Colossians 1:27
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:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) To whom God wouldi.e., God willed. The expression is emphatic. It was of God’s own pleasure, inscrutable to man. So in Ephesians 1:9, we read “the mystery of His will.” Note also, in Ephesians 1:4-6, the repeated reference to the predestination of God in His love.

The riches of the glory.—See Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 3:16; and Notes there.

Which is Christ in you.—This mystery specially committed to St. Paul to declare is. in Ephesians 3:6, defined thus, “That the Gentiles should be (or, are) fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel”; and the nature of this promise is explained below, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” Here the mystery itself is boldly defined as “Christ in you;” just as in 1Timothy 3:16, according to one interpretation of that difficult passage, “the mystery of godliness” is Christ Himself, “who was manifest,” &c. Here we have again a significant illustration of the difference between the characteristic ideas of the two Epistles. In the Ephesian Epistle the unity of all in God’s covenant is first put forth, and then explained as dependent on the indwelling of Christ in the heart. Here the “Christ in you” is all in all: the unity of all men in Him is an inference, but one which the readers of the Epistle are left to draw for themselves. On the great idea itself, in the purely individual relation, see Philippians 1:21, and also Galatians 2:20; in the more general form, see Romans 8:10; 2Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 4:19.

The hope of (the) glory.—So in 1Timothy 1:1, “The Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope.” “The glory” is the glorified state of perfection in heaven, wrapt in the communion with God, and so “changed from glory to glory.” Again we note (as in Colossians 1:5; Colossians 1:23) the special emphasis laid on the hope of heaven. Christ is “our hope,” as He is “our life,” i.e., the ground of our sure and certain hope of the future, as of our spiritual life in the present.

1:24-29 Both the sufferings of the Head and of the members are called the sufferings of Christ, and make up, as it were, one body of sufferings. But He suffered for the redemption of the church; we suffer on other accounts; for we do but slightly taste that cup of afflictions of which Christ first drank deeply. A Christian may be said to fill up that which remains of the sufferings of Christ, when he takes up his cross, and after the pattern of Christ, bears patiently the afflictions God allots to him. Let us be thankful that God has made known to us mysteries hidden from ages and generations, and has showed the riches of his glory among us. As Christ is preached among us, let us seriously inquire, whether he dwells and reigns in us; for this alone can warrant our assured hope of his glory. We must be faithful to death, through all trials, that we may receive the crown of life, and obtain the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls.To whom - To the saints.

God would make known - "Willed (Greek) to make known;" that is, he was pleased to make this known. It was concealed in his bosom until he chose to reveal it to his apostles. It was a doctrine which the Jewish people did not understand; Ephesians 3:5-6.

What is the riches of the glory of this mystery - The rich glory of this great, long-concealed truth. On the use of the word "riches," see the notes at Romans 2:4. It is a favorite word with the apostle Paul to denote that which is valuable, or that which abounds. The meaning here is, that the truth that the gospel was to be preached to all mankind, was a truth abounding in glory.

Among the Gentiles - That is, the glory of this truth is manifested by the effects which it has produced among the Gentiles.

Which is Christ in you, the hope of glory - Or, Christ among you. Margin. The meaning is, that the whole of that truth, so full of glory, and so rich and elevated in its effect, is summed up in this - that Christ is revealed among you as the source of the hope of glory in a better world. This was the great truth which so animated the heart and fired the zeal of the apostle Paul. The wonderful announcement had burst on his mind like a flood of day, that the offer of salvation was not to be confined, as he had once supposed, to the Jewish people, but that all men were now placed on a level; that they had a common Saviour; that the same heaven was now opened for all, and that there were none so degraded and vile that they might not have the offer of life as well as others. This great truth Paul burned to communicate to the whole world; and for holding it, and in making it known, he had involved himself in all the difficulties which he had with his own countrymen; had suffered from want, and peril, and toil; and had finally been made a captive, and was expecting to be put to death. It was just such a truth as was fitted to fire such a mind as that of Paul, and to make it; known as worth all the sacrifices and toils which he endured. Life is well sacrificed in making known such a doctrine to the world.

