Colossians 4:3
Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
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(3) A door of utterance.—Comp. a similar phrase in 1Corinthians 16:9; 2Corinthians 2:12. There, however, the opened door is the door of external opportunity; here the “door of utterance” is the removal of all internal impediments to preaching.

4:2-6 No duties can be done aright, unless we persevere in fervent prayer, and watch therein with thanksgiving. The people are to pray particularly for their ministers. Believers are exhorted to right conduct towards unbelievers. Be careful in all converse with them, to do them good, and recommend religion by all fit means. Diligence in redeeming time, commends religion to the good opinion of others. Even what is only carelessness may cause a lasting prejudice against the truth. Let all discourse be discreet and seasonable, as becomes Christians. Though it be not always of grace, it must always be with grace. Though our discourse be of that which is common, yet it must be in a Christian manner. Grace is the salt which seasons our discourse, and keeps it from corrupting. It is not enough to answer what is asked, unless we answer aright also.Withal - With all the supplications which you offer for other persons and things; or at the same time that you pray for them.

Praying also for us - Notes, Ephesians 6:19-20; compare 2 Corinthians 1:11; Philippians 1:19; Hebrews 13:18-19.

That God would open to us a door of utterance - To preach the gospel. He earnestly desired to have liberty to preach the gospel, and asked them to pray that this might be restored to him; see the notes at Ephesians 6:19.

To speak the mystery of Christ - Called in Ephesians 6:19, the "mystery of the gospel;" see the notes there.

For which I also am in bonds - A prisoner at Rome; Notes, Ephesians 6:20.

3. for us—myself and Timothy (Col 1:1).

a door of utterance—Translate, "a door for the word." Not as in Eph 6:19, where power of "utterance" is his petition. Here it is an opportunity for preaching the word, which would be best afforded by his release from prison (1Co 16:9; 2Co 2:12; Phm 22; Re 3:8).

to speak—so that we may speak.

the mystery of Christ—(Col 1:27).

for which … also—on account of which I am (not only "an ambassador," Eph 6:20, but) ALSO in bonds.

Withal praying also for us; not only putting up petitions for themselves, but also interceding for Paul, and others with him, especially Timothy, mentioned in the salutation, Colossians 1:1,7 Ro 15:30 2 Corinthians 1:11 Philippians 1:19 2 Thessalonians 3:1 Philemon 1:22.

That God would open unto us a door of utterance; that God would vouchsafe to us freedom of speech: See Poole on "Ephesians 6:19".

To speak the mystery of Christ; effectually to preach the mystery of Christ: see Colossians 1:26,27 2:2 Matthew 13:11 1 Corinthians 16:9 Ephesians 1:9.

For which I am also in bonds: for which I am an ambassador in bonds, or, in a chain, Ephesians 6:20; i.e. with the soldier that kept him in his own hired dwelling, Acts 28:16,20,30,31.

Withal, praying also for us,.... The persons to be prayed for are next directed to; and these are not only themselves, though their concern is very near and great, but others also, all the saints and people of God, yea, all men, and in particular the ministers of the Gospel. The apostle desires they would pray for him, and his fellow ministers, and which he says not in dissimulation, under a guise of humility, but in true humility and lowliness of mind; being sensible of the greatness of the ministerial work, which this shows, and of his own imperfection and weakness, and of what advantage the prayers, even of the meanest in the church, might be unto him: and this shows, that it is the duty of churches, and of particular believers, to pray for their ministers, and, among the rest, as follows,

that God would open to us a door of utterance; or "of the word"; so the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic; and Ethiopic versions; meaning, either the word of the Gospel, that the door of that might be opened, that it might have a free course, and be glorified; for though he was bound, that was not; nor does he desire that the door of the prison might be opened, but the door of the word; that there might be an opportunity of preaching it; in which sense this phrase is used, