Colossians 1:22
In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless and unreproveable in his sight:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) In the body of his flesh.—There seems to be some emphasis on the word “flesh:” just as in the parallel of Ephesians 2:16, the expression is “in one body,” with a characteristic emphasis on the word “one,” suiting the genius of the passage. The meaning is, of course, His natural body, as distinguished from His mystic Body, spoken of above (Colossians 1:18). But this is no sufficient reason for the use of this phrase, for there could be no confusion between them in this passage. Hence, without ascribing to the word “flesh” a distinctly polemical intention, we may not unnaturally suppose that there was present to St. Paul’s mind the thought of the Gnosticism, which depreciated the body as evil, and which must have always inclined to the idea that “Jesus Christ had not come in the flesh” (1John 4:2-3); and that the presence of this thought induced some special emphasis in his language.

Holy and unblameable and unreproveable.—See Note on Ephesians 1:4. The word “to present” is used both in a sacrificial sense (as in Romans 12:1) and in the sense of introduction and presentation (as of a bride, see Ephesians 5:27). The words, “holy and unblameable,” i.e., “without blemish,” suit the former sense. But “unreproveable” is incongruous with it, and the parallel passage (Ephesians 2:18) speaks of “access” or introduction to the Father.

1:15-23 Christ in his human nature, is the visible discovery of the invisible God, and he that hath seen Him hath seen the Father. Let us adore these mysteries in humble faith, and behold the glory of the Lord in Christ Jesus. He was born or begotten before all the creation, before any creature was made; which is the Scripture way of representing eternity, and by which the eternity of God is represented to us. All things being created by Him, were created for him; being made by his power, they were made according to his pleasure, and for his praise and glory. He not only created them all at first, but it is by the word of his power that they are upheld. Christ as Mediator is the Head of the body, the church; all grace and strength are from him; and the church is his body. All fulness dwells in him; a fulness of merit and righteousness, of strength and grace for us. God showed his justice in requiring full satisfaction. This mode of redeeming mankind by the death of Christ was most suitable. Here is presented to our view the method of being reconciled. And that, notwithstanding the hatred of sin on God's part, it pleased God to reconcile fallen man to himself. If convinced that we were enemies in our minds by wicked works, and that we are now reconciled to God by the sacrifice and death of Christ in our nature, we shall not attempt to explain away, nor yet think fully to comprehend these mysteries; but we shall see the glory of this plan of redemption, and rejoice in the hope set before us. If this be so, that God's love is so great to us, what shall we do now for God? Be frequent in prayer, and abound in holy duties; and live no more to yourselves, but to Christ. Christ died for us. But wherefore? That we should still live in sin? No; but that we should die to sin, and live henceforth not to ourselves, but to Him.In the body of his flesh through death - The death of his body, or his death in making an atonement, has been the means of producing this reconciliation. It:

(1) removed the obstacles to reconciliation on the part of God - vindicating his truth and justice, and maintaining the principles of his government as much as if the sinner had himself suffered the penalty of the law - thus rendering it consistent for God to indulge the benevolence of his nature in pardoning sinners; and,

(2) it was the means of bringing the sinner himself to a willingness to be reconciled - furnishing the strongest possible appeal to him; leading him to reflect on the love of his Creator, and showing him his own guilt and danger. No means ever used to produce reconciliation between two alienated parties has had so much tenderness and power as those which God has adopted in the plan of salvation; and if the dying love of the Son of God fails to lead the sinner back to God, everything else will fail. The phrase "the body of his flesh" means, the body of flesh which he assumed in order to suffer in making an atonement. The reconciliation could not have been effected but by his assuming such a body, for his divine nature could not so suffer as to make atonement for sins.

To present you - That is, before God. The object of the atonement was to enable him to present the redeemed to God freed from sin, and made holy in his sight. The whole work had reference to the glories of that day when the Redeemer and the redeemed will stand before God, and he shall present them to his Father as completely recovered from the ruins of the fall.

Holy - Made holy, or made free from sin; compare Luke 20:36.