27. would—rather as Greek, "willed," or "was pleased to make known." He resolves all into God's good pleasure and will, that man should not glory save in God's grace.

what—How full and inexhaustible!

the riches of the glory of this mystery—He accumulates phrase on phrase to enhance the greatness of the blessing in Christ bestowed by God on the Gentiles. Compare Col 2:3, "all the treasures" of wisdom; Eph 3:8, "the unsearchable riches of Christ"; Eph 1:7, "riches of His grace." "The glory of this mystery" must be the glory which this once hidden, and now revealed, truth makes you Gentiles partakers of, partly now, but mainly when Christ shall come (Col 3:4; Ro 5:2; 8:17, 18; Eph 1:18). This sense is proved by the following: "Christ in you the hope of the (so Greek) glory." The lower was the degradation of you Gentiles, the higher is the richness of the glory to which the mystery revealed now raises you. You were "without Christ, and having no hope" (Eph 2:12). Now you have "Christ in you the hope of the glory" just mentioned. Alford translates, "Christ among you," to answer to "this mystery among the Gentiles." But the whole clause, "Christ IN you (Eph 3:17) the hope of glory," answers to "this mystery," and not to the whole sentence, "this mystery among the Gentiles." What is made known "among you Gentiles" is, "Christ in you (now by faith as your hidden life, Col 3:3; Ga 2:20) the hope of glory" (your manifested life). The contrast (antithesis) between "Christ in you" now as your hidden life, and "the hope of glory" hereafter to be manifested, requires this translation.

To whom God would make known; he refers the manifestation purely to God’s good will and pleasure, as Christ himself doth, Matthew 11:26,27 Lu 10:21; so in the like case, Revelation 9:18; that having mentioned saints, none might conceit it was for foreseen faith, but the Colossians might value their privilege, reverently receive that grace which was not given to all: in short, to restrain curiosity why God would not do it otherwise or sooner, he cuts the knots of all questions, only by signifying his sovereign pleasure, he would make it known to them; elsewhere, this mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, Ephesians 1:9, which was not to be touched till he thought meet to make it known.

What is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: some refer the glory to mystery, as glorious mystery, because it lets forth Divine glory, and promiseth it to believers, Luke 2:14; others, and the most, rather to riches, and that either as its epithet, {Colossians 1:11} the glorious riches of this mystery, or noting the subject, for salvation of the church amongst the Gentiles, Ephesians 1:18 3:7,8. It is usual with the apostle to use the word riches to set forth abundance, Romans 2:4,11:33 Ephesians 1:7: here, for the praise of the gospel, he would signify a very great and most abundant glory, far surpassing any former ministration, 2 Corinthians 3:8,18. In the law those riches {Ephesians 2:7} were not only imperfectly and obscurely discovered, but scatteredly with broken beams, as the sun in water when the water is disturbed; one attribute shining out in one work, another in another; but now the harmony of the Divine attributes in man’s redemption shines out most fully, clearly, and gloriously, contracted in Christ, who is the object and revealer of the mystery by his Spirit, the glory whereof breaks forth with much more splendour amongst the Gentiles, Romans 15:7-9 1 Corinthians 2:10 2 Corinthians 3:9,18; all glory before was but a shadow to this. Colossians 2:17 2 Corinthians 3:18 Galatians 3:1 Hebrews 10:1.

Which is Christ in you; which is Christ, amongst, for, or in them, i.e. who not only was preached amongst them, but whom they possessed, and who dwelt in them by faith, Ephesians 3:17; the revelation being accompanied with the power of the Spirit in the translating them by his glorious power from the kingdom of darkness into his kingdom, Colossians 1:13 Luke 17:21 Galatians 2:20 4:19 Ephesians 3:5,7.

