Colossians 2:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

New Living Translation
For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.

English Standard Version
For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Berean Study Bible
For although I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit, and I delight to see your orderly condition and firm faith in Christ.

Berean Literal Bible
Truly indeed, if I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing and seeing your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

New American Standard Bible
For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.

King James Bible
For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.

International Standard Version
For although I am physically absent, I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how stable you are and how firm your faith in the Messiah is.

NET Bible
For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

New Heart English Bible
For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For though I am separated from you in the flesh, yet I am with you in The Spirit, and I rejoice to see your organization and the stability of your faith which is in The Messiah.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Although I'm absent from you physically, I'm with you in spirit. I'm happy to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

New American Standard 1977
For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

King James 2000 Bible
For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

American King James Version
For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

American Standard Version
For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For though I be absent in body, yet in spirit I am with you; rejoicing, and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith which is in Christ.

Darby Bible Translation
For if indeed in the flesh I am absent, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

English Revised Version
For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

Webster's Bible Translation
For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

Weymouth New Testament
For although, as you say, I am absent from you in body, yet in spirit I am present with you and am delighted to witness your good discipline and the solid front presented by your faith in Christ.

World English Bible
For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

Young's Literal Translation
for if even in the flesh I am absent -- yet in the spirit I am with you, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in regard to Christ;
Study Bible
Absent in Body, Present in Spirit
4I say this so that no one will deceive you by smooth rhetoric. 5For although I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit, and I delight to see your orderly condition and firm faith in Christ. 6Therefore, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him,…
Cross References
Acts 20:21
testifying to Jews and Greeks alike about repentance to God and faith in our Lord Jesus.

1 Corinthians 5:3
Although I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit, and I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present.

1 Corinthians 14:40
But everything must be done in a proper and orderly manner.

1 Peter 5:9
Resist him, standing firm in your faith and in the knowledge that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.
Treasury of Scripture

For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

be.

Colossians 2:1 For I would that you knew what great conflict I have for you, and …

1 Corinthians 5:3,4 For I truly, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged …

1 Thessalonians 2:17 But we, brothers, being taken from you for a short time in presence, …

and beholding.

2 Chronicles 29:35 And also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the …

1 Corinthians 11:34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that you come not together …

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

and the.

Ruth 1:18 When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, then …

Psalm 78:8,37 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; …

Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, …

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be you steadfast, unmovable, always …

1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch you, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

1 Thessalonians 3:8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.

Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of …

Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, …

1 Peter 5:9 Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions …

2 Peter 3:17,18 You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware …

(5) Absent in the flesh.--Comp. 1Corinthians 5:3, "I as absent in body and present in spirit."

Your order, and the stedfastness.--The word "order" is used in 1Corinthians 14:40; the word "stedfastness," or solidity, is not found elsewhere in the New Testament, though the verb from which it is derived is found in Acts 3:7; Acts 3:16; Acts 16:5, and the original adjective, from which the verb is derived, in 1Peter 5:9, "stedfast in the faith." From the days of the ancient Greek interpreters downwards, it has been noted that both words have military associations--the one being used for discipline generally, and the other for the firm compact solidity of the phalanx; and (as in Ephesians 6:11-17) that the use of them may have been suggested by St. Paul's captivity under military guard. If both words be referred to their "faith," the Apostle obviously characterises it as having right "order" (or, harmony) in its various parts, and a strong "solidity" against all trials.

Verse 5. - For if indeed I am absent in the flesh, yet in the spirit I am with you (1 Thessalonians 2:17; 1 Corinthians 5:3, 4). The connection of this verse with the last is not obvious. Ellicott, following Chrysostom, makes St. Paul's spiritual presence the reason for his being able to give the Colossians this warning; Meyer, his bodily absence the reason for their needing it. It is better, with Lightfoot, to see here a general explanatory reference to the previous context, a renewed declaration (ver. 1) of watchful interest in these distant brethren and a hearty acknowledgment of their Christian loyalty. The tone of authoritative warning just assumed (ver. 4) is thus justified, and yet softened (compare the apologetic tone of Romans 15:14, 15). The phrase, "if I am absent," does not imply a previous presence (see note, ver. 1). Rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ (Philippians 1:4-8, 27; 1 Corinthians 1:5-8; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:4). St. Paul dos not say, "rejoicing in beholding." The consciousness of union with brethren far away, whom he has never seen (ver. 1), is itself a joy; and this joy is heightened by what he sees through the eyes of Epaphras (Colossians 1:4, 6-8: comp. 2 Corinthians 7:7) of the condition of this Church. Τάξις and στερέωμα are military terms, denoting the "ordered array" and "solid front" of an army prepared for battle (Lightfoot, Hofmann): comp. Ephesians 6:11, etc.; Philippians 1:27. Others find the figure of a building underlying the second word - Vulgate, firmamentum ("solid basis") - and this is its more usual meaning, and agrees with ver. 7 and Colossians 1:23 (comp. 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 Peter 5:9; Acts 16:5; also Psalm 18:2, LXX, for the noun, not found, elsewhere in the New Testament). The precise expression, "faith in Christ" (literally, into - εἰς, not ἐν, as in Colossians 1:4, see note) occurs only here in the New Testament; in Acts 24:24 read "in Christ Jesus." In such passages as Romans 3:22, 26 (where πίστις is followed by the genitive), Christ appears as object of faith; in such as Colossians 1:4 and Colossians 2:5 he is its ground or substratum, that in which it rests and dwells, into which it roots itself. For though I be absent in the flesh,.... Or body, as the Ethiopic version reads it, and as it is expressed in 1 Corinthians 5:3; here the apostle anticipates an objection which might be made, how he could have such a conflict and concern for them, and express so much affection for them, and know so much of their affairs, in what condition and situation they were, and how liable to be deceived by false teachers, when he was absent from them, and had never been among them. That he had never been corporeally present with them, nor was he then, he owns; but this did not hinder but that he might be in another sense present with them, and so have cognizance of them and their state, and be affected towards them, and concerned for them:

