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Colossians 1:21 – BibleTools.info

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Colossians 1:21

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And you, that were sometime alienated - All men are alienated from God, and all are enemies in their minds to him, and show it by their wicked works; but this is spoken particularly of the Gentiles. The word απαλλοτριοω, which we render to alienate, to give to another, to estrange, expresses the state of the Gentiles: while the Jews were, at least by profession, dedicated to God, the Gentiles were alienated, that is, given up to others; they worshipped not the true God, but had gods many and lords many, to whom they dedicated themselves, their religious service, and their property. The verb αλλοτριοω, to alienate, being compounded here with the preposition απο, from, signifies to abalienate, to estrange utterly, to be wholly the property of another. Thus the Gentiles had alienated themselves from God, and were alienated or rejected by him, because of their wickedness and idolatry.

Enemies in your mind - They had the carnal mind, which is enmity against God; and this was expressed in their outward conduct by wicked works. See the note on Romans 5:10. The mind is taken here for all the soul, heart, affections, passions, etc.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And you, that were sometime alienated - In this work of reconciling heaven and earth, you at Colossae, who were once enemies of God, have been reached. The benefit of that great plan has been extended to you, and it has accomplished in you what it is designed to effect everywhere - to reconcile enemies to God. The word “sometime” here - ποτε pote- means “formerly.” In common with all other men they were, by nature, in a state of enmity against God; compare the notes at Ephesians 2:1-3.

In your mind - It was not merely by wicked works, or by an evil life; it was alienation seated in the mind, and leading to wicked works. It was deliberate and purposed enmity. It was not the result of passion and excitement; it had a deeper seat, and took hold of the intellectual powers The understanding was perverse and alienated from God, and all the powers of the soul were enlisted against him. It is this fact which renders reconciliation with God so difficult. Sin has corrupted and perverted alike the moral and the intellectual powers, and thus the whole man is arrayed against his Creator; compare the notes at Ephesians 4:18.

By wicked works - The alienation of the mind showed itself by wicked works, and those works were the public evidence of the alienation; compare Ephesians 2:1-2.

Yet now hath he reconciled - Harmony has been secured between you and God, and you are brought to friendship and love. Such a change has been produced in you as to bring your minds into friendship with that of God. All the change in producing this is on the part of man, for God cannot change, and there is no reason why he should, if he could. In the work of reconciliation man lays aside his hostility to his Maker, and thus becomes his friend; see the notes at 2 Corinthians 5:18.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christ in his human nature, is the visible discovery of the invisible God, and he that hath seen Him hath seen the Father. Let us adore these mysteries in humble faith, and behold the glory of the Lord in Christ Jesus. He was born or begotten before all the creation, before any creature was made; which is the Scripture way of representing eternity, and by which the eternity of God is represented to us. All things being created by Him, were created for him; being made by his power, they were made according to his pleasure, and for his praise and glory. He not only created them all at first, but it is by the word of his power that they are upheld. Christ as Mediator is the Head of the body, the church; all grace and strength are from him; and the church is his body. All fulness dwells in him; a fulness of merit and righteousness, of strength and grace for us. God showed his justice in requiring full satisfaction. This mode of redeeming mankind by the death of Christ was most suitable. Here is presented to our view the method of being reconciled. And that, notwithstanding the hatred of sin on God's part, it pleased God to reconcile fallen man to himself. If convinced that we were enemies in our minds by wicked works, and that we are now reconciled to God by the sacrifice and death of Christ in our nature, we shall not attempt to explain away, nor yet think fully to comprehend these mysteries; but we shall see the glory of this plan of redemption, and rejoice in the hope set before us. If this be so, that God's love is so great to us, what shall we do now for God? Be frequent in prayer, and abound in holy duties; and live no more to yourselves, but to Christ. Christ died for us. But wherefore? That we should still live in sin? No; but that we should die to sin, and live henceforth not to ourselves, but to Him.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 108.1

Christ, the Propitiation for Sin—Such is the grace of God, such the love wherewith He hath loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, enemies in our minds by wicked works, serving divers lusts and pleasures, the slaves of debased appetites and passion, servants of sin and Satan. What depth of love is manifested in Christ, as He becomes the propitiation for our sins. Through the ministration of the Holy Spirit souls are led to find forgiveness of sins. TSB 108.1

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 472

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 473.2

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 152

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 152.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 221

Please read the second and third chapters of Philippians, and the first chapter of Colossians. There are lessons there that we all should study. Paul writes, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.... Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.” “I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” TM 221.1

Our workers should use the greatest wisdom, so that nothing shall be said to provoke the armies of Satan and to stir up his united confederacy of evil. Christ did not dare to bring a railing accusation against the prince of evil, and is it proper that we should bring such accusation as will set in operation the agencies of evil, the confederacies of men that are leagued with evil spirits? Christ was the only-begotten Son of the infinite God, He was the Commander in the heavenly courts, yet He refrained from bringing accusation against Satan. Speaking of Him, Isaiah says, “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” TM 222.1

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