with duty to God their heavenly Master. They must be both just and diligent; without selfish designs, or hypocrisy and disguise. Those who fear God, will be just and faithful when from under their master's eye, because they know they are under the eye of God. And do all with diligence, not idly and slothfully; cheerfully, not discontented at the providence of God which put them in that relation. And for servants' encouragement, let them know, that in serving their masters according to the command of Christ, they serve Christ, and he will give them a glorious reward at last. But, on the other hand, he who doeth wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath done. God will punish the unjust, as well as reward the faithful servant; and the same if masters wrong their servants. For the righteous Judge of the earth will deal justly between master and servant. Both will stand upon a level at his tribunal. How happy would true religion make the world, if it every where prevailed, influenced every state of things, and every relation of life! But the profession of those persons who are regardless of duties, and give just cause for complaint to those they are connected with, deceives themselves, as well as brings reproach on the gospel.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Colossians 3

  • BSP
    Verse 5~We must continue to keep control of our desires so that they do not get out of hand and we end up becoming a slave to them and making them our god.
  • A disciple
    Sabrina; What are you confused about? This Epistle like all Epistles is about how to understand and put in practice the grace of God given to us in the Glad Tidings of Jesus Christ; and how to perform from the heart without hypocrisy what is good and well pleasing to God, in a world set to defy and contradict Him. Line by line, line by line, precept upon precept, as we walk in the Light we grow.
  • A disciple
    "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men " How many thousands of times have we tried to do good only to be sadly disappointed by people's indifference, or taking it all the wrong way! We wonder why some just automatically assume evil or deceitful motives, and leave hardly any room for natural friendly relations but that is unfortunately what we often meet with from men saved and unsaved! But Jesus is never like that with any of us. He is truly "A Friend that sticks closer than a brother." And while we cannot help but want to please others and be loved and accepted we must rise above our natural feelings, and the things of this life to look solely unto Him who is always constant and faithful in His love and acceptance knowing that the things we do with the best intentions to men are all kept in good remembrance with Jesus and He never can forget or overlook the slightest efforts.
  • Sabrina Vidaurri
    I'm very confused I am trying to understand
  • Kurt
    Thank you Jesus for teaching the Disciples who helped inscribe your Word from the Father. Thank you Lord for this opportunity to brings thoughts forward for other Christians to see. Anger and wrath is part of my flesh as yesterday the auto driver cuts in front of me. It feels good to enlist these dangerous emotions. Yet you Lord promise forgiveness and retreat from such actions in our Gospel, Amen
  • Steve morrow
    unconditional ?? What does GOD teach us from above --- JOHN 15:9 as THE FATHER hath loved ME so have I loved you -- continue ye in MY love -- 15:10 -- IF YOU KEEP -- MY commandments you shall abide in MY love even as I have kept MY FATHERS commandments and abide in HIS love MATTHEW 10:22 and you shall be hated of all men for MY names sake --BUT-- HE THAT ENDURETH -- to the end shall be saved ROMANS 13:11 and that knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep for now is your ---SALVATION NEARER --- than when we belived COLOSSIANS 1:21 and you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works yet now hath HE reconciled --1:22-- in the body of HIS flesh through death to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in HIS sight --1:23-- IF YOU CONTINUE in the faith grounded and settled and be not moved away from the ---HOPE OF THE GOSPEL--- which you have heard and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven whereof I Paul am made a minister ROMANS 11:22 behold therefore the goodness and severity of GOD on them which fell severity but toward thee goodness IF THOU CONTINUE in HIS goodness otherwise thou also shall be cut off
  • Lilian
    If ye be risen with Christ seek those things that are above where Christ sitting at the right hand of the Father I will praise you and worship you Jesus pray for us that our needs will be provided Abba Father i love you forever amen
  • Eutychus
    Please engage in an experiment with me...Set the Ten Commandments alongside you (Exodus 20). Then, while reading this chapter, study the Ten Commandments. You will find the one foreshadows the other. You will find the New Testament law of love and grace, mirrors beautifully, the Ten Commandments...quite a Sunday School lesson here...

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Bible Trivia

On what should a Christian set their affection?
  • Their spouse
  • Their family
  • Gaining knowledge
  • Heaven
  • Doing good works