And unblameable - Not that in themselves they will not be deserving of blame, or will not be unworthy, but that they will be purified from their sins. The word used here - ἄμωμος amōmos - means, properly "spotless, without blemish;" see Ephesians 1:4, note; Ephesians 5:27, note; Hebrews 9:4, note. It is applied to a lamb, 1 Peter 1:19; to the Savior, Hebrews 9:14, and to the church, Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 5:27; Jde 1:24; Revelation 14:5. It does not elsewhere occur. When the redeemed enter heaven, all their sins will have been taken away; not a spot of the deep dye of inquiry will remain on their souls; Revelation 1:5; Revelation 7:14.

And unreproveable in his sight - There will be none to accuse them before God; or they will be free from all accusation. The law will not accuse them - for the death of their Redeemer has done as much to honor it as their own punishment would have done; God will not accuse them - for he has freely forgiven them; their consciences will not accuse them - for their sins will all have been taken away, and they will enjoy the favor of God as if they had not sinned; holy angels will not accuse them - for they will welcome them to their society; and even Satan will not accuse them, for he will have seen that their piety is sincere, and that they are truly what they profess to be; compare the notes at Romans 8:33-34.

22. In the body of his flesh—the element in which His reconciling sufferings had place. Compare Col 1:24, "afflictions of Christ in my flesh" (1Pe 2:24). Angels who have not a "body of flesh" are not in any way our reconciling mediators, as your false teachers assert, but He, the Lord of angels, who has taken our flesh, that in it He might atone for our fallen manhood.

through death—rather as Greek, "through His death" (which could only take place in a body like ours, of flesh, Heb 2:14). This implies He took on Him our true and entire manhood. Flesh is the sphere in which His human sufferings could have place (compare Col 1:24; Eph 2:15).

to present you—(Eph 5:27). The end of His reconciling atonement by death.

holy—positively; and in relation to God.

unblamable … unreprovable—negatively. "Without blemish" (as the former Greek word is translated as to Jesus, our Head, 1Pe 1:19) in one's self. Irreproachable (the Greek for the second word, one who gives no occasion for his being brought to a law court) is in relation to the world without. Sanctification, as the fruit, is here treated of; justification, by Christ's reconciliation, as the tree, having preceded (Eph 1:4; 5:26, 27; Tit 2:14). At the same time, our sanctification is regarded here as perfect in Christ, into whom we are grafted at regeneration or conversion, and who is "made of God unto us (perfect) sanctification" (1Co 1:30; 1Pe 1:2; Jude 1): not merely progressive sanctification, which is the gradual development of the sanctification which Christ is made to the believer from the first.

in his sight—in God's sight, at Christ's appearing.

In the body of his flesh through death; the means whereby their reconciliation to God was purchased, (which they had particularly applied by faith, Colossians 1:4), was the sacrifice of that fleshy (not fantastical) body which Christ had assumed, subject to the condition of an animal life, being capable of suffering and mortal, (not refined and immortal, as after his resurrection, Romans 5:10 1 Corinthians 15:44, 53), 2 Corinthians 5:14 Philippians 2:16, with Hebrews 10:5,10 1 Peter 2:24 1 Peter 3:18. Christ’s death was not only for our good, but in our stead thereby offering himself to God, he satisfied Divine justice, and his sacrifice, giving himself for us, was a sacrifice of a sweet smell to God, Ephesians 5:2. To present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight; before whom believers cannot make themselves to stand holy, but Christ doth upon the account of his sacrifice for them; so that through the veil of his flesh, Hebrews 10:19,20, God doth look upon such as having neither spot nor wrinkle, without blame or blemish: see Ephesians 1:4 5:27. Unto whom Christ is made righteousness, he is also made sanctification, 1 Corinthians 1:30. Those who are washed are sanctified, 1 Corinthians 6:11. The end of reconciliation is restoration or sanctification, Luke 1:74,75 2 Corinthians 5:15 Titus 2:14 1 Peter 2:24; inchoatively here, with a perfection of parts, Hebrews 13:21, and consummatively hereafter, with a perfection of degrees, 1 Corinthians 13:10 Ephesians 4:13 Philippians 3:11,12. In the body of his flesh through death,.... Or "through his death", as the Alexandrian copy and some others, and all the Oriental versions, read. These words express the means by which that reconciliation was made, which in the virtue and efficacy of it was applied particularly to these Colossians at their conversion whereby their minds were actually reconciled to God, as "in" or "by the body of his flesh"; that is, by the offering up of his body on the accursed tree, in which he bore the sins of his people, and made reconciliation for them: and it is so called either to distinguish it from his mystical and spiritual body the church, of which he is the head before spoken of; or from his glorious and immortal body, as now raised and exalted at God's right hand; and to denote the truth of his human body, that it was a real fleshly body, consisting of flesh and blood as ours does, and the same with ours, and not an aerial, celestial bony, or a mere phantom; and also to signify the infirmity and mortality of it, being, excepting sin, in all points like to ours, and subject to death; and that it was in that body his Father prepared for him, and he assumed; and as he was clothed with it in the days of his flesh, or mortal state, that he made reconciliation for the sins of his people, and that "through death" in it; even the death of the cross, by which he bore the penalty of the law, the curse of it, made satisfaction to justice, obtained life, abolished death, and destroyed him that had the power of it, and fixed a sure and lasting peace for all his saints; his end in which was,

