|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:2-6 No duties can be done aright, unless we persevere in fervent prayer, and watch therein with thanksgiving. The people are to pray particularly for their ministers. Believers are exhorted to right conduct towards unbelievers. Be careful in all converse with them, to do them good, and recommend religion by all fit means. Diligence in redeeming time, commends religion to the good opinion of others. Even what is only carelessness may cause a lasting prejudice against the truth. Let all discourse be discreet and seasonable, as becomes Christians. Though it be not always of grace, it must always be with grace. Though our discourse be of that which is common, yet it must be in a Christian manner. Grace is the salt which seasons our discourse, and keeps it from corrupting. It is not enough to answer what is asked, unless we answer aright also.
Verse 4. - That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak (Ephesians 6:20; 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; 2 Corinthians 5:11, 20-6:10; Romans 12:6; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; 2 Timothy 3:10; Acts 20:18-21, 27, 33-35). This clause qualifies the last; the "open door" is to be asked for the apostle, that he may make effective use of it. The mystery has been made manifest by God in the mission of Christ (Colossians 1:27; Colossians 2:15, note; 2 Corinthians 5:19, etc.); but that manifestation has to be made known to the Gentile world (Ephesians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 10:14). To this end he had received a special manifestation of "the mystery of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Galatians 1:15, 16; Acts 9:15, 16; Acts 22:14, 15, 21; Acts 26:16-18). How the apostle conceives that he "ought to speak" appears from the parallel passages (see especially 2 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 6; and Acts 20.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That I may make it manifest,.... It being a mystery, a secret, which was hid in God from everlasting, and, during the legal dispensation, was wrapped up in types, and shadows, and sacrifices, and is still hidden unto the natural man. Wherefore the apostle was desirous of making it manifest in a ministerial way; for God only, by his Spirit, makes it manifest in a spiritual, experimental, and saving way.
As, says he,
I ought to speak. The Arabic version adds, "concerning it", the Gospel, the mystery of Christ. The apostle's meaning is, that he might deliver it with that clearness and evidence, and use that plainness of speech which became the Gospel, and him as a minister of it, and not ambiguous expressions, equivocal phrases, words of double meanings, on purpose to hide things from men, but by manifestation of the truth, to commend himself to every man's conscience in the sight of God. As also to speak it faithfully, declaring the whole counsel of God, keeping back nothing that might be profitable to the churches; and with all constancy and certainty, with all boldness and intrepidity of soul, and freedom of mind; not seeking to please men, aiming at vain glory, and popular applause, or being afraid of their faces, menaces, and reproaches.
Colossians 4:4 Parallel Commentaries
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