Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) All in the name of the Lord Jesus.—Comp. here the more general exhortation of 1Corinthians 10:31, “Whether ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” This is the first principle of all godly life. The main object of all life, speculative or practical, is declared to be, not our own happiness or perfection, not the good of our fellow-men, but the “glory of God”—the carrying out of His will, and so manifesting His moral attributes. We are taught that if we “seek this first, all the other things shall be added unto us.” But here we have the principle, not only of godly life, but of Christian life. It does all “in the name of Christ,” that is, as conformed to His image, and so being His representative; it looks up thankfully to God our Father, but it is through Him, “having our sonship by adoption” through His all-sufficient mediation. Its desire is, not only that God may be glorified, but that “He may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1Peter 4:11). Once more we trace here the special and emphatic purpose of the Epistle.

Colossians 3:18 to Colossians 4:1 deals with the three great relations of life—between wives and husbands, children and parents, servants and masters. In this section we have the closest parallelism with the Epistle to the Ephesians (Ephesians 5:22 to Ephesians 6:9). But the treatment of the first relation is far briefer, having nothing to correspond to the grand and characteristic comparison of marriage to the union between Christ and the Church. Even in the second there is somewhat greater brevity and simplicity. The third is dwelt upon with marked coincidence of language, and at least equal emphasis. We can hardly doubt that the presence of Onesimus, the runaway slave, suggested this peculiar emphasis on the right relation between the slave and his master.

[It will only be necessary to note the few points in which this section differs notably from the parallel passage.]

3:12-17 We must not only do no hurt to any, but do what good we can to all. Those who are the elect of God, holy and beloved, ought to be lowly and compassionate towards all. While in this world, where there is so much corruption in our hearts, quarrels will sometimes arise. But it is our duty to forgive one another, imitating the forgiveness through which we are saved. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts; it is of his working in all who are his. Thanksgiving to God, helps to make us agreeable to all men. The gospel is the word of Christ. Many have the word, but it dwells in them poorly; it has no power over them. The soul prospers, when we are full of the Scriptures and of the grace of Christ. But when we sing psalms, we must be affected with what we sing. Whatever we are employed about, let us do every thing in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in believing dependence on him. Those who do all in Christ's name, will never want matter of thanksgiving to God, even the Father.And whatsoever ye do in word or deed - Whatever ye say or do - whether relating to temporal affairs or to religion. The command here extends to all that we do.

Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus - Do it all because he requires and commands it, and with a desire to honor him. His authority should be the warrant; his glory the aim of all our actions and words. See the general sentiment here expressed, fully illustrated in the notes at 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Giving thanks to God and the Father by him - Through him; or in his name. All our actions are to be accompanied with thanksgiving; Notes, Philippians 4:6. We are to engage in every duty, not only in the name of Christ, but with thankfulness for strength and reason; for the privilege of acting so that we may honor him; and with a grateful remembrance of the mercy of God that gave us such a Saviour to be an example and guide. He is most likely to do his duty well who goes to it with a heart overflowing with gratitude to God for his mercies, and he who is likely to perform his duties with the most cheerful fidelity, is he who has the deepest sense of the divine goodness in providing a Saviour for his lost and ruined soul; see the notes at 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

17. Literally, "And everything whatsoever ye do … do all," &c.; this includes words as well as deeds.

in the name of the Lord Jesus—as disciples called by His name as His, seeking His guidance and help, and desiring to act so as to gain His approval (Ro 14:8; 1Co 10:31; 2Co 5:15; 1Pe 4:11). Compare "in the Lord," Col 3:18, and "Christ is all," Col 3:11.

God and the Father—The oldest manuscripts omit "and," which seems to have crept in from Eph 5:20.

by him—Greek, "through Him" as the channel of His grace to us, and of our thanksgiving to Him (Joh 14:6, end).

And whatsoever ye do: here the apostle give a universal direction how in every capacity, both personal and relative, in every motion, a Christian may do all so as to find acceptance with God.

In word or deed; and that is in his expressions and actings, viz. comprehending his internal as well as external operations; his reasonings and resolutions within, as well as his motions without; the thoughts of his heart, as well as the words of his tongue and the works of his hand; to take (care as much as possible that all be

in the name of the Lord Jesus: elsewhere writing the same thing, the apostle adds Christ, Ephesians 5:20. Plato could say: Not only every word, but every thought, should take its beginning from God; but he understood nothing of the Mediator, of the love of him and the Father: but Christians know, as there is salvation in no other name, Acts 4:12, so there is no acceptance of their persons and performances in any other name than in his in whom they believe, Philippians 2:10 Hebrews 10:19,20 1Jo 5:13; and therefore in all their desires they are to respect him, John 14:13,14 15:3,16 16:23,26; looking for his authority and warrant, Matthew 18:18-20 Mark 11:9 1Jo 5:14; following his example, Matthew 11:29 16:24 John 13:15 1 Peter 2:21-24 1Jo 2:6; in all they set about, desiring strength from him, Psalm 71:17 Acts 4:7,10 1 Corinthians 15:10 Philippians 4:13 2 Timothy 2:1; living by faith upon him, Galatians 2:20 Hebrews 10:38 2 Peter 1:2,3; waiting upon him, worshipping and serving of him, according to his prescription, Micah 4:5 Matthew 28:19,20 Ac 2:42,43 2 Timothy 2:19; for his sake, Matthew 19:29 24:9 Acts 9:16 Revelation 2:3,13 3:8; to his honour and glory, Psalm 31:3 1 Corinthians 10:31 Revelation 4:9,11 5:12,13 11:13. Endeavouring to render hearty thanks unto God and the Father, i.e. to God the Father: the Syriac and Arabic do omit the conjunction copulative; however, it is to be understood expositively of God the Father of Christ, and our Father, who doth embrace us as his children.