to present you holy and unblamable, and unreproveable in his sight. This presentation of the saints by Christ is either in his own sight, "before himself", as the Arabic version reads it; and is here in this present state, they being considered by him both as sanctified and as justified; he taking delight in the graces of his Spirit, and the exercise of them on himself, though imperfect, and in them as clothed with his spotless righteousness, in which they are perfectly comely, all fair, and without spot: or in the latter day glory, the New Jerusalem church state; when the church will be as a bride prepared for her husband, will be brought into his presence in raiment of needlework, in fine linen clean and white, the righteousness of the saints, and be presented to himself a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; or in the ultimate glory, when all the saints shall be for ever with him, continually before him, and in his sight; which is what his heart was set upon from everlasting, which he had in view in his sufferings and death, and still has in his prayers and preparations: or else this presentation is what has been or will be made before his Father, and in his sight; and which was partly done, when he gathered together all the elect in himself, and represented them on the cross, in the body of his flesh; and partly is now doing in heaven, where he appears in the presence of God for them, bears their names on his breastplate, presents their persons and their cases; and especially will be done at the last day, when he will deliver up the kingdom to the Father, and say, lo, I and the children thou hast given me: and who will be presented "holy" by him; he being their sanctification, and they having all their sins expiated by his sacrifice, and their persons washed and cleansed in his blood, and their hearts sanctified by his Spirit; which sanctification though it is imperfect in this life, yet will be completed by the author of it at death; without perfect holiness no man shall see God, or be presented in his sight: and this is in consequence of the death of Christ and reconciliation by it and a fruit of electing grace, by which persons are chosen in Christ, that they should be holy and without blame; and as here, "unblamable and unreproveable": as they are, not now in themselves, but in Christ, as arrayed with his robe of righteousness and garments of salvation, being all glorious within, and their clothing of wrought gold, in which they will be introduced and presented to himself, and to his Father, faultless, with exceeding joy, and stand so before the throne, and that to all eternity.