The hope of glory; so is not only the object, 1 Timothy 1:1, but the ground of their expectation of glory, he in whom the mystery begins and ends, 1 Timothy 3:16; out of whom all are hopeless of being happy, Ephesians 2:12, and in whom all have strong consolation, Hebrews 6:18. To whom God would make known,.... The spring and cause of the manifestation of the Gospel to the saints, and chosen of God, is not their works, for God does not call them with an holy calling according to them, but according to his own grace; nor any preparations and dispositions in them before such manifestation, towards the Gospel and the truths of it, for there are none such naturally in men, but all the reverse; nor a foresight of their better improvement of it, when made known, for this is not the method of divine grace, witness the instances of Sodom and Gomorrha, Tyre and Sidon; nor any holiness in them, or because they were sanctified, for they became so by the power of divine grace, through the Gospel revelation; but it is the pure sovereign good will and pleasure of God; see Ephesians 1:9; as appears from what they were before the Gospel came unto them, what is made known to them in it and by it; and from this, that they and not others, equally as deserving, are favoured with it:

what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles. The apostle, besides calling the Gospel a "mystery", as before, ascribes "glory" to it; it is a glorious mystery, there is a glory in all the mysteries of it; it is a glorious Gospel, as it is often called, in its author, subject, matter, use, and efficacy: and also "riches" of glory, or glorious riches; containing rich truths, an immense treasure of them, comparable to gold, silver, and precious stones; rich blessings of justification, pardon, reconciliation, adoption, and eternal life; and rich promises, relating both to this life, and that which is to come; all which were opened and made known, not to the Jews only, but "among the Gentiles" also; who before were aliens, enemies, exceeding wicked, poor, blind, and miserable, but now, through the Gospel, were become rich and glorious, wise, knowing, and happy:

which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; this is to be connected with all that goes before: Christ is the riches of the Gospel; the riches of the divine perfections, which the Gospel more clearly displays than the works of creation or providence, are all in Christ, the fulness of them dwells in him; and this is the grace the Gospel reveals, that he, who was rich with all these, became poor to make us rich; the rich promises of the Gospel were all made to Christ, and are all yea and "Amen" in him; the rich blessings of it are all in his hands, righteousness, peace, and pardon, the riches both of grace and glory; the rich treasures of its divine truths are hid in him; and he is the substance of everyone of them: Christ is also the glory of the Gospel, inasmuch as he is the author, preacher, and subject of it; it is full of the glory of his person, both as the only begotten of the Father, and as the only Mediator between God and man; it is the glass through which this is seen: moreover, the glory of God in him is expressed hereby; the glory of his wisdom and power, of his truth and faithfulness, of his justice and holiness, of his love, grace, and mercy, and every other perfection, is eminently held forth in the Gospel; as this is great in the salvation and redemption of his people by Christ, which the Gospel brings the good news of; add to this, that that glory which the saints shall have with Christ, and will lie in the enjoyment of him to all eternity, is brought to light in the Gospel: Christ is also the mystery of the Gospel; he is one of the persons in the mystery of the Trinity; the mystery of his divine sonship, of his divine person, being God and yet man, man and yet God, and both in one person, and of his incarnation and redemption, makes a considerable part of the Gospel: and Christ, who is the sum and substance of it, is "in" his people; not only as the omnipresent God, as the author of the light of nature, as the Creator of all things, in whom all live, move, and have their beings, but in a way of special grace; and the phrase is expressive of a revelation of him in them, of their possession of him, of his inhabitation in them by his Spirit and grace, particularly by faith, and of their communion with him, in consequence of their union to him; and being so, he is the ground and foundation of their hopes of glory. There is a glory which the saints are hoping for, which the glories of this world are but a faint resemblance of; which is unseen at present, and which the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared unto; what is eternal, and which Christ has entered into, and took possession of; and what will greatly consist in beholding his glory, and in everlasting communion with him; this through grace saints have a good hope of, and are waiting for, and even rejoice at times in the hope of it; of which hope Christ is the foundation; for not only the promise of it is with him, but the glory itself is in his hands; the gift of it is with him, and through him; he has made way by his sufferings and death for the enjoyment of it, and is now preparing it for them, by his presence and intercession; his grace makes them meet for it, his righteousness gives them a title to it, and his Spirit is the earnest of it, and the substance of it will be the fruition of himself.