By him; by or through Christ, Ephesians 5:20 Hebrews 13:15, the only Mediator. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,.... Whether in preaching the word of Christ, in hearing the Gospel, in singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and in conference and conversation with each other; or in whatsoever action, civil or religious throughout the whole life and conversation, in the performance of things natural, moral, and evangelical, relating to God or man, or one another, in the world or church:

do all in the name of the Lord Jesus; both in the strength of Christ, without whom nothing can be well said or done; and according to the mind and will of Christ declared in the Gospel, which is his name; and calling upon his name for assistance in the ministration of his word, administration of his ordinances, and in the performance of every duty, directing all to, and having solely in view his honour and glory:

giving thanks to God, and the Father by him; this shows, that singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, is a distinct thing from giving of thanks, mentioned in the preceding verse. The things for which thanks are to be given, are "all things"; and the time when, always, as in See Gill on Ephesians 5:20. The person to whom they are to be given is God the Father, the Father of our spirits, and of our mercies, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of us in him; and the person by whom they are to be given, is Christ, which is just and proper, since all mercies come from, and through him; nor is there any other way of bringing and offering the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to God; nor are they, nor can they be acceptable to God by, and through any other, but by him alone.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the {m} name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

(m) Call upon the name of Christ when you do it, or do it to Christ's praise and glory.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Colossians 3:17. The apostle having announced in Colossians 3:16 the first way in which the abundant indwelling of the word of Christ must manifest itself by ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ διδάσκοντεςπνευματικοῖς, and having set forth as the second the ἐν τῇ χάριτι ᾄδοντες κ.τ.λ., now adds the third, and that, indeed, as one embracing the entire conduct of life; the καί, and, attaches it to the two participial clauses in Colossians 3:16, not, however, introducing another participial mode of expression conformed to the foregoing, but leading over, through the verb to be supplied, into the direct form of discourse: And whatsoever ye do by word or by work, do all in the name of Jesus. The πᾶν ὅ, τι ἂν ποιῆτεἔργῳ is the absolute nominative, placed at the beginning with rhetorical emphasis, and syntactically independent. See Kühner, II. 1, p. 42; Winer, p. 534 [E. T. 7I8].

ἐν λόγῳ ἢ ἐν ἔργῳ] Comp. Aesch. Prom. 659: τί χρὴ δρῶντʼ ἢ λέγοντα δαίμοσιν πράσσειν φίλα. See Pflugk, ad Eur. Hec. 373: “Dictis factisque omnis continetur actio.” For instances of λόγος and ἔργον associated in that order and conversely, see Bornemann, ad Xen. Mem. ii. 3. 6; Lobeck, Paral, p. 64 f.

πάντα] again emphatically prefixed, not, however, taking up again the previous πᾶν, but rather: in the case of everything which is done by word or deed, all is to take place in the name of Jesus;[163] no element of the doing is to be out of this sphere! The imperative ποιεῖτε is to be supplied from the context. Comp. on Ephesians 5:21.

ἐν ὀνόμ.] Not: with invocation of (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Melanchthon, and others), but: so that the name is the holy moral element, in which the action proceeds, inasmuch, namely, as this name, as the sum of the faith which moulds the new life, fills the consciousness, and gives to the action its specific Christian quality and consecration. Ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ would not be substantially different. Comp. on Ephesians 5:20; Php 2:10; John 14:13. “Illum sapiat, illum sonet, illum spiret omnis vestra vita,” Erasmus. The ideal character of the requirement is misapprehended, when, with Cornelius a Lapide, it is lowered to a mere consilium. See, on the contrary, Calovius.

εὐχαρ. τῷ Θεῷ κ. τ. λ.] accompanying definition: whilst ye at the same time give thanks, etc. Comp. ἐν εὐχαριστίᾳ in Colossians 2:7, Colossians 4:2, Colossians 1:12; Php 4:6. In the apostle’s view, there belongs essentially to the devoutness of Christian life the self-expressing piety of thankfulness for all Christian bliss, in the consciousness, assurance, and experience of which one does everything in the name of Jesus. Since εὐχαρ. denotes thanksgiving, Grotius ought not to have taken the participle in a declaratory sense (“quid sit in nomine Christi omnia facere et loqui”); a misinterpretation, which Hofmann rightly rejects, but substitutes another explanation which neglects the verbal import of εὐχαριστεῖν: namely, that Paul declares the doing here required to be a thanksgiving, etc., doing, which is practical thanks. Εὐχαριστεῖν is never in the N. T. equivalent to χάριν ἀποδοῦναι, gratias referre.

