Colossians 3:10
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
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(10-17) In these verses we have the corresponding positive exhortation, connected with the idea of resurrection with Christ, through which we put on the new man, holding Christ to be our all in all. Of the new nature there are two marks—towards man love in all its various forms, towards God thanksgiving and living to His glory.

(10) The new man, which is (being) renewed.—There are here the same two different words which are found in the parallel passage. (See Notes on Ephesians 4:22-24). “The new man” is here properly the youthful man “which is renewed,” that is, to which is given a nature really fresh and new.

3:5-11 It is our duty to mortify our members which incline to the things of the world. Mortify them, kill them, suppress them, as weeds or vermin which spread and destroy all about them. Continual opposition must be made to all corrupt workings, and no provision made for carnal indulgences. Occasions of sin must be avoided: the lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world; and covetousness, which is idolatry; love of present good, and of outward enjoyments. It is necessary to mortify sins, because if we do not kill them, they will kill us. The gospel changes the higher as well as the lower powers of the soul, and supports the rule of right reason and conscience, over appetite and passion. There is now no difference from country, or conditions and circumstances of life. It is the duty of every one to be holy, because Christ is a Christian's All, his only Lord and Saviour, and all his hope and happiness.Which is renewed in knowledge - In Ephesians 4:24, it is said that the new man is "created after God in righteousness and true holiness." In this place it is added that to the renewed soul knowledge is imparted, and it is made in that respect as man was when he was first created. This passage, in connection with Ephesians 4:24, proves that before man fell he was endowed with "righteousness, true holiness, and knowledge." The knowledge here referred to, is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of God. Man was acquainted with his Creator. He resembled him in his capacity for knowledge. He was an intelligent being, and he had an acquaintance with the divine existence and perfections; compare the notes at Romans 5:12. But especially had he that knowledge which is the fear of the Lord; that knowledge of God which is the result of love. Piety, in the Scriptures, is often represented as the "knowledge" of God; see the notes at John 17:3; compare the notes at Ephesians 3:19.

After the image of him that created him - So as to resemble God. In knowledge he was made in the likeness of his Maker.%%

10. the new man—(See on [2425]Eph 4:23). Here (neon) the Greek, means "the recently-put-on nature"; that lately received at regeneration (see on [2426]Eph 4:23, 24).

which is renewed—Greek, "which is being renewed" (anakainottmenou); namely, its development into a perfectly renewed nature is continually progressing to completion.

in knowledge—rather as the Greek, "unto perfect knowledge" (see on [2427]Col 1:6; [2428]Col 1:9, 10). Perfect knowledge of God excludes all sin (Joh 17:3).

after the image of him that created him—namely, of God that created the new man (Eph 2:10; 4:24). The new creation is analogous to the first creation (2Co 4:6). As man was then made in the image of God naturally, so now spiritually. But the image of God formed in us by the Spirit of God, is as much more glorious than that borne by Adam, as the Second Man, the Lord from heaven, is more glorious than the first man. Ge 1:26, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." The "image" is claimed for man, 1Co 11:7; the "likeness," Jas 3:9. Origen [On First Principles, 3:6] taught, the image was something in which all were created, and which continued to man after the fall (Ge 9:6). The likeness was something towards which man was created, that he might strive after it and attain it. Trench thinks God in the double statement (Ge 1:26), contemplates both man's first creation and his being "renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him."

And have put on the new man: (To see number 1: See Poole on "Colossians 3:9").

2. Vivification, or renovation; this he connecteth with the former, continuing the metaphor. As in natural generation the expulsion of the old form is attended with the introduction of the new, so in spiritual regeneration, having put off the old Adam they had put on the new, i.e. Christ, not only sacramentally, Colossians 2:12,13 Ga 3:27, but really, being new creatures in Christ Jesus, 2 Corinthians 5:17 Ephesians 2:10, renewed in the inward man, Romans 7:22 2 Corinthians 4:16; See Poole on "Ephesians 3:16", See Poole on "Ephesians 4:24"; and endowed with a new frame of heart and a new spirit, Ezekiel 11:19 John 3:5,6, new qualities and affections.

Which is renewed in knowledge; the understanding being savingly enlightened, and the will powerfully inclined by the victorious working of the Spirit, Ephesians 1:18-20; See Poole on "Ephesians 4:23", with Philippians 2:13 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14; and brought to more than a speculative, even to a lively and effectual knowledge, 1Jo 2:3.

