In the body of his flesh - By Christ's assumption of a human body, and dying for man, he has made an atonement for sin, through which men become reconciled to God and to each other.
To present you holy - Having saved you from your sins.
Unblamable - Having filled you with his Spirit, and written his law in your hearts, so that his love, shed abroad in your hearts, becomes the principle and motive to every action. The tree therefore being good, the fruit is also good.
And unreprovable - For, being filled with love, joy, peace, meekness, gentleness, and goodness, against these there is no law; and as they were called to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and their neighbor as themselves, the whole spirit and design of the law was fulfilled in them, for love is the fulfilling of the law.
In his sight - At the day of judgment. None can enjoy heaven who have not been reconciled to God here, and shown forth the fruits of that reconciliation in being made holy and unblamable, that, when they come to be judged, they may be found unreprovable.
In the body of his flesh through death - The death of his body, or his death in making an atonement, has been the means of producing this reconciliation. It:
(1) removed the obstacles to reconciliation on the part of God - vindicating his truth and justice, and maintaining the principles of his government as much as if the sinner had himself suffered the penalty of the law - thus rendering it consistent for God to indulge the benevolence of his nature in pardoning sinners; and,
(2) it was the means of bringing the sinner himself to a willingness to be reconciled - furnishing the strongest possible appeal to him; leading him to reflect on the love of his Creator, and showing him his own guilt and danger. No means ever used to produce reconciliation between two alienated parties has had so much tenderness and power as those which God has adopted in the plan of salvation; and if the dying love of the Son of God fails to lead the sinner back to God, everything else will fail. The phrase “the body of his flesh” means, the body of flesh which he assumed in order to suffer in making an atonement. The reconciliation could not have been effected but by his assuming such a body, for his divine nature could not so suffer as to make atonement for sins.
To present you - That is, before God. The object of the atonement was to enable him to present the redeemed to God freed from sin, and made holy in his sight. The whole work had reference to the glories of that day when the Redeemer and the redeemed will stand before God, and he shall present them to his Father as completely recovered from the ruins of the fall.
Holy - Made holy, or made free from sin; compare Luke 20:36.
And unblameable - Not that in themselves they will not be deserving of blame, or will not be unworthy, but that they will be purified from their sins. The word used here - ἄμωμος amōmos- means, properly “spotless, without blemish;” see Ephesians 1:4, note; Ephesians 5:27, note; Hebrews 9:4, note. It is applied to a lamb, 1 Peter 1:19; to the Savior, Hebrews 9:14, and to the church, Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 5:27; Jude 1:24; Revelation 14:5. It does not elsewhere occur. When the redeemed enter heaven, all their sins will have been taken away; not a spot of the deep dye of inquiry will remain on their souls; Revelation 1:5; Revelation 7:14.
And unreproveable in his sight - There will be none to accuse them before God; or they will be free from all accusation. The law will not accuse them - for the death of their Redeemer has done as much to honor it as their own punishment would have done; God will not accuse them - for he has freely forgiven them; their consciences will not accuse them - for their sins will all have been taken away, and they will enjoy the favor of God as if they had not sinned; holy angels will not accuse them - for they will welcome them to their society; and even Satan will not accuse them, for he will have seen that their piety is sincere, and that they are truly what they profess to be; compare the notes at Romans 8:33-34.
The Son of God stooped to uplift the fallen. For this He left the sinless worlds on high, the ninety and nine that loved Him, and came to this earth to be “wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities.” Isaiah 53:5. He was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He knew what it meant to be hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He was a stranger and a sojourner on the earth—in the world, but not of the world; tempted and tried as men and women of today are tempted and tried, yet living a life free from sin. Tender, compassionate, sympathetic, ever considerate of others, He represented the character of God. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ... full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. AA 472.1
Surrounded by the practices and influences of heathenism, the Colossian believers were in danger of being drawn away from the simplicity of the gospel, and Paul, in warning them against this, pointed them to Christ as the only safe guide. “I would that ye knew,” he wrote, “what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. AA 473.1
“And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.... As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” AA 473.2Read in context »
If your life is hid with Christ in God, a divine Helper will stand beside you, and you will be one with the Saviour and one with those you are teaching. Never exalt self; exalt Christ, glorify Him, honor Him before the world. Say, I stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel. I am wholly on the Lord's side. Show sympathy and tenderness in dealing with your pupils. Reveal the love of God. Let the words you speak be kind and encouraging. Then as you work for your students, what a transformation will be wrought in the characters of those who have not been properly trained in the home! The Lord can make even youthful teachers channels for the revealing of His grace, if they will consecrate themselves to Him. CT 152.1
The teacher should bring true self-respect into all that he does. He should not allow himself to be quick-tempered. He should not punish harshly children that are in need of reform. Let him understand that self must be kept in subjection. He should never forget that over him is a divine Teacher, whose pupil he is, and under whose control he is ever to be. As the teacher humbles the heart before God, it will be softened and subdued by the thought of his own shortcomings. He will realize something of the meaning of the words, “You, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in His sight.” Colossians 1:21, 22. CT 152.2Read in context »