Colossians 1:14
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1:9-14 The apostle was constant in prayer, that the believers might be filled with the knowledge of God's will, in all wisdom. Good words will not do without good works. He who undertakes to give strength to his people, is a God of power, and of glorious power. The blessed Spirit is the author of this. In praying for spiritual strength, we are not straitened, or confined in the promises, and should not be so in our hopes and desires. The grace of God in the hearts of believers is the power of God; and there is glory in this power. The special use of this strength was for sufferings. There is work to be done, even when we are suffering. Amidst all their trials they gave thanks to the Father of our Lord Jesus, whose special grace fitted them to partake of the inheritance provided for the saints. To bring about this change, those were made willing subjects of Christ, who were slaves of Satan. All who are designed for heaven hereafter, are prepared for heaven now. Those who have the inheritance of sons, have the education of sons, and the disposition of sons. By faith in Christ they enjoyed this redemption, as the purchase of his atoning blood, whereby forgiveness of sins, and all other spiritual blessings were bestowed. Surely then we shall deem it a favour to be delivered from Satan's kingdom and brought into that of Christ, knowing that all trials will soon end, and that every believer will be found among those who come out of great tribulation.In whom we have redemption; - See this explained in the notes at Ephesians 1:7. The passage here proves that we obtain forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ; but it does not prove that this is all that we obtain through that blood. 14. (Eph 1:7.)

redemption—rather as Greek, "our redemption."

through his blood—omitted in the oldest manuscripts; probably inserted from Eph 1:7.

sins—Translate as Greek, "our sins." The more general term: for which Eph 1:7, Greek, has, "our transgressions," the more special term.

In whom; i.e. in the person of Christ alone God-man, deputed of his Father to die for our salvation, Acts 4:12 20:28.

We; as we are in him, made meet, Colossians 1:12.

Have redemption; we have eternal deliverance, Hebrews 9:12, effected by a full ransom paid, 1 Corinthians 6:20 7:23 1 Peter 1:18,19. For the freeing us indeed out of a state of sin and misery, John 8:36, or eternal death the wages of sin, Romans 6:23 16:20; so that by redemption here is not meant barely laying down the price, Luke 2:38, nor consummate redemption at the last, Ephesians 1:14 4:30, but efficacious redemption.

Through his blood; upon the account of Christ’s offering himself an expiatory sacrifice to God, without which is no remission, Hebrews 9:22 Revelation 5:9; effusion of his blood, by a synecdoche, takes in his humiliation to the death of the cross, and the pains of the second death he underwent for us, Isaiah 53:5,6 Ac 2:24 Galatians 3:13 Philippians 2:8.

Even the forgiveness of sins; plenary remission of offences is by apposition to, or follows, redemption as a necessary effect, Colossians 2:13 Luke 1:77 Acts 10:43, by a metonymy transferring the cause to the effect: to see more: See Poole on "Ephesians 1:7". In whom we have redemption,.... Which is an excellent and wonderful blessing of grace saints have in and by Christ; and lies in a deliverance from sin, all sin, original and actual, under which they are held captive, in a state of nature, and by which they are made subject to the punishment of death; but through the sacrifice of Christ it is taken, and put away, finished, and made an end of; and they are freed from the damning power of it, or any obligation to punishment for it; and in consequence of this are delivered from the enslaving governing power of it by his grace and Spirit, and will hereafter be entirely rid of the very being of it: it consists also of a deliverance from the law, the curse and bondage of it, under which they are held on account of sin, the transgression of it; but being delivered from sin, they are also from the law, its accusations, charges, menaces, curses, and condemnation; as likewise out of the hands of Satan, by whom they are led captive; for through the ransom price paid by Christ they are ransomed out of the hands of him that was stronger than they, the prey is taken from the mighty, and the lawful captive delivered by him that has led captivity captive: in short, this redemption is a deliverance out of the hands of all their enemies, and from all evils and misery, the effects of sin, from death, and hell, and wrath to come. The author of it is Christ, the Son of God, the Son of his love, his dear Son: he was called to this work in the council of peace, in which the affair of redemption was consulted; and he agreed to undertake it in the covenant of grace, of which this is a principal article; and being in his constitution, as Mediator, every way fit and proper for it: as man, the right of redemption belonged to him, being the near kinsman of his people, and, as God, he was mighty and able to perform it; as man he had something to offer, and, as God, could make that sacrifice valuable and effectual to all saving purposes; as man, he had compassion on human nature, and, as God, was concerned for things pertaining to his honour and glory. And thus being every way qualified, he was sent, and came on this errand, and has obtained a redemption, which is precious, plenteous, complete and eternal: it is now with him, and "in him"; and he is made this, and everything else to his people, that they want. The subjects of this blessing are, not angels, but men; and not all men, but some that are redeemed from among men, out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation; who are called by the name of Jacob, the people of Christ, a peculiar people, and the church of God; and evidentially are such, who have faith in Christ, love to the saints, and good hope of eternal life; who know the grace of God in truth, are made meet to be partakers of the eternal inheritance, being delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of Christ, and are designed by the we in this text: the means by which this blessing is procured, it