After the image of him that created him; agreeable to the impress of him that had new framed or created them in Christ Jesus, 1 Corinthians 15:49 1 Peter 1:15,16, by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, Titus 3:5: for as the natural image of God consisted in knowledge and righteousness; so it was requsite that the spiritual image restored by grace should consist in the rectifying of the faculties of the soul, the understanding with spiritual knowledge, and the will with a spiritual inclination to embrace the things that please God; in communion with whom sanctified souls do take in hand a new course of life, and move therein, in a spiritually natural way.

And have put on the new man,.... Concerning which, and the putting it on; see Gill on Ephesians 4:24,

which is renewed in knowledge; this man, or principle of grace in the soul, is a new one, which never was there before; and there is a daily renovation of it in the spirit of the mind, by the Spirit of God; for as the outward man decays, the inward man, which is the same with this new man, is renewed day by day, increases in holiness and righteousness, grows in grace, and particularly in "knowledge"; light and knowledge of a man's self, of his lost state and condition by nature, of his need of Christ, and of his salvation, is what appears at the first formation of this new man; and the daily renovation of him lies in an increase of spiritual, experimental, and saving knowledge of God, and Christ, and divine things; and indeed, until a man becomes a new creature, he neither knows, nor is he capable of knowing, the things of the Spirit of God; so that this new man, or principle of grace, begins with spiritual knowledge, and is formed in order to it, and its increase lies in it:

after the image of him that created him; the new man; for this is a creation work, and so not man's, but God's; and is made not after the image of the first man, no not as innocent, and much less as fallen; but after the image of Christ, to which the elect of God are predestinated to he conformed, and which is stamped in regeneration; and more and more appears by every transforming view of Christ, and will be perfected in heaven, when they shall see him as he is, and be perfectly like him, who is not only the pattern, but the Creator of it, even the author and finisher of faith.

And have put on the new man, {8} which is renewed in {e} knowledge after the image of him that created him:

(8) Newness of life consists in knowledge which transforms man to the image of God his maker, that is to say to the sincerity and pureness of the whole soul.

(e) He speaks of an effectual knowledge.

Colossians 3:10. The positive aspect of the transformation (regeneration) wrought by God through conversion to Christ; and since ye have put on, etc.

τὸν νέον] The collective new Christian-ethical condition, conceived as personified and set forth objectively, so that it appears as becoming individually appropriated by the putting on. It might, with equal propriety, be designated from the point of view of time as the homo recens in contrast to the decayed and worn-out nature of the pre-Christian moral condition (comp. the νέον φύραμα in 1 Corinthians 5:7), as from the point of view of the new, altogether different, and previously non-existent quality as the homo novus. It is the former here,[149] the latter in Ephesians 4:23 (comp. also Colossians 2:15), where καινὸς ἄνθρ. is used. See regarding the difference between the two words, Tittmann, Synon. p. 59 ff. The specification of quality is then further added by τὸν ἀνακαινούμ. κ.τ.λ. The notion of not growing old (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Erasmus) is not implied in νέον.

τὸν ἀνακαινούμενον] The homo recens, so far, namely, as the converted person has appropriated it as his moral individuality, is not something ready-made and finished, but (comp. 2 Corinthians 4:16) in a state of development (through the Holy Spirit, Romans 7:6; Romans 8:2; Titus 3:5), by means of which there is produced in him a new character and quality specifically different from that of the old man. Comp. Romans 12:2. Hence the present participle, which is neither to be taken as imperfect (B.-Crusius), nor as renewing itself (Bleek); and ἀνα does not refer to the relation of re-establishment,[150] namely, of the justitia originalis (since τοῦ κτίσαντος does not directly mean the first creation), but only to the old constitution, the transformation and new-moulding (renewal) of which forms the process of development of the νέος ἄνθρωπος. Comp. Winer, de verb. c. praepos. compos. p. 10 f. The καινότης of the νέος ἄνθρ. is relative. In Greek authors ἀνακαινόω is not found, but ἀνακαινίζω is (Isocr. Areop. 3, App. 2, p. 13; Plut. Marcell. 6), Hebrews 6:6; also in the LXX.

εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν] is to be taken along with the following κατʼ εἰκ. τ. κτίσ. αὐτόν, and with this expresses the end aimed at by the ἀνακαινοῦσθαι. Through the latter there is to be produced a knowledge, which accords with the image of God. Comp. Beza. God, as respects His absolute knowledge, i.e. a knowledge absolutely adequate to its objects, is the model, with which the relative knowledge of the regenerate to be attained in the course of their being renewed, i.e. their increasing penetration into divine truth, is to be accordant. And the more it is so—the more fully it has developed itself in accordance with the divine ideal—the more is it also the determining power and the living practical agent of the whole conduct, so that all those vices enumerated in Colossians 3:8 are excluded by it, and even become morally impossible. Hofmann rightly takes κατʼ εἰκ. τοῦ κτίσ. αὐτόν as the more precise description of ἐπίγνωσιν, though defining the sense to this effect, that the new man “everywhere looks to, and estimates everything by the consideration, whether he finds the stamp of this image.” But, in that case, an object (πάντων) would necessarily stand with ἐπίγνωσιν, and the idea of ἀνακρίνειν or δοκιμάζειν would be substituted for that of ἐπίγνωσις. The κατʼ εἰκόνα κ.τ.λ. is usually connected with ἀνακαινούμ. and εἰς ἐπίγν. taken by itself, in connection with which Steiger, Huther, de Wette, and Bleek (comp. also Ewald) arbitrarily adopt the view, that the prominent mention of the knowledge was occasioned by a polemic opposition to the false teachers and their tendencies to false gnosis. But how abrupt, isolated, and indefinite would the εἰς ἐπίγν. thus stand! No; the subsequent κατʼ εἰκόνα κ.τ.λ. just serves as a more precise characteristic definition for the—in theory and practice so extremely important—point of Christian knowledge. The expression of this definition in this particular way comes very naturally to Paul, because he is speaking of the homo recens creatus, in connection with which, after the analogy of the creation of Adam, the idea of the image of God naturally floated before his mind,—the image which that first-created man had, and which the recens creatus is to attain and present by way of copy in that towards which he is being developed, in the ἐπίγνωσις. This development is only completed in the αἰὼν μέλλων, 1 Corinthians 13:12; for its aim before the Parousia, see Ephesians 4:13 f.

τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτόν] A description of God, harmonizing with the conception of the νέος ἄνθρωπος, who is God’s creature. Comp. on Ephesians 4:24. It is erroneous, with Chrysostom, Theophylact, Ewald, and others, to understand Christ[151] as referred to; for creating is invariably represented in Scripture as the work of God (even in Colossians 1:16), and especially here where a parallel is instituted with the creation of Adam after God’s image. Comp. Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:24. Olshausen, indeed, understands τοῦ κτίσ. αὐτ. to mean God, but would have the image of God, in accordance with Colossians 1:15, taken of Christ, who is the archetype of man. There is no ground for this view in the context, which, on the contrary, reminds us simply of Genesis 1:27; comp. κατὰ Θεόν, in Ephesians 4:24, a simpler expression, which has found here a significant more precise definition out of the riches of the apostle’s store of ideas (not a fanciful variation, as Holtzmann thinks) in vivid reproduction.

αὐτόν] must refer to the νέος ἄνθρωπος, whom God has created by regeneration, not to τ. ἄνθρωπον alone (“which is the substance, on which the old and new qualities appear as accidents,” de Wette), as the orthodox explanation is forced to assume contrary to the text; see e.g. Calovius: “Per imaginem ejus, qui creavit ipsum, imago Dei, quae in prima creatione nobis concessa vel concreata est, intelligitur, ad quam nos renovamur, quaeque in nobis reparatur per Spiritum sanctum, quae ratione intellectus consistebat in cognitione Dei, ut ratione voluntatis in justitia et sanctitate, Ephesians 4:24. Per verbum itaque τοῦ κτίσαντος non nova creatio, sed vetus illa et primaeva intelligitur, quia in Adamo conditi omnes sumus ad imaginem Dei in cognitione Dei.” Rather, the divine creation of the new man had that primaevam creationem for its sacred-historical type, and is the work of salvation antitypically corresponding with it, which the Creator has done in Christ; hence also Paul has not written κτίζοντος (as Philippi, l.c. p. 376, thinks might have been expected), but κτίσαντος, comp. Colossians 1:24, Colossians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; also Jam 1:18.