In the body of his {p} flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

(p) In that fleshly body, to show us that his body was not an unreal body, but a real one.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Colossians 1:22. Ἐν τῷ σώματι κ.τ.λ.] that, by means of which they have been reconciled; corresponding to the διʼ αὐτοῦ and διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ σταυροῦ αὐτοῦ of Colossians 1:20 : in the body of His flesh by means of death. Since God is the reconciling subject, we are not at liberty, with Elzevir, Scholz, and others, to read αὑτοῦ (with the spiritus asper), which would not be justified, even though Christ were the subject. We have further to note: (1) διὰ τ. θανάτου informs us whereby the being reconciled ἐν τῷ σώματι τ. σ. αὐ. was brought about, namely, by the death occurring, without which the reconciliation would not have taken place in the body of Christ. (2) Looking to the concrete presentation of the matter, and because the procuring element is subsequently brought forward specially and on its own account by διά, the ἐν is not, with Erasmus and many others, to be taken as instrumental, but is to be left as local; not, however, in the sense that Christ accomplished the ἀποκαταλλάσσειν in His body, which was fashioned materially like ours (Hofmann, comp. Calvin and others, including Bleek)—which, in fact, would amount to the perfectly self-evident point, that it took place in His corporeally-human form of being,—but, doubtless, especially as διὰ τοῦ θανάτου follows, in the sense, that in the body of Christ, by means of the death therein accomplished, our reconciliation was objectively realized, which fact of salvation, therefore, inseparably associated itself with His body; comp. ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου, Colossians 1:24, see also 1 Peter 2:24 and Huther in loc. The conception of substitution, however, though involved in the thing (in the ἱλαστήριον), is not to be sought in ἐν (in opposition to Böhmer and Baumgarten-Crusius). (3) The reason for the intentional use of the material description: “in the body which consisted of His flesh” (comp. Colossians 2:11; Sir 23:16), is to be sought in the apologetic interest of antagonism to the false teachers, against whom, however, the charge of Docetism, possibly on the ground of Colossians 2:23, can the less be proved (in opposition to Beza, Balduin, Böhmer, Steiger, Huther, and Dalmer), as Paul nowhere in the epistle expressly treats of the material Incarnation, which he would hardly have omitted to do in contrast to Docetism (comp. 1 John). In fact, the apostle found sufficient occasion for writing about the reconciliation as he has done here and in Colossians 1:20, in the faith in angels on the part of his opponents, by which they ascribed the reconciling mediation with God in part to those higher spiritual beings (who are without σῶμα τῆς σαρκός). Other writers have adopted the view, without any ground whatever in the connection, that Paul has thus written in order to distinguish the real body of Christ from the spiritual σῶμα of the church (Bengel, Michaelis, Storr, Olshausen). The other σῶμα of Christ, which contrasts with His earthly body of flesh (Romans 1:3; Romans 8:3), is His glorified heavenly body, Php 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:47 ff. References, however, such as Calvin, e.g., has discovered (“humile, terrenum et infirmitatibus multis obnoxium corpus”), or Grotius (“tantas res perfecit instrumento adeo tenui;” comp. also Estius and others), are forced upon the words, in which the form of expression is selected simply in opposition to spiritualistic erroneous doctrines. Just as little may we import into the simple historical statement of the means διὰ τοῦ θανάτου, with Hofmann, the ignominy of shedding His blood on the cross, since no modal definition to that effect is subjoined or indicated.

παραστῆσαι ὑμᾶς κ.τ.λ.] Ethical definition of the object aimed at in the ἀποκατηλλ.: ye have been reconciled … in order to present you, etc. The presenting subject is therefore the subject of ἀποκατηλλ., so that it is to be explained: ἵνα παραστήσητε ὑμᾶς, ut sisteretis vos, and therefore this continuation of the discourse is by no means awkward in its relation to the reading ἀποκατηλλάγητε (in opposition to de Wette). We should be only justified in expecting ἑαυτούς (as Huther suggests) instead of ὑμᾶς (comp. Romans 12:1) if (comp. Romans 6:13; 2 Timothy 2:15) the connection required a reflexive emphasis. According to the reading ἀποκατήλλαξεν the sense is ut sisteret vos, in which case, however, the subject would not be Christ (Hofmann), but, as in every case since εὐδόκησε in Colossians 1:19, God.

The point of time at which the παραστ. is to take place (observe the aorist) is that of the judgment, in which they shall come forth holy, etc., before the Judge. Comp. Colossians 1:28, and on Ephesians 5:27. This reference (comp. Bähr, Olshausen, Bleek) is required by the context in Colossians 1:23, where the παραστῆσαι κ.τ.λ. is made dependent on continuance in the faith as its condition; consequently there cannot be meant the result already accomplished by the reconciliation itself, namely, the state of δικαιοσύνη entered upon through it (so usually, including Hofmann). The state of justification sets in at any rate, and unconditionally, through the reconciliation; but it may be lost again, and at the Parousia will be found subsisting only in the event of the reconciled remaining constant to the faith, by means of which they have appropriated the reconciliation, Colossians 1:23.