yet am I with you in the spirit; as he was with the Corinthians in the place above cited, judging the incestuous person, determining concerning his case, and delivering him up to Satan, and so he was with these Colossians; for as he was a member of the same body with them, he was actuated by the same spirit; and by virtue of their union to each other in their common head, his spirit went out towards them, his heart was knit unto them; he had the same affection for them, and care of them, though he had never seen them with his bodily eyes, as he had for those whom he had seen: moreover, this may regard that extraordinary discerning and presence of his spirit which he had; and which was of the same kind with that of Elisha, when his servant Gehazi went after Naaman the Syrian, and took a present of him, to whom on his return he said, upon his denying that he had been anywhere, "went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee?" 2 Kings 5:26. Elisha's spirit went, and was present with him, and saw and knew all that passed, being under the impulse and inspiration of the Spirit of God, who made all known unto him: so the spirit of the Apostle Paul was at the church at Colosse, and saw: and discerned their whole estate; this being made known by the Spirit of God, under whose inspiration he wrote this letter, suitable to their case:

joying and beholding your order; or as the Syriac version renders it, "I rejoice that I can see your order": that is, with pleasure observe, consider it, and contemplate on it; and that partly from the relation of Epaphras, and chiefly from the intimations of the Spirit of God in an extraordinary way: by their "order" is meant, either their orderly walk and conversation, which being as becomes the Gospel of Christ, was very pleasing and delightful to the apostle; or rather the order of their church discipline, they having regular officers, pastors, and deacons, ordained among them; who rightly performed their offices, and had respect and subjection yielded to them; the ordinances of the Gospel were duly administered, and constantly attended on; the members of the church were watched over, admonitions given, and censures laid where they were necessary, and everything was done decently and in order; which was a beautiful sight, and gave the apostle an uncommon pleasure. The word used signifies a military order, such as is observed in armies, in battle array; suggesting, that these Christians were good soldiers of Christ, were enlisted under his banners, and kept in due order, in rank and file; stood fast in one spirit, contended and strove together for the faith of the Gospel, fought the good fight of faith, nor could any hardship move them from their station; so that they were, in the apostle's eye, beautiful as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, and terrible as an army with banners, Sol 6:4; and so may denote their attachment to the Gospel, and to one another; they were united to, and abode by each other; they served the Lord with one consent, and kept the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace, Ephesians 4:3, which is a pleasant thing to behold, as well as what follows,

and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ; either in the grace of faith, and the exercise of it on Christ, in opposition to doubtings and unbelief; whereby God is honoured, and with which he is well pleased; souls are filled with peace and joy; Satan is resisted and overcome; and the hearts of others, particularly ministers of the Gospel, are comforted: or in the doctrine of faith respecting Christ, in which they stood fast; notwithstanding there was a majority against it, the wise and learned, the rich and mighty, did not receive it; and though it was opposed by false teachers, persecuted by profane men, and loaded with reproach and obloquy; and also in the profession of it, which they held without wavering: now to see a set of Christians, a church of Christ walking together in Gospel order, steady in their faith on Christ, abiding by the doctrine of faith, and maintaining an honourable profession, how beautiful and delightful is it! 5. For—argument against their suffering themselves to be beguiled, drawn from a regard to his personal authority as though he were present.

joying and beholding—beholding with joy.

order—your good order; answering to "knit together" (Col 2:2) as a well-organized body; the same Greek as that for knit together, is used of the body" of the Church compacted," in Eph 4:16. Compare 1Co 14:33, 40.

steadfastness—Greek, "the firm (or 'solid') foundation." As "order" expresses the outward aspect of the Church; so "steadfastness" expresses the inner basis on which their Church rested. The Greek literally implies not an abstract quality, but the thing in the concrete; thus their "faith" here is the solid thing which constituted the basis of their Church.2:1-7 The soul prospers when we have clear knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. When we not only believe with the heart, but are ready, when called, to make confession with the mouth. Knowledge and faith make a soul rich. The stronger our faith, and the warmer our love, the more will our comfort be. The treasures of wisdom are hid, not from us, but for us, in Christ. These were hid from proud unbelievers, but displayed in the person and redemption of Christ. See the danger of enticing words; how many are ruined by the false disguises and fair appearances of evil principles and wicked practices! Be aware and afraid of those who would entice to any evil; for they aim to spoil you. All Christians have, in profession at least, received Jesus Christ the Lord, consented to him, and taken him for theirs. We cannot be built up in Christ, or grow in him, unless we are first rooted in him, or founded upon him. Being established in the faith, we must abound therein, and improve in it more and more. God justly withdraws this benefit from those who do not receive it with thanksgiving; and gratitude for his mercies is justly required by God.
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