To whom God {u} 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:

(u) In this way Paul restrains the curiosity of men.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Colossians 1:27. Not exposition of the ἐφανερ. τοῖς ἁγ. αὐτοῦ, since the γνωρίσαι has for its object not the μυστήριον itself, but the glory of the latter among the Gentiles. In reality, οἷς subjoins an onward movement of the discourse, so that to the general τὸ μυστήριον ἐφανερώθη τοῖς ἁγ. αὐτοῦ a particular element is added: “The mystery was made manifest to His saints,—to them, to whom (quippe quibus) God withal desired especially to make known that, which is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles.” Along with the general ἐφανερώθη τοῖς ἁγίοις αὐτοῦ God had this special definite direction of His will. From this the reason is plain why Paul has written, not simply οἷς ἐγνώρισεν ὁ Θεός, but οἷς ἠθέλεσεν ὁ Θεὸς γνωρίσαι. The meaning that is usually discovered in ἠθέλησεν, free grace, and the like (so Chrysostom, Theodoret, Calvin, Beza, and many others, including Bähr, Böhmer, de Wette; Huther is, with reason, doubtful), is therefore not the aim of the word, which is also not intended to express the joyfulness of the announcement (Hofmann), but simply and solely the idea: “He had a mind.”

γνωρίσαι] to make known, like ἐφανερώθη from which it differs in meaning not essentially, but only to this extent, that by ἐφανερ. the thing formerly hidden is designated as openly displayed (Romans 1:19; Romans 3:21; Romans 16:26; Ephesians 5:13, et al.), and by γνωρίσαι that which was formerly unknown as brought to knowledge. Comp. Romans 16:26; Romans 9:22; Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 3:3; Ephesians 3:5; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:19; Luke 2:15, et al. The latter is not related to ἐφανερ. either as a something more (Bähr: the making fully acquainted with the nature); or as its result (de Wette); or as entering more into detail (Baumgarten-Crusius); or as making aware, namely by experience (Hofmann).

τί τὸ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης κ.τ.λ.] what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, i.e. what rich fulness of the glory contained in this mystery exists among the Gentiles,—since, indeed, this riches consists in the fact (ὅς ἐστι), that Christ is among you, in whom ye have the hope of glory. In order to a proper interpretation, let it be observed: (1) τί occupies with emphasis the place of the indirect ὅ τι (see Poppo, ad Xen. Cyrop. i. 2. 10; Kühner, ad Mem. i. 1. 1; Winer, p. 158 f. [E. T. 210]), and denotes “quae sint divitiae” as regards degree: how great and unspeakable the riches, etc. Comp. on Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 3:18. The text yields this definition of the sense from the very connection with the quantitative idea τὸ πλοῦτος. (2) All the substantives are to be left in their full solemn force, without being resolved into adjectives (Erasmus, Luther, and many others: the glorious riches; Beza: “divitiae gloriosi hujus mysterii”). Chrysostom aptly remarks: σεμνῶς εἶπε καὶ ὄγκον ἐπέθηκεν ἀπὸ πολλῆς διαθέσεως, ἐπιτάσεις ζητῶς ἐπιτάσεων. Comp. Calvin: “magniloquus est in extollenda evangelii dignitate.” (3) As τῆς δόξης is governed by τὸ πλοῦτος, so also is τοῦ μυστηρίου governed by τῆς δόξης, and ἐν τοῖς ἔθν. belongs to the ἐστί which is to be supplied, comp. Ephesians 1:18. (4) According to the context, the δόξα cannot be anything else (see immediately below, ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς δόξης) than the Messianic glory, the glory of the kingdom (Romans 8:18; Romans 8:21; 2 Corinthians 4:17, et al.), the glorious blessing of the κληρονομία (comp. Colossians 1:12), which before the Parousia (Romans 8:30; Colossians 3:3 f.) is the ideal (ἐλπίς), but after it is the realized, possession of believers. Hence it is neither to be taken in the sense of the glorious effects generally, which the gospel produces among the Gentiles (Chrysostom, Theophylact, and many others, including Huther, comp. Dalmer), nor in that specially of their conversion from death to life (Hofmann), whereby its glory is unfolded. Just as little, however, is the δόξα of God meant, in particular His wisdom and grace, which manifest themselves objectively in the making known of the mystery, and realize themselves subjectively by moral glorification and by the hope of eternal glory (de Wette), or the splendor internus of true Christians, or the bliss of the latter combined with their moral dignity (Böhmer). (5) The genitive of the subject, τοῦ μυστηρίου τούτου, defines the δόξα as that contained in the μυατήριον, previously unknown, but now become manifest with the mystery that has been made known, as the blessed contents of the latter. Comp. Colossians 1:23 : ἐλπίς τοῦ εὐαγγελίου. To take the δόξα as attribute of the mystery, is forbidden by what immediately follows, according to which the idea can be none other than the familiar one of that glory, which is the proposed aim of the saving revelation and calling, the object of faith and hope (in opposition to Hofmann and many others); Colossians 3:4. Comp. on Romans 5:2.

ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν] φαίνεται δὲ ἐν ἑτέροις, πολλῷ δὲ πλέον ἐν τούτοις ἡ πολλὴ τοῦ μυστηρίου δόξα, Chrysostom. “Qui tot saeculis demersi fuerant in morte, ut viderentur penitus desperati,” Calvin.

ὅς ἐστι Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν] “Christus in gentibus, summum illis temporibus paradoxon,” Bengel. According to a familiar attraction (Winer, p. 157 [E. T. 207]), this ὅς applies to the previous subject τὸ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης τοῦ μυστ. τ., and introduces that, in which this riches consists. Namely: Christ among you,—in this it consists, and by this information is given at the same time how great it is (τί ἐστιν). Formerly they were χωρὶς Χριστοῦ (Ephesians 2:12); now Christ, who by His Spirit reigns in the hearts of believers (Romans 8:10; Ephesians 3:17; Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 3:17, et al.), is present and active among them. The proper reference of the relative to τὸ πλοῦτος κ.τ.λ., and also the correct connection of ἐν ὑμῖν with Χριστός (not with ἡ ἐλπίς, as Storr and Flatt think), are already given by Theodoret and Oecumenius (comp. also Theophylact), Valla, Luther, Calovius, and others, including Böhmer and Bleek, whereas Hofmann, instead of closely connecting Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν, makes this ἐν ὑμῖν depend on ἐστί, whereby the thoughtful and striking presentation of the fact “Christ among the Gentiles” is without reason put in the background, and ἐν ὑμῖν becomes superfluous. Following the Vulgate and Chrysostom, ὅς is frequently referred to τοῦ μυστηρ. τούτον: “this mystery consists in Christ’s being among you, the Gentiles,” Huther, comp. Ewald. The context, however, is fatal to this view; partly in general, because it is not the mystery itself, but the riches of its glory, that forms the main idea in the foregoing; and partly, in particular, because the way has been significantly prepared for ὅς ἐστι through τί, while ἐν ὑμῖν corresponds[73] to the ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν referring to the ΠΛΟῦΤΟς, and the following Ἡ ἘΛΠῚς Τῆς ΔΌΞΗς glances back to the ΠΛΟῦΤΟς Τῆς ΔΌΞΗς.

ΧΡΙΣΤΌς
] Christ Himself, see above. Neither Ἡ ΤΟῦ Χ. ΓΝῶΣΙς (Theophylact) is meant, nor the doctrine, either of Christ (Grotius, Rosenmüller, and others), or about Christ (Flatt). On the individualizing ὑμῖν, although the relation concerns the Gentiles generally, comp. ὙΜᾶς in Colossians 1:25. “Accommodat ipsis Colossensibus, ut efficacius in se agnoscant,” Calvin.

Ἡ ἘΛΠῚς Τῆς ΔΌΞΗς] characteristic apposition (comp. Colossians 3:4) to ΧΡΙΣΤΌς, giving information how the ΧΡΙΣΤῸς ἘΝ ὙΜῖΝ forms the great riches of the glory, etc. among the Gentiles, since Christ is the hope of the Messianic δόξα, in Him is given the possession in hope of the future glory. The emphasis is on ἡ ἐλπίς, in which the probative element lies. Compare on the subject-matter, Romans 8:24 : τῇ γὰρ ἐλπίδι ἐσώθημεν, and the contrast ἘΛΠΊΔΑ ΜῊ ἜΧΟΝΤΕς in Ephesians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; and on the concrete expression, 1 Timothy 1:1; Ignat. Eph. 21; Magnes. 11; Sir 31:14; Thuc. iii. 57. 4; Aesch. Ch. 236. 776.