πατρί] Father of Jesus.

διʼ αὐτοῦ] For Jesus, as the personal historical mediator of Messianic bliss through the work of atonement, is therewith for the Christian consciousness the mediator of thanksgiving; He it is, through whose benefit the Christian can and does give thanks. Comp. Romans 1:8; Romans 7:25, al. Hence in Ephesians 5:20 : ἐν ὀνόματι κ.τ.λ. Both the thought and expression were so habitually in use and belonged so essentially to the circumstances of the case, that the hypothesis of a contrast to the mediation of angels (Theodoret, Bengel, and many others, including Bähr) is unfounded, more especially seeing that the entire context has no polemical reference.

[163] Paul, as is well known, is fond of placing close beside each other different forms of πᾶς with different references. See Wilke, Rhetor, p. 381; comp. also on Php 4:12.Colossians 3:17. πᾶνἐργῷ: a nominative absolute.—πάντα is governed by ποιεῖτε (not ποιοῦντες, as Sod.), supplied from ποιῆτε.—εὐχαριστοῦντες. This is not something additional to actions done in the name of Christ; but these actions are themselves expressions of thankfulness.17. whatsoever ye do] See below Colossians 3:23 for the same phrase; and for similar precepts of holy absoluteness cp. Proverbs 3:6; 1 Corinthians 10:31. The Christian life is nothing less than the whole life of the Christian, lived “unto the Lord” (Romans 14:6-8); everything in it is related to Him.

in the name of the Lord Jesus] As it were quoting Him (to yourselves, and if need be to other men) as the Master (“Lord”) who sets the task and owns and uses the servant. On another reference of the same phrase see our note on Ephesians 5:20.

giving thanks] “always for all things,” adds Ephesians 5:20. The two parallels complement each other; the one Epistle more specially bids the Christian do God’s will, the other more specially bids Him love God’s will, and give thanks for it, in everything.

and the Father] “And” should probably be omitted.

by Him] The Mediator of our thanks, as of the Father’s gifts. Cp. Romans 1:8; Romans 16:27; Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 4:11.

“O God,” says Quesnel on this verse, “who is a Christian, if all our words and actions are to be a sacrifice of praise, offered to God through Jesus Christ as our Priest, Pontiff, Mediator; with Him as God’s true Victim; in Him as God’s Temple; on Him as God’s Altar; after Him as our Law and Model; under Him as our Master and King; in His spirit, purposes, motives, disposition, aim, as He is our Head?”Colossians 3:17. Ποιῆτε, ye do) The word is used in a wide sense, so as also to include the act of speaking.—πάντα, all things) viz. do ye.—ἐν ὀνόματι, in the name) so that it may be just the same as if Christ were doing it, Colossians 3:11; or at least that you may be able to prove all things to Christ [to do all things so as to gain His approval]. The man who can say, O Jesus Christ, I have done this in Thy name, certainly proves his conduct to Christ. In the name of Christ, i.e. for the sake of Christ: comp. the following verses.—διʼ αὐτοῦ, by Him) not by angels.—Theodoritus.Verse 17. - And everything, whatever ye he doing in word or deed, (do) all in the name of (the) Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Corinthians 5:4; Ephesians 5:20; 2 Thessalonians 2:17). Ver. 16 speaks of "word" only; to it is added the "deed," which stands for all the practical activities of life. Both meet in the following "all." "The name of the Lord Jesus" is the expression of his authority as "Lord" (Colossians 1:13, 15, 18; Colossians 2:6; Philippians 2:9-11; Ephesians 1:21-23; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Romans 14:9; Acts 10:36), and of his personal character and relation to us as "Jesus" (Matthew 1:21; Acts 4:12; Acts 16:31, Revised Text). (On the prominence of the title "Lord" in this Epistle, see note on Colossians 2:6.) (For the emphatic, absolute nominative πᾶν at the head of the sentence, comp. John 6:39; John 15:2; John 17:2; Matthew 10:32; Luke 12:10.) Giving thanks to God (the) Father through him (ver. 15; Colossians 1:12-14; Colossians 2:7; Colossians 4:2). Again thanksgiving is urged on the Colossians. It is to be the accompaniment of daily talk and work - to be offered to God in his character as "Father" (see notes on Colossians 1:2, 3, 12), and "through the Lord Jesus" (Romans 1:8; Romans 7:25), by whom we have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12; Romans 5:1, 2; Hebrews 10:19-22) and receive from him all the benefits of redemption (Colossians 1:14; Ephesians 2:5-10; Romans 3:24-26; Titus 3:4-7). In the name

See on Matthew 28:19.

Giving thanks

Notice the emphasis on the duty of thanksgiving placed at the close of the exhortations. See Colossians 1:12; Colossians 2:7; Colossians 3:15; Colossians 4:2.

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