[149] In the ethical sense Christians are, as it were, the νεολαία (Blomfield, Gloss. Pers. 674) of humanity.

[150] “Renovatus autem dicitur novus ille homo, quia novus quondam fuit in prima creatione,” Calovius. Comp. Steiger, Huther, de Wette, Philippi, Dogm. II. p. 375 ff., ed. 2, and many others. Thus we should have for the νέος ἄνθρωπος, not the conception of a nova creatura (καινὴ κτίσις, 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15), but that of a redintegrata creatura. But it is to a new life that the believer is regenerated, raised up, etc. by God. This new creation is not the redintegratio of the first, though it is its antitype, as Christ Himself, so far as in Him the new creation is founded and begun (how, see Romans 5:15; Romans 5:17-19; Romans 6:1 ff.), is the antitype of Adam (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45). Consequently this passage is only indirectly probative for the doctrine of the image of God as innate.

[151] So also Julius Müller, v. d. Sünde, II. p. 496, ed. 5; see, on the other hand, Ernesti, Urspr. der Sünde, II. p. 133 ff.

Colossians 3:10. τὸν νέον. In Ephesians 4:24 we have καινός, “fresh” (as opposed to “worn out”); νέος is new as opposed to old. The idea contained in κ. is here expressed by ἀνακ. Some (including Sod.) regard “the new man” as Christ, according to which “the old man” will be Adam. But this is negatived by the next verse, for if the new man is Christ, Χριστός would be a strange tautology. κτίς. is also against it, though we have μορφωθῇ Χ., Galatians 4:19. It is the regenerate self, regenerate, of course, because united with Christ.—ἀνακαινούμενον: “being renewed,” the present expressing the continuous process of renewal (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:16). There is no reference to a restoration to a former state.—εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν: not to be connected (as by Mey. and Hofm.) with κατʼ εἰκόνα, which would give a strange and obscure thought, but to be taken as the object of the renewal. The knowledge is ethical rather than theoretical in this connexion.—κατʼ εἰκόνα: to be taken with ἀνακαιν. There is a clear allusion to Genesis 1:26-28, the new self grows to be more and more the image of God. There may perhaps be a side reference to “ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” in εἰς ἐπίγ.—τοῦ κτίσαντος: i.e., God, not (as Chrys. and others) Christ. Some take κατʼ εἰκ. τ. κτ. α. to mean “according to Christ”. It is true that Christ is the image of God, but the parallel κατὰ Θεὸν, in Ephesians 4:24, makes this improbable, and we should have expected the article before εἰκ.

10. and have put on] See the last note but one. Cp. Ephesians 4:24; and Colossians 3:12 below, with note.

the new man] Practically, the new position of acceptance and the new spiritual power of the regenerated self; with a reference in the phrase to the believer’s connexion with “the Second Man,” Christ[85].

[85] In the Ignatian Epistles (Ep. ad Eph. c. xx.) occurs the phrase, “the dispensation of the New Man, even Christ.” If this was written as early as a.d. 110 it is an important comment here.

By union with Him his members become (be it said with reverence and caution) repetitions of Him the glorious Archetype. To come to be “in Him” is thus to “put on (Him as) the New Man,” in sharing His acceptance and His life and power. See further, our note on Ephesians 4:24.

is renewed] Lit. and better, is being renewed; a present not aorist participle.—In the parallel place in Eph. “the new man” “was created,” as a definite fact; here he is continuously “being renewed,” maintained as it were by a continuous creative act. (Cp. for the verb in a kindred context, 2 Corinthians 4:16.)—Practically, the thought is of the believer’s maintained union with His Lord, and his realization in that union of continued peace and spiritual power. As if the Head, for the member, were evermore “made new,” and so always newly reflected and as it were reproduced in the member.—Lightfoot compares, in contrast, Ephesians 4:22; “the old man is being corrupted, is decaying.”

in knowledge] Lit. and better, unto knowledge. The daily “renewal” is such as to result continually in the regenerate man’s spiritual vision of Christ, intimacy with Him, insight into His will.—On the word epignôsis, see on Colossians 1:9.

after the image of him that created him] I.e., so as to be like God, who “created,” constituted, the new creation as He did the old. Cp. the close parallel, Genesis 1:26-27; a passage no doubt in St Paul’s mind here.