[73] Hence also to be rendered not in vobis (Luther, Böhmer, Olshausen), but inter vos. The older writers combated the rendering in vobis from opposition to the Fanatics.Colossians 1:27. Cf. for a partial parallel Ephesians 1:18.—οἷς ἠθέλησεν ὁ Θεὸς: “inasmuch as to them God willed”; ἠθέλ. is chosen to express the idea that the revelation had its source solely in God’s will.—τί τὸ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης.: cf. Romans 9:23, Php 4:19, Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 3:16. The expression does not mean the glorious riches, but rather how rich is the glory. The use of “glory” immediately after in the sense of the Messianic kingdom favours the adoption of that meaning here. But as it is an attribute of the mystery it probably expresses its glorious character.—ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν is generally taken with τί τὸ πλ. κ.τ.λ., and this gives an excellent sense, for it was as manifested in the Gentile mission that the glory of the Gospel was especially displayed. There is a little awkwardness, since the definition Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν seems to make ἐν τ. ἔθν. unnecessary. The glory of the mystery was itself Χ. ἐν ὑμ. if we take ἐν ὑμῖν to mean among you Gentiles. This hardly justifies us in connecting the words with γνωρίσαι (Haupt), for it already has the recipients of knowledge attached to it (οἷς).—ὅ ἐστι answers τί τὸ πλοῦτος κ.τ.λ. The riches of the glory of the mystery consist in Χ. ἐν ὑμ. ἡ ἐλπ. τ. δ. Usually is taken to refer to μυστηρίου alone. Perhaps the practical difference is not great.—Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς δόξης. Haupt thinks no comma should be placed after ὑμῖν, and that the meaning is that the special glory of the Gospel is that Christ among them is the hope of glory. But the usual view which makes, not the fact that Christ among them guarantees their future blessedness, but the presence of Christ itself, the great glory of the mystery seems much finer. Χ. ἐν ὑμ., and not what Χ. ἐν ὑμ. is, constitutes the riches of the glory. The context shows that ὑμῖν must mean “you Gentiles”. It does not necessarily follow from this that ἐν must be translated “among,” though this is favoured by ἐν τ. ἔθν. It may refer to the indwelling of Christ in the heart, and this is rendered probable by the addition of ἐλπὶς τ. δόξης. The indwelling Christ constitutes in Himself a pledge of future glory. For this combination of the indwelling Christ with the Christian hope, cf. Romans 8:10.27. would] Lit., willed, or (as R.V.) was pleased. All was sovereign mercy. Cp. Matthew 11:27.

the riches of the glory] “Riches” is a favourite term with St Paul, in reference to Divine things. Cp. Romans 2:4; Romans 10:12; Romans 11:12; Romans 11:33; 1 Corinthians 1:5; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Corinthians 9:11; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Ephesians 2:7; Ephesians 3:8; Php 4:19; below, Colossians 2:2. For this exact phrase, so pregnant with light and joy, “riches of glory,” see Romans 9:23; Ephesians 1:18 (a close parallel), Colossians 3:16.

Glory:”—the word so used gives us the thought not only of greatness, wonder, and bliss, but of God as the secret of it all.

among the Gentiles] Lit., “in the Gentiles.” i.e., this “wealth of glory” in the disclosed mystery is now shewn to the saints as realized in Gentile as well as Jewish believers. The “Mystery” is, in fact, the Divine plan of a Church gathered from all mankind, and filled, in its every member, and in the resulting total of its life and power, with Jesus Christ. For commentary, see the Ep. to the Ephesians, esp. Colossians 2:11 to Colossians 3:21.

which is] “The mystery passes into the living Christ” (Bp Alexander, in The Speaker’s Commentary).

