|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-8 All true Christians are brethren one to another. Faithfulness runs through every character and relation of the Christian life. Faith, hope, and love, are the three principal graces in the Christian life, and proper matter for prayer and thanksgiving. The more we fix our hopes on the reward in the other world, the more free shall we be in doing good with our earthly treasure. It was treasured up for them, no enemy could deprive them of it. The gospel is the word of truth, and we may safely venture our souls upon it. And all who hear the word of the gospel, ought to bring forth the fruit of the gospel, obey it, and have their principles and lives formed according to it. Worldly love arises, either from views of interest or from likeness in manners; carnal love, from the appetite for pleasure. To these, something corrupt, selfish, and base always cleaves. But Christian love arises from the Holy Spirit, and is full of holiness.
Verse 2. - To those in Colossae (which are) saints and faithful brethren in Christ (Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1). "Saints" in respect of their Divine calling and character (Colossians 3:12; 1 Corinthians 1, 2, where this title is formally introduced); "faithful brethren in Christ" (Ephesians 1:1) in view of the errors and consequent divisions threatening them as a Church (ver. 23; Colossians 2:5, 18, 19; Colossians 3:15; Ephesians 4:14-16; Ephesians 6:10-18; Philippians 1:27: 2 Timothy 2:19). Grace to yon, and peace: "as in all his Epistles." This Pauline formula of greeting combines the Greek and Hebrew, Western and Eastern, forms of salutation (comp. "Abba, Father," Romans 8:15). Ξάρις is a modification of the everyday χαίρειν, hail! (Acts 15:23; James 1:1; 2 John 1:10); and εἰρήνη reproduces the Hebrew shalom (salam). Grace is the source of all blessing as bestowed by God (ver. 6; Ephesians 1:3-6; Ephesians 2:5; Romans 5:2, 17, 21; Titus 2:11); and peace, in the large sense of its Hebrew original, of all blessing as experienced by man (Ephesians 2:16, 17; Luke 2:14; Acts 10:36; Romans 5:1; Romans 8:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:16). From God our Father. Among the apostle's salutations this alone fails to add "and from our Lord Jesus Christ" - a defect which copyists were tempted to remedy. The omission is well established (see Revised Text, and critical editors generally), and cannot surely be accidental. In this and the twin Ephesian letter, devoted as they are to the glory of Christ, the name of the Father stands out with a peculiar prominence and dignity, much as in St. John's Gospel: "honouring the Son," they must needs "honour the Father" also (vers. 12, 13; Colossians 3:17; Ephesians 1:17; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:14; Ephesians 4:6; Ephesians 5:20).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ,.... This is the inscription of the epistle, in which the persons wrote unto are described as "saints", or holy men; not by birth, for all are unholy and unclean by nature; nor by baptism, for that neither takes away sin, nor gives grace; nor merely externally, by an outward reformation; but by separation, being by an act of eternal election set apart for God, for holiness, and happiness; and by imputation, Christ being made sanctification to them; and by the sanctifying grace of the Spirit of God in regeneration, being called with an holy calling, and having principles of grace and holiness wrought in them, and they formed as new men in righteousness and true holiness: and as "brethren"; being born of God, having him for their Father, and being of his household, and a part of the family in heaven and earth named of Christ, and heirs together of the grace of life, and of the heavenly glory: and as "faithful" ones; true and sincere believers in Christ, constant and persevering in the faith of him; faithful to the Gospel, and their profession of it, and to Christ, whose name they bore, and to one another, to whom they stood in the relation of brethren: and all this "in Christ"; and by, and through him; they were saints in him; they were chosen in him, and sanctified in him their head, and received all their holiness from him; they were brethren in him the firstborn of them; his God being their God, and his Father their Father; and had their faith and faithfulness from him, as well as it was exercised towards, and on him: and they are further described by the place of their abode,
which are at Colosse: a city of Phrygia:
grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the salutation, and which stands in this form in most of Paul's epistles; See Gill on Romans 1:7. The Syriac version puts "peace" before "grace", and leaves out the last clause, "and the Lord Jesus Christ"; as does also the Ethiopic version.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Colosse—written in the oldest manuscripts, "Colasse." As "saints" implies union with God, so "the faithful brethren" union with Christian men [Bengel].
and the Lord Jesus Christ—supported by some oldest manuscripts omitted by others of equal antiquity.
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