ἁγίους κ.τ.λ.] does not represent the subjects as sacrifices (Romans 12:1), which would not consist with the fact that Christ is the sacrifice, and also would not be in harmony with ἀνεγκλ.; it rather describes without figure the moral holiness which, after the justification attained by means of faith, is wrought by the Holy Spirit (Romans 7:6; Romans 8:2; Romans 8:9, et al.), and which, on the part of man, is preserved and maintained by continuance in the faith (Colossians 1:23). The three predicates are not intended to represent the relation “erga Deum, respectu vestri, and respectu proximi” (Bengel, Bähr), since, in point of fact, ἀμώμους (blameless, Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 5:27; Herod, ii. 177; Plat. Rep. p. 487 A: οὐδʼ ἂν ὁ Μῶμος τό γε τοιοῦτον μέμψαιτο) no less than ἀνεγκλ. (reproachless, 1 Corinthians 1:8) points to an external judgment: but the moral condition is intended to be described with exhaustive emphasis positively (ἁγίους) and negatively (ἀμώμ. and ἀνεγκλ.). The idea of the moral holiness of the righteous through faith is thoroughly Pauline; comp. not only Ephesians 2:10, Titus 2:14; Titus 3:8, but also such passages as Romans 6:1-23; Romans 8:4 ff.; Galatians 5:22-25; 1 Corinthians 9:24 ff.; 2 Corinthians 11:2, et al.

κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ] refers to Christ,[58] to His judicial appearance at the Parousia, just as by the previous αὐτοῦ after ΣΑΡΚΌς Christ also was meant. The usual reference to God (so Huther, de Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, Ewald, Bleek) is connected with the reading ἀποκατήλλαξεν taken as so referring; comp. Judges 1:24; Ephesians 1:4. The objection that ΚΑΤΕΝΏΠΙΟΝ elsewhere occurs only in reference to God, is without force; for that this is the case in the few passages where the word is used, seems to be purely accidental, since ἐνώπιον is also applied to Christ (2 Timothy 2:14), and since in the notion itself there is nothing opposed to this reference. The frequent use of the expression “before God” is traceable to the theocratically national currency of this conception, which by no means excludes the expression “before Christ.” So ἔμπροσθεν is also used of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 2:19. Comp. 2 Corinthians 5:10 : ἜΜΠΡΟΣΘΕΝ ΤΟῦ ΒΉΜΑΤΟς ΤΟῦ ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ, which is a commentary on our κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ; see also Matthew 25:32.

[58] So also Holtzmann, p. 47, though holding in favour of the priority of Ephesians 1:4, that the sense requires a reference to God, although syntactically the reference is made to Christ. But, in fact, the one is just as consistent with the sense as the other.

REMARK.

The proper reference of παραστῆσαι κ.τ.λ. to the judgment, as also the condition appended in Colossians 1:22-23. THEIR RECONCILIATION WILL RESULT IN THE PRESENTATION OF THEMSELVES AS BLAMELESS BEFORE GOD, IF THEY ARE STEADFAST IN THE GOSPEL THEY HAVE HEARD, WHICH IS NO OTHER THAN THAT PREACHED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.22. in the body] Cp. for this word in a similar connexion Romans 7:4; Hebrews 10:10. And see Matthew 26:26 (and parallels); 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 11:27; 1 Peter 2:24. In all these passages the thought is of the blessed Body not generally, as regarding the Incarnation, but particularly, as regarding the Propitiation. “He partook of flesh and blood, that by means of death he might … deliver” (Hebrews 2:14-15).—The phrase “in the body” has relation to the Union of the Redeemer and redeemed. His dying work actually availed for them as they became “members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones” (Ephesians 5:30).

of his flesh] His “natural” Body, as distinguished from His “mystical” or non-literal Body, the Church. It has been thought that these words aim at the Docetic, or phantasm, heresy; the belief that the Body of the Lord was but a semblance. But Lightfoot observes that Docetism does not appear in history till later than St Paul’s time[81], and that were it otherwise the phrase here is too passing for the supposed purpose.