Christ in you] The rendering “among you” (A.V., margin) is equally good grammatically. Alford and Ellicott adopt it, while remarking that it includes and implies “in you.” Lightfoot, not without hesitation, thinks “in you” more probable. R.V. retains “in you,” without marginal alternative. This surely is right. The deeply kindred passage in Ephesians 2 culminates with the wonderful possibility and fact of the “dwelling of Christ in our hearts by faith;” it makes this the central sanctuary, so to speak, of the work and experience of grace. In this briefer but equally intense passage it seems congruous that the climax of thought should be the same.—We would say rather that “in you” includes and implies “among you” than vice versâ. This appears to be, on the whole, Lightfoot’s view. He compares (besides Ephesians 3) Romans 8:10; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 4:19. And see Galatians 1:16; Galatians 2:20; Revelation 3:20.

True, “Christ in you” is a thought not identical with “Christ dwelling in the heart.” The latter (see our notes on Ephesians 3:17) is so to speak the development and full realization of the former. But we mean that the tone of these words, in the light of the fuller kindred (Ephesian) passage, leads us rightly to see here the richest possible meaning in the briefer phrase.

the hope of glory] See again Ephesians 3 for commentary. The Indwelling of the Lord in the saints, received by faith, in the power of the Holy Ghost, is connected by indissoluble links of truth and thought with the foreview of blessings “in the Church, in Christ Jesus, throughout all ages.”

Who shall discuss and analyse such a statement? It is a matter for adoring wonder, simplest faith, and a most blessed and genuine experience, now as when it was written. While our justification in Christ is, from one all-important point, the sure reason and pledge of our coming “glory” (Romans 5:1-2), Christ’s most true and living presence as the Risen One in us is, as it were, the very bud of the celestial flower, the actual dawn of the eternal day. Cp. 1 Timothy 1:1.

Glory:”—undoubtedly, in connexion with the word “hope,” the word points to the heavenly Future, in which alike in the saint and in the Church of the saints the unveiled Face of God will develope an eternity of holy bliss and power, all drawn from Him and all spent for Him. Cp. Psalm 73:24; Acts 7:55; Romans 5:2; Romans 8:18; Romans 8:21; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Ephesians 1:18; Php 3:21; below, Colossians 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 5:1; 1 Peter 5:4; 1 Peter 5:10; Jude 24; Revelation 21:11; Revelation 21:23.Colossians 1:27. Οἷς) inasmuch as being persons, to whom. An explanation.—ἠθέλησεν, it was the will of God) most freely.—ὁ πλοῦτος, the riches) [descending] upon all men; see Ephesians 1:7, note.—ὅς, who) for , which.—Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν, Christ in you) The parallel expressions are, ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, and ἐν ὑμῖν, in the Gentiles, and in you. Christ in (among) the Gentiles was the greatest paradox at that time. Comp. in, Ephesians 3:8, (17); 1 Timothy 3:16.[3]—ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς δόξης, the hope of glory) Christ in us is a most delightful thing in itself, but much more delightful in respect of those things which shall be revealed, ch. Colossians 3:4; Ephesians 1:18. So Romans 5:2.