through his blood. This phrase is left out indeed in the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, and in the Complutensian edition, and in some copies; but rightly stands here, as it does in Ephesians 1:7, where there is another clause added, which is here omitted, at the end of the verse, "according to the riches of his grace". This is the blood of Christ, his own blood, and not the blood of bulls and goats, and the same with that of the persons he redeems, but untainted with sin; the blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot and blemish, of original or actual sin, otherwise it would not have been a sufficient redemption price for his people; nor even then, were it not as it was the blood of the Son of God, of one that was God as well as man, whereby it came to have a proper value and efficacy in it to obtain this blessing: Christ's shedding his blood freely on this account is a proof of his great love to his redeemed ones; the efficacy that was in it to answer this purpose shows the dignity and greatness of his person; and it not being to be effected without it, demonstrates the strictness of divine justice, and that the redemption of men is brought about in a way entirely consistent with the righteousness and holiness of God. A particular branch of this blessing follows, and which serves, in some sense, to illustrate and explain it,

even the forgiveness of sins; of all sin, original and actual; of heart, lip, and life, secret and open, past, present, and to come; which lies in a non-imputation of sin, a remembrance of it no more, a removing of it entirely out of the way, a covering and blotting it out of sight, so as to be no more visible and legible: this is in Christ, where all spiritual blessings are; nor is it to be had or expected from an absolute God, but from God in Christ, and through him, through his propitiatory sacrifice; for as redemption, so forgiveness of sin is through his blood, which was shed for it; so that it proceeds upon the foot of satisfaction made to the justice of God by a price paid, and is an act of justice as well as grace, and belongs to the same persons as redemption does; hence those that are redeemed are represented as without fault before the throne; and indeed, the reason why their iniquities are blotted out, and will be remembered no more against them, is, because they are redeemed.