[81] Jerome however (adv. Lucif., § 23) says that the “Lord’s Body was said to be a phantasm” “while the Apostles were yet in Judæa” (Apostolis adhuc apud Judæam).

through death] Better, perhaps, having regard to mss., through His death. See note on “in the body,” just above, and “the blood of His crossColossians 1:20.—The mysterious glory of the Atoning Death, dealt with as the central topic of teaching in Romans and Galatians, is never far from the foreground in these later Epistles, though their main work is to unfold other aspects of the truth. Cp. e.g. Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:16; Ephesians 5:2; Ephesians 5:25; Php 2:8; Php 3:10; Php 3:18; below, Colossians 2:14.

Here probably ends the parenthesis indicated in the last note on Colossians 1:21.

to present you] The construction is continuous with, “It pleased [the Father] … to reconcile … all things … and you” (Colossians 1:19-21), supposing our view of a parenthesis of the words just before these to be right. (Otherwise, the construction is continuous with the “He reconciled” of the A.V. in Colossians 1:21.)—The infinitive is illative, carrying out into details of purpose the previous statement. The Father was “pleased to reconcile them” so that His purpose for them was to “present them to Himself” (see Ephesians 5:27 for similar language about the work of the Son), in the great day of triumph and welcome (2 Corinthians 4:14), when the “justified” shall be the “glorified” (Romans 8:30).

holy and unblameable and unreproveable] holy, and without blemish, and unaccusable. Does this mean, spiritually perfect as to their condition, or judicially perfect as to their position? We may perhaps reply, both; for in both respects the glorified will be complete. But we think the main reference is to perfectness of acceptance in Christ, perfectness of “reconciliation” “in the body of His flesh through death.” The language of Romans 8:33 is much in point here; there the saints are “unaccusable” (“who shall accuse the elect of God?”) because Christ died, rose again, and intercedes. In His merits they are welcomed as He is welcomed Himself. See further our notes on Ephesians 2:4.—Meantime the concurrent and related prospect of the personal spiritual perfectness of the saints, as “Christ in them” is at length fully developed in the world of glory, lies close to the other reference.