[3] Bengel, therefore, not attending to mere emphasis, also acknowledged here the same signification of the word ἐν, which Ernesti approves, in Attone Bibl. th. T. x. p. 130; but in the Germ. Vers., on the margin, he has not hesitated to intimate, that that maturer communion with Christ, which assuredly surpasses all human reason, is the delightful consequence of preaching among the Gentiles, by the quotation of Ephesians 3:17.—E. B.Verse 27. - To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery amongst the Gentiles (Ephesians 3:5-10; Acts 11:17, 18; Romans 11:11, 12, 25-32; Romans 15:9-12). "Willed" stands emphatically first in the Greek. The revelation was so momentous in its issue, so signal in its method, and so contrary to human foresight and prejudice, that it proceeded evidently from" the will of God" (vers. 1, 9; Colossians 4:12; comp. Romans 9:18): "Who was I," said St. Peter, "that I could withstand God?" The Ephesian letter delights to dwell on God's will as the cause of the whole counsel and work of salvation. The Revisers have rendered the verb by "was pleased," the equivalent of εὐδοκέω (ver. 19; Ephesians 1:5, 9; etc.). There is no need to seek a reference to free grace in the verb "willed;" the two ideas are concurrent, but distinct (see, however, Lightfoot). The apostle's mind is filled with amazement as he contemplates the boundless riches which the salvation of the Gentiles revealed in God himself (comp. Romans 11:33-36; Romans 16:25-27; Ephesians 3:8-10). "The glory of this mystery" is the splendour with which it invests the Divine character (on "glory," see note, ver. 11; and for "riches of glory," Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 3:16; Philippians 4:19; Romans 9:23). Amongst the Gentiles: "semi-local clause, defining the sphere in which the riches of the glory is more specially evinced" (Ellicott). At last this mystery is defined: which is Christ in you (Colossians 2:2, 3; 1 Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 3:17; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 4:19; Romans 8:10). By a bold metonymy, the mystery is identified with its subject or content. It is "Christ" himself (see Colossians 2:2, note), the Divine secret of the ages, the burden of all revelation; and "Christ in you" (Colossians 3:11), Christ dwelling in Gentile carts - this is the wonder of wonders! So the "sinners of the Gentiles" receive "the like [equal] gift" with the heirs of the promises (Acts 11:17). By a further and yet bolder apposition, this mystery of Christ in Colossian believers is made one with the hope of glory (vers. 5, 23; Colossians 3:4; Ephesians 1:12-14, 18; Philippians 3:20, 21; Romans 2:7; Romans 8:18-25; 1 Corinthians 15:43; 1 John 3:2), of which it is a pledge and a foretaste (vers. 4, 5; Colossians 3:15; Ephesians 1:13, 14; Romans 8:10-17). This glory is that which the Christian will wear in his perfected, heavenly state (Colossians 3:4; 1 Corinthians 15:43; Romans 8:18), when he will fully reflect the glory he now beholds in God through Christ ("the glory of this mystery"): compare the double "glory" of 2 Corinthians 3:18. The rights of the Gentile believer in Christ are therefore complete (Ephesians 3:6). Possessing him now in his heart, he anticipates all that he will bestow in heaven (on "hope," see ver. 5). Would make known (ἠθέλησεν γνωρίσαι)

Lit., willed to make known. Rev., was pleased. Hence the apostles who were called to make known the Gospel were such by the will of God (Colossians 1:1).

Riches

See on Romans 2:4.

Of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles

The mystery of the admission of the Gentiles to the gospel covenant, now revealed through Paul's preaching, was divinely rich and glorious. This glory is the manifestation of the kingdom of Christ among the Gentiles as their inheritance (Colossians 1:12; compare Romans 8:18, Romans 8:21; 2 Corinthians 4:17). The richness exhibited itself in the free dispensation of the Gospel to the Gentile as well as to the Jew. It was not limited by national lines. Compare "the same Lord is rich unto all," Romans 10:12; and beggarly elements, Galatians 4:9.

Which is Christ in you

The readings differ. Some read ὅς, masculine, which, referring to the riches: others ὃ, neuter, which, referring to mystery. The latter corresponds with Colossians 2:2, the mystery of God, Christ, etc. In either case the defining words are Christ in you, i.e., in the Gentiles; either as constituting the richness of glory in this mystery, or as being the essence of the myself itself. In you may be either within you, dwelling in your hearts, or among you. The latter accords with among the Gentiles, the former with dwell in your hearts, Ephesians 3:17. Compare Romans 8:10; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 4:19.

The hope of glory (ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς δόξης)

Lit., of the glory. The Gentiles, in receiving the manifestation of Christ, did not realize all its glory. The full glory of the inheritance was a hope, to be realized when Christ should appear "the second time unto salvation" (Hebrews 9:28). Compare 1 Timothy 1:1. Glory refers to the glory of the mystery; hence the glory, but with more emphasis upon the idea of the same glory consummated at Christ's coming - the glory which shall be revealed. See Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Peter 1:7

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