{6} In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

(6) The matter itself of our salvation is Christ the Son of God, who has obtained remission of sins for us by the offering up of himself.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Colossians 1:14. Not a preliminary condition of the υἱοθεσία (de Wette), nor the benefit of which Christians become partakers in the kingdom of the Son of God (Huther; against which it may be urged that the βασιλεία does not denote the kingdom of the church); nor yet a mark of the deliverance from darkness having taken place (Ritschl in the Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theol. 1863, p. 513), since this deliverance necessarily coincides with the translation into the kingdom; but it is the abiding (ἔχομεν, habemus, not accepimus) relation, in which that transference into the kingdom of God has its causal basis. The ransoming (from the punishment of sin, see the explanatory τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτ.) we have in Christ, inasmuch as He, by the shedding of His blood as the purchase-price (see on 1 Corinthians 6:20; Galatians 3:13; Galatians 4:5), has given Himself as a λύτρον (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6); and this redemption, effected by His ἱλαστήριον (Romans 3:21 ff.), remains continually in subsistence and efficacy. Hence: ἐν ᾧ, which specifies wherein the subjective ἔχομεν is objectively based, as its causa meritoria (Romans 3:24). Comp., moreover, on Ephesians 1:7, whence διὰ τοῦ αἵματος αὐτοῦ has found its way hither as a correct gloss. But the deleting of this addition by no means implies that we should make τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν also belong to τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν (Hofmann), as in Hebrews 9:15, especially as Paul elsewhere only uses ἀπολύτρωσις either absolutely (Romans 3:24; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 4:30) or with the genitive of the subject (Romans 8:23; Ephesians 1:14). The expression ἄφεσις τ. ἁμαρτ. is not used by him elsewhere in the epistles (comp., however, Romans 4:7), but at Acts 13:38; Acts 26:28. Holtzmann too hastily infers that the writer had read the Synoptics.Colossians 1:14. This verse is parallel to Ephesians 1:7. ἐν ᾧ: not by whom, but in whom; if we possess Christ, we possess in Him our deliverance.—ἔχομεν: (present) we have as an abiding possession.—ἀπολύτρωσιν: “deliverance”. The word is generally interpreted as ransom by payment of a price, for which Mark 10:45, δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν, may be compared. But it is not certain that the word ever has this meaning. It is very rare in Greek writers (see reff.). The passage from Plutarch refers to pirates holding cities to ransom. But obviously the word here does not mean that we procure release by paying a ransom. The word is often used simply in the sense of “deliverance,” the idea of ransom having disappeared. (So in Romans 8:23, Ephesians 4:30, Luke 21:28.) It is best therefore to translate “deliverance” here, especially as this suits better the definition in the following words. The remission of sins is itself our deliverance, whereas it stands to the payment of the ransom as effect to cause. The elaborate discussion in Oltramare may be referred to for fuller details, with the criticism in Sanday and Headlam’s note on Romans 3:24; also Abbott on Ephesians 1:7; Westcott on Heb., pp. 295, 296; Ritschl, Rechtf. und Versöhn. ii., 222 sq.τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν. The similar definition of ἀπολ. in Ephesians 1:7 tells against Lightfoot’s view that it is added here against erroneous definitions by the false teachers, who very probably did not employ the term. The precise phrase does not occur elsewhere in Paul. τ. ἁμ. depends simply on τ. ἀφ., not, as Hofmann thinks, on it and τ. ἀπολ., for the latter is not used with the object from which deliverance is effected.14. redemption through his blood] Omit the words “through His blood,” on clear documentary evidence.—They stand unchallenged in the parallel verse, Ephesians 1:7. And the truth they express comes out explicitly below, Colossians 1:20; Colossians 1:22.

Redemption:”—lit., “the redemption,” here fairly represented by our redemption, as R.V. The word “redemption” (like its Greek equivalent) points by derivation to the idea of a rescue by ransom, whatever the ransom may be. This meaning often in usage vanishes, or at least retires, as where a deliverance by mere power is called a redemption (e.g. Exodus 6:6). But it is always ready to reappear when the context favours; and certainly does so here, in view of the parallel passage in Eph. and Colossians 1:20 below. Cp. esp. Romans 8:23; and for illustration Matthew 20:28; Hebrews 9:15; 1 Peter 1:18-19. And see our notes on Ephesians 1:7.

the forgiveness of sins] Lit., of the (our) sins.—Ephesians 1:7 has “(our) trespasses.”—Observe this account of our Redemption in Christ. It is primarily Forgiveness, Remission. It involves indeed immensely more both for soul (Titus 2:14) and body (Romans 8:23); but all else is so inseparably bound up with Forgiveness as its sine quâ non that the whole is expressed by this great part. See further on Ephesians 1:7.