in his sight] before Him. So Ephesians 1:4; and cp. Jude 24, “before His glory.”Colossians 1:22. Ἐν τῷ σώματι τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ, by the body of His flesh) By this appellation, taken as a whole, He is distinguished from the Church, which is called the body of Christ: and at the same time the body denotes the true and entire humanity of Christ, Romans 7:4. Flesh implies the capacity of suffering, and the suffering itself; Ephesians 2:15.—παραστῆσαι, to present) Ephesians 5:27.—ἁγίους, holy) towards God.—ἀμώμους, spotless) in respect of yourselves.—ἀνεγκλήτους, unreproveable) in respect of your neighbour.Verse 22. - In the body of his flesh (ver. 20; Colossians 2:11; Romans 8:3; Romans 7:4; 1 Timothy 3:10; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:1; Hebrews 2:14, 15; Hebrews 10:20; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7; Luke 24:39). With a significant emphasis, the material body of Christ is made the instrument of that reconciliation in the carrying out of which "his whole fulness" is engaged (vers. 19, 20); see note on "thought," ver. 21, and on "body," Colossians 2:23. The necessity of the double expression was shown by the fact that the Gnostic Marcion erased "of his flesh" from the text of this Epistle, and interpreted "the body" as "the Church;" Bengel and others suppose "of his flesh "to be added to prevent this mistake (see Tertullian, 'Against Marcion,' 5:19). This phrase was the crux of Docetism, whose principles were indeed implicitly contained in the Alexandrine-Jewish philosophy with its contempt for matter and the physical life, which was now first beginning to leaven the Church. Body is antithetical to soul: flesh to spirit. The former is individual and concrete, the actual physical organism; the latter denotes the material of which it consists, the bodily nature in its essence and characteristics (comp. note on ver. 11; and see Cremer's 'Lexicon' on these words). "In the body" is not "by the body," nor "during his earthly life" (as though opposed to "out of the body," 2 Corinthians 5:8; 2 Corinthians 12:3), but "as incarnate." The Epistle to the Hebrews expands the thought of our Epistle in its own way in Hebrews 2:14-18; Hebrews 10:5-10. That reconciliation is through the (or, his) death (Romans 3:25; Romans 4:25; Romans 5:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 9:15, 16; John 11:51, 52; John 10:11; Revelation 1:18; Revelation 2:8) is the fundamental axiom of the gospel (ver. 5), already implied in vers. 14 and 20. And the atoning death presupposes the Incarnation (Hebrews 2:14). The two foregoing phrases belong grammatically to ver. 21. To present you holy and without blemish and unreprovable before him (ver. 28; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Romans 2:16; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 4:14; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Acts 17:31); before "Christ" (ver. 19), who is "Judge" (John 5:22, 23) as well as "King" and "Redeemer" (vers. 13, 14): this also belongs to his fulness. He will "himself present the Church to himself" (Ephesians 5:27, Revised Text; also 2 Corinthians 4:14). In this presentation his redeeming work culminates (comp. Philippians 1:6, 10; Philippians 2:16; and, in view of the connection of vers. 22 and 23, 1 Corinthians 1:6-9). So, in general, Meyer and Alford. Ellicott and Lightfoot refer to God's present approbations, quoting Ephesians 1:4, a parallel much less close than ver. 27, and supposing "God" the subject of the verb (see note on ver. 19). "Holy erga Deum; without blemish respectu vestri; unreprovable respectu proximi" (Bengel). (On "holy," see note, ver. 2; also Colossians 3:12.) "Apropos is not "without blame," but "without blemish," "immaculate" (Lightfoot, R.V.; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 5:27; Philippians 2:15: comp. Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19). In the LXX it is the equivalent of the Hebrew tamim ("integer"), "faultless" in bodily condition or in moral character. "Unreprovable," as a judicial term ("without charge that can be preferred"), points to the judgment day, and hence is wanting in Ephesians 1:4 (comp. 1 Corinthians 1:8; Romans 8:33, 34; 1 Timothy 3:10; Titus 1:6, 7). Body of His flesh

Which consisted of flesh; without which there could have been no death (see next clause).

To present (παραστῆσαι)

Purpose of the reconciliation. Compare Romans 8:30. See on shewed himself, Acts 1:3. Compare Romans 12:1, where it is used of presenting a sacrifice.

Holy, unblamable, unreprovable (ἁγίους, ἀμώμους, ἀνεγκλήτους)

Holy, see on saints, Acts 26:10; see on Revelation 3:7. The fundamental idea of the word is separation unto God and from worldly defilement. Unblamable, Rev. much better, without blemish. Compare Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 5:27; and see on 1 Peter 1:19, and see on blemishes, 2 Peter 2:13. Unreprovable, not only actually free from blemish, but from the charge of it. See on 1 Corinthians 1:8, and compare 1 Timothy 6:14.

In His sight (κατεώπιον αὐοτῦ)

Rev., before Him. Him refers to God, not Christ. Whether the reference is to God's future judgment or to His present approval, can hardly be determined by the almost unexceptional usage of κατενώπιον before, in the latter sense, as is unquestionably the case in Ephesians 1:4. The simple ἐνώπιον before, is used in the former sense, Luke 12:9. Ἔμπροσθεν before, occurs in both senses. The reference to the future judgment seems the more natural as marking the consummation of the redemptive work described in Colossians 1:20-22. Compare 1 Thessalonians 3:13, and Ephesians 5:27, which corresponds with the figure of the bride, the Lamb's wife, in Revelation 21:9 sqq. This view is further warranted by the following words, if ye continue, etc., the final presentation being dependent on steadfastness.

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