The New Life in Christ.
SUMMARY.--Fellowship with the Risen Christ.
Our Lives with Him.
Hence, All the Evil Deeds of the Old Life Must Be Put Away.
All Distinctions Done Away in Christ.
Hence, Brotherly Love Must Be Cherished.
The Indwelling of Christ's Word.
1-4. If then ye were raised together with Christ. The Revision
is correct. A definite act, not a state, is referred to. The definite
act is named in
When they were "buried with him in baptism," they were also raised from
this burial with him through faith, quickened. Hence here he says, "If
then ye were raised with him," if your obedience was from the heart and
in faith, if you rose therefore with him (these are the emphatic
seek those things which are above. The risen Christ ascended;
let your aspirations ascend also.
Where Christ sitteth, etc. See notes on
2. Set your affection on things above. This is a condition of
seeking the things above. Our hearts must be in heaven with our beloved
3. For ye died.
This is a reason for not loving earthly things. We died to the world,
crucified with Christ, and were buried. See notes on
Rom. 6:2; Gal. 2:20.
This death was a definite act, like the burial and the rising, not a
state. The Revision is a great improvement on such passages.
Your life is hid. They died, but they are not dead. Yet the
world does not see their true life, the eternal principle within. Their
life is in Christ, and can never be fully manifested until he shall be
when he shall be manifested,
then the glory and the blessedness of the life in us shall be shown
forth. Like the tree in the winter, not dead, but the life hidden. When
the spring comes, its life shows itself in glory. Compare
5-8. Mortify therefore your members. The Greek word
is stronger. It means, "Put to death." Since you died to the world and
the flesh, slay also the earthly lusts and passions which belong to the
flesh. They belong to the old nature, not to the new creature.
Uncleanness. Every kind of impure act.
Inordinate affection. Lustful passion.
Covetousness. See note on
6. For which things' sake. Because these things are practiced by
those who live in disobedience, God's wrath is coming upon them.
7. In the which ye also walked. They had been Gentile heathen,
and among them licentiousness was at that time universal. See notes on
1 Cor. 6:9-11.
sanctioned every kind of unchastity except that of a wife.
8. Also put off all these. The sins that follow as well as those
Anger, wrath, malice. A climax, full of evil to other men.
Blasphemy, filthy communication. The Revision says, "Railing,
shameful speaking." Sins manifested by the tongue. The reference is to
low, profane, filthy abuse, due to "anger, wrath, and malice."
9-11. Lie not. Christ is truth, and they who are of Christ will
be truth in word and deed.
Seeing. Lying would be a proof that
the old man (the old fleshly nature,
Eph. 4:22; Rom. 6:6)
with his deeds had not been put off.
10. Have put on the new man. Are born again
and become new creatures in Christ. The new man has a new heart, new
thoughts, a new life.
Is renewed in knowledge. With the new man there is a growth, a
renewal. He grows continually in knowledge of Christ and into his
11. Where there cannot be Greek, etc.
In Christ there can be no distinction of race, or of caste. The Greek,
when he is converted, becomes a new being; not a Greek, but a
Christian. So of Jew, Roman, Scythian. They are all naturalized into a
new kingdom, that of Christ, and belong to a new, holy nation
(1 Peter 2:9).
All the old barriers to fraternity are removed.
Barbarian. The Greeks long called all who were not Greeks
barbarians, but in the apostolic age applied it more particularly to
those who had not accepted the Greek civilization.
Bond nor free. The master and the slave were on a level in the
church. "Humanity is a word which you look for in vain in Plato
and Aristotle; the idea of mankind as one family, as the children of
one God, is an idea of Christian growth."--Max Muller.
But Christ is all. He is the life of all the new creation, and
12-15. Put on, therefore, as the elect of God. As a chosen, holy
and beloved nation, put on these graces.
A heart of compassion (Revision), etc. These are all
traits of Christ, and must be found in us if he is our life.
13. Forbearing . . . forgiving. How often and
earnestly long-suffering and forbearance are enjoined! Nor have we
grounds for expecting that God will forgive us unless we also forgive
Christ is our example.
14. Above all these things put on love.
If our souls are imbued with love, like that of Christ, it will be easy
then to forbear and forgive.
The bond of perfectness. All the Christian graces are bound
together in love. It is the source of them all.
15. Let the peace of Christ rule. The peace of those who are
made brethren in Christ and filled with his love. It must reign in the
heart, then it will rule in the acts. This is the peace to
which Jew, Gentile, and every race is
called in one body. There must be no discord, schism, or
factious spirit in the fold.
16, 17. Let the word of Christ. The word that has been preached
Dwell in you. As in a temple.
Richly in all wisdom. If we treasure it up richly we will have
the divine wisdom in our hearts.
Teaching and admonishing. Those having the indwelling word would
have ability to teach.
In psalms, etc. Teaching and admonishing were to be present even
in song. Song was to have another object than to please the ear. It was
not for enjoyment, but for edification. The species of song are named
here and in
For the distinction, see notes
Singing with grace. With Christ's grace in your hearts; that is,
with hearts pervaded by the love of Christ.
17. Whatsoever ye do. Whether it be singing, whether it be word
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Neither in worship, nor in
his business and pleasures, must be the Christian engage in anything
that cannot be done in Christ's name; i. e., by his
authority and in prayer to him. This covers the whole life. It applies
to conduct, to places of resort, to secular calling. If doubtful, see
if you can on your knees ask Christ to go with you and bless you in
what you are about to undertake.
Giving thanks. The Christian should always be thankful, because
if he "does all in the name of Jesus," the Lord will always be with
him, and work out all for good.
18-21. The section from
3:18 to 4:1,
is very similar to
Eph. 5:22 to 6:9.
I will refer the reader to Ephesians for fuller notes.
Wives, submit yourselves. See notes on
19. Husbands, love your wives. See notes on
20. Children, obey your parents. See notes on
21. Fathers, provoke not your children. See notes on
22-25. Servants, obey. See notes on
Eph. 6:5, 6.
23. And whatsoever ye do. See notes on
24. Knowing that of the Lord. See notes on
25. He that doeth wrong. Whether master or slave. All will be
requited, and before Christ, all, master and slave, stand upon the same