The reference is to the Father, not the Son, as the Creator; cp. the parallel, Ephesians 4:22, “created after God;” and the place in Genesis. He is the eternal Original; “the new man” realizes his ideal in likeness to Him, generated by communion with Him in Christ.

Even here, we think, may be traced reverently an allusion to Christ as “the Second Man.” He, truly, is not “created” as to His Being and Person, which is necessary and eternal; but as Son of Man, and as Head of His Church, in respect of His Work and Office, Scripture represents Him as the willing Result of the Father’s will. In this respect He, as well as His followers in Him (Ephesians 2:10), “lives because of the Father” (John 6:57). But while this reference lies, as we think, in the depths of the passage, its manifest practical import is that the regenerate member of the blessed Head needs and receives daily “renewal by his Holy Spirit,” leading to a fuller knowledge of, and so a truer likeness to, the Father of Jesus Christ.

The suggestion that “the image” is in fact Christ, (so Chrysostom; cp. above Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4) is not likely in view of the parallel, Ephesians 4:24, with its simple phrase “according to God.” See Lightfoot’s note.

Colossians 3:10. Τὸν νέον τὸν ἀνακαινούμενον, the new man renewed) lb., Colossians 3:24, note.—εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν, to [or in] knowledge) of the truth (ch. Colossians 1:6; Colossians 1:9-10), by which all love of lying is destroyed.—κατʼ εἰκόνα, according to the image) This image consists in perfect truth.—τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτον, of Him that created him [viz. the new man]) i.e. of God, Ephesians 4:24 : compare ib., ch. Colossians 2:10. Regeneration is indicated by the word ‘creation,’ from which the image results.

Verse 10. - And having put on the new (man), which is being renewed unto (full) knowledge, after (the) image of him that created him (Ephesians 4:23, 24; Ephesians 2:15; Romans 6:4; Romans 7:6; Romans 8:1-4; Romans 13:12-14; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Colossians 1:9; Colossians 2:2, 3; Genesis 1:26-28; Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 12:10; 1 Peter 1:16; Romans 8:29). New (νέος) is "young," "of recent date" (compare the "once," "but now" of vers. 7, 8; also Colossians 1:5-8; 1 Peter 2:1, 2). whose birth was well remembered, and which presented so vivid a contrast to the "old man with his deeds." "Being renewed" (ἀνακαινούμενον, derived from the adjective καινός) sets forth the other side of this newness, its novelty of quality and condition (compare "newness of life," Romans 6:4). And this participle is in the present tense (continuous), while the former is in the aorist (historical). So the notions are combined of a new birth taking place once for all, and a new character in course of formation. In Ephesians 4:23, 24 these ideas are in the same order (see Trench's 'Synonyms'). "Full knowledge" was one purpose of this renewal, the purpose most necessary to be set before the Colossians. The nature and objects of this knowledge have been already specified (Colossians 1:6, 9, 27, 28; Colossians 2:2, 3, 9, 10: comp. Ephesians 1:18, 19; Ephesians 3:18, 19; Philippians 3:8-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; and on ἐπίγνωσις, see note, Colossians 1:6). "After (the) image" is clearly an allusion to Genesis 1:26-28; so in Ephesians 4:24 ("after God"). It is adverbial to "renewed," not to "knowledge." Man's renewal in Christ makes him what the Creator at first designed him to be, namely, his own image (compare note on "reconcile," Colossians 1:20). Chrysostom and others take "Christ" as "him that created," in view of Colossians 1:15, 16; but then it is said that all things "were created in... through... for Christ," not absolutely that Christ created them. But "the image of God after which" man was created and is now recreated, is seen in Christ (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 4:4; John 1:18). Colossians 3:10New (νέον)

See on Matthew 26:29. Compare Ephesians 5:24.

Is renewed (ἀνακαινούμενον)

Rev., better, giving the force of the present participle, is being renewed: in process of continuous renewal. The word καινός new, which enters into the composition of the verb, gives the idea of quality. Compare 2 Corinthians 4:16, and the contrast in Ephesians 4:22.

In knowledge (εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν)

Rev., correctly, unto knowledge, the end to which the renewal tended. Compare Ephesians 4:13.

After the image

Construe with renewed. Compare Ephesians 4:24, and see Genesis 1:26, Genesis 1:27.

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