Bp Lightfoot thinks that the “studied precision” both here and in Eph. of this description of Redemption may “point to some false conception of Redemption put forth by the heretical teachers.” And he shews that “the later Gnostics certainly perverted the term, applying it to their own formularies of initiation.” With them it would mean a “redemption” as remote as possible from ideas of forgiveness; a release of the mystic from the bondage of matter into the liberty of esoteric “knowledge.” Lightfoot asserts no direct connexion between these later Gnostics and the Colossian heretics; but he sees in the later teaching a hint of possible similar aberrations earlier. See further, Introd., ch. 3.

Before quitting Colossians 1:13, observe the phrase, “in whom,” not “through, or by, whom.” The idea thus given is that of union with Christ (see on Colossians 1:2 above). The Remission, won by the Redeemer’s dying Work, is for those who by faith are incorporated into the Redeemer’s mystical Person.—The editor ventures to refer to his Thoughts on Union with Christ, pp. 104, 124, etc.Colossians 1:14. Ἐν ᾧ, in Whom) the Son, Ephesians 1:7.—τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν, the redemption) This is treated of, Colossians 1:18 (from the middle) and in the following verse.Verse 14. - In whom we have (or, had) our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 1:7; Galatians 3:10-13; Romans 3:19-26; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; 1 Peter 3:18, 19). Ephesians 1:7 suggested to some later copyists the interpolation "through his blood," words highly suitable in the Ephesian doxology. This verse is the complement of the last: there salvation appears as a rescue by sovereign power, here as a release by legal ransom (ἀπο λύτρωσις). The ransom price Christ had declared beforehand (Matthew 20:28; Matthew 26:28; comp. Romans 3:24-26; Galatians 2:20; 1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 9:12-14; 1 Peter 1:18; Revelation 1:5, R.V.; Revelation 5:9). "We have redemption" ("had it," according to a few ancient witnesses) in present experience in "the forgiveness of our sins "(vers. 21, 22; Colossians 2:13, 14; Colossians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:25; Romans 5:1; Romans 8:1; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:1-18; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 1:7-2:2; 1 John 4:10). Romans 3:24 gives its objective ground. The "redemption of the body" (also bought by the same price, 1 Corinthians 6:20) will make the work complete (Ephesians 1:13, 14; Romans 8:19-23; 1 Corinthians 1:30). Lightfoot suggests that the apostle intends to contradict the doctrine of redemption taught by the Gnostics, who made it consist in initiation into their "mysteries" (see note on ver. 27); and supposes that this notion may already have existed at Colossae in some incipient form. But such an abuse of the term seems to imply a well established and familiar Christian use. Philo, who speaks the language of the Jewish philosophic mysticism of the first century, has no such usage. In firm, clear lines the apostle has retraced, in vers. 12-14 (comp. vers. 20-23; Colossians 2:11-14), the teaching of his earlier Epistles on the doctrines of salvation. Here he assumes, in brief and comprehensive terms, what in writing to the Galatians and Romans he had formerly been at so much pains to prove. Redemption (ἀπολύτρωσιν)

See on Romans 3:24. Continuing the image of an enslaved and ransomed people. Omit through His blood.

Forgiveness (ἄφεσιν)

See on remission, Romans 3:25; see on forgiven, James 5:15. Forgiveness defines redemption. Lightfoot's suggestion is very interesting that this precise definition may convey an allusion to the perversion of the term ἀπολύτρωσις by the Gnostics of a later age, and which was possibly foreshadowed in the teaching of the Colossian heretics. The Gnostics used it to signify the result of initiation into certain mysteries. Lightfoot quotes from Irenaeus the baptismal formula of the Marcosians "into unity and redemption (ἀπολύτρωσιν) and communion of powers." The idea of a redemption of the world, and (in a perverted form) of the person and work of Christ as having part in it, distinctively marked the Gnostic schools. That from which the world was redeemed, however; was not sin, in the proper sense of the term, but something inherent in the constitution of the world itself, and therefore due to its Creator.

In the following passage the person of Christ is defined as related to God and to creation; and absolute supremacy is claimed for Him. See Introduction to this volume, and compare Ephesians 1:20-23, and Philippians 2:6-11.

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