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Colossians 1


 1 Paul an Apostle of Jesus Christ, by the (a) will of God, and Timothy our brother,


(a) By the free bountifulness of God.


 2 To them which are at (b) Colosse, Saints and faithful brethren in Christ: Grace be with you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.


(b) Colosse is situated in Phrygia, not far from Hierapolis and Laodicea, on that side that they bend towards Lycia and Pamphylia.


 3  (1) We give thanks to God even the (c) Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, always praying for you;


(1) He commendeth the doctrine that was delivered them by Epaphras, and their readiness in receiving it.
(c) We cannot otherwise consider of God to our salvation, but as he is Christ's Father, in whom we are adopted.


 4 Since we heard of your faith (*) in Christ Jesus, and of your love toward all Saints,


(*) For without Christ there is no faith to be saved by, but only a vain opinion.


 5 For the (d) hope’s sake, which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye have heard before by the word of truth, which is the Gospel,


(d) For the glory that is hoped for.


 6 Which is come unto you, even as it is unto all the world, and is fruitful, as it is also among you, from the day that ye heard and truly knew the grace of God,


 7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, which is for you a faithful minister of Christ;


 8  (2) Who hath also declared unto us your love in the (e) (*) Spirit.


(2) He declareth his good will towards them, telling them that they must not still remain at one stay, but go on further both in the knowledge of the Gospel, and also in the true use of it.
(e) Your spiritual love, or your love which cometh from the Spirit.

(*) Which cometh of the holy Ghost.


 9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard of it, cease not to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be fulfilled with knowledge of (f) his will in all wisdom, and spiritual understanding,


(f) God's will.


 10  (*) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord, and please him in all things, being (♣) fruitful in all good works, and increasing in the knowledge of God,


(*) Ephesians 4:1; Philippians 1:27; 1 Thessalonians 2:12 .

(♣) 1 Corinthians 1:5 .


 11  (3) Strengthened with all might through his glorious power, unto all patience, and long suffering with (g) joyfulness,


(3) The gift of continuance is not of us, but it proceedeth from the virtue of God, which he doeth freely give us.
(g) It must not be unwilling, and as it were drawn out of us by force, but proceed from a merry and joyful mind.


 12  (4) Giving thanks unto the (5) Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in (h) light,


(4) Having ended the preface, he goeth to the matter itself, that is to say, to an excellent description (although it be but short) of whole Christianity, which is fitly divided into three treatises; for first of all he expoundeth the true doctrine, according to the order of the causes, beginning from this verse to verse 24; Colossians 1:12-24 . And from thence he beginneth to apply the same to the Colossians with divers exhortations to the sixth verse of the second Chapter; Colossians 1:22-2:6 . And last of all in the third place, even to the third Chapter; Colossians 2:6-23, he refuteth the corruption of true doctrine.
(5) The efficient cause of our salvation is only the mercy of God the Father, who maketh us meet to be partakers of eternal life, delivering us from the darkness wherein we were born, and bringing us to the light of the knowledge of the glory of his Son.
(h) In that glorious and heavenly kingdom.


 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom (*) of his dear Son,


(*) Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5; 2 Peter 1:17 .


 14  (6) In whom we have redemption through his blood, that is, the forgiveness of sins,


(6) The matter itself of our salvation, is Christ the Son of God, who has obtained remission of sins for us, by the offering up of himself.


 15  (7) Who is the (*) (♣) image of the invisible God, (i) the firstborn of every creature.


(7) A lively description of the person of Christ, whereby we understand that in him only, God sheweth himself to be seen; who was begotten of the Father before anything was made, that is, from everlasting, by whom also all things that are made, were made without any exception, by whom also do consist, and whose glory they serve.

(*) Hebrews 1:3 .

(♣) For God is made visible in the flesh of Christ, and the divinity dwelleth in him corporally.
(i) Begotten before anything was made, and therefore the everlasting Son of the everlasting Father.


 16  (*) For by him were all things created, which are in heaven, and which are in earth, things visible and invisible, whether they be (k) Thrones, or Dominions, or Principalities, or Powers, all things were created by him, and for him,


(*) John 1:3 .

(k) He setteth forth the Angels with glorious names, that by the comparison of most excellent spirits we may understand how far passing the excellency of Christ is, in whom only we have to content ourselves, and let go all Angels.


 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things consist.


 18  (8) And he is the head of the body of the Church; he is the beginning, (*) and (♣) the (l) firstborn of the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence.


(8) Having gloriously declared the excellent dignity of the person of Christ, he describeth his office and function, to wit, that he is the same to the Church, that the head is to the body, that is to say, the prince and governor of it, and the very beginning of true life, as who rising first from death, is the Author of eternal life, so that he is above all, in whom only there is most plentiful abundance of all good things, which is poured out upon the Church.

(*) 1 Corinthians 15:20; Revelation 1:5 .

(♣) He that rose first again from the dead to take possession of life everlasting; which rising may be called a new birth.
(l) Who so rose again that he shall die no more, and who raiseth others from death to life by his power.


 19  (*) For it pleased the Father, that in him should (m) all (♣) fullness dwell,


(*) John 1:14; Colossians 2:9 .

(m) Most plentiful abundance of all things pertaining to God.

(♣) That the Church, which is his body, might receive of his abundance.


 20  (9) And by him to reconcile (n) all things unto himself, to set at peace through the blood of his cross, through him, I say, both the things in earth, and the things in heaven.


(9) Now he teacheth how Christ executed that office which his Father joined him, to wit, by suffering the death of the cross (which was joined with the curse of God) according to his decree, that by this sacrifice he might reconcile to his Father all men as well them which believed in him to come, and were already under this hope gathered into heaven, as them which should upon the earth believe in him afterwards. And thus is justification is described by the Apostle, which is one and the chiefest part of the benefit of Christ.
(n) The whole Church.


 21  (10) And you which were in times past strangers and enemies, because your minds were set in evil works, hath (o) he now also reconciled,


(10) Sanctification is another work of God in us by Christ, in that which he restored us (which hated God extremely, and were wholly and willingly given to sin) to his gracious favor, in such sort, that he therewithal purifieth us with his holy Spirit, and consecrateth us to righteousness.
(o) The Son.


 22 In that body of his (p) flesh through death, to make you (*) holy, and unblameable, and without fault in his sight,


(p) In that fleshly body, to give us to understand that his body was not a fantastical body, but a true body.

(*) Luke 1:75; Ephesians 1:4; Titus 2:11 .


 23  (11) (*) If ye continue, grounded and stablished in the faith, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, whereof ye have heard, and which hath been preached to (q) every creature which is under heaven, (12) whereof I Paul am a minister.


(11) The second treatise of this part of the Epistle, wherein he exhorteth the Colossians not to suffer themselves by any means to be moved from this doctrine, shewing and declaring that there is nowhere any other true Gospel.

(*) John 15:6 .
(q) To all men; whereby we learn that the Gospel was not shut up within the corners to Judea alone.
(12) He purchased authority to this doctrine by his Apostleship, and taketh a most sure proof thereof, of his afflictions which he suffereth for Christ his Name to instruct the Churches with these examples of patience.


 24 Now rejoice I in my sufferings (r) for you, and fulfill (*) the (s) rest of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh, for his body’s sake, which is the Church,


(r) For your profit and commodity.

(*) As Christ hath once suffered in himself to redeem his Church, and to sanctify it; so doeth he daily suffer in his members, as partaker of their infirmities, and therefore are revenger of their injuries.
(s) The afflictions of the Church are said to be Christ's afflictions, by reason of that fellowship and knitting together, that the body and the head have the one with the other, not that there is any more need to have the Church redeemed, but that Christ sheweth his power in the daily weakness of his, and that for the comfort of the whole body.


 25  (13) Whereof I am a minister, according to the dispensation of God, which is given me towards you, to fulfill the (*) word of God,


(13) He bringeth another proof of his Apostleship, to wit, that God is the author of it, by whom also he was appointed peculiarly Apostle for the Gentiles, to the end that by this means, that same might be fulfilled by him, which the Prophets foretold of the calling of the Gentiles.

(*) Which is the promises of Christ, and of the calling of the Gentiles.


 26  (*) Which is the mystery hid since the world began, and from all ages, but now is made manifest to his (t) (♣) Saints,


(*) Romans 16:25; Ephesians 3:9; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 1:2; 1 Peter 1:20 .

(t) Whom he chose to sanctify unto himself in Christ; moreover he saith that the mystery of our redemption was hidden since the world began, except it were revealed unto a few, who also were taught it extraordinarily.

(♣) Whom he hath elected and consecrated to him by Christ.


 27 To whom God (u) would make known what is the riches of this glorious mystery among the Gentiles, which riches is Christ in you, (*) the hope of glory,


(u) This Paul bridleth the curiosity of men.

(*) 1 Timothy 1:1 .


 28  (14) Whom we preach, admonishing every man, and teaching every man in (x) all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus,


(14) He protesteth that he doeth faithfully execute his Apostleship in every place, bringing men unto Christ only, through the Lord's plentiful blessings of his labors.
(x) Perfect and sound wisdom, which is perfect in itself, and shall in the end make them perfect that follow it.


 29 Whereunto I also labor and strive, according to his working which worketh in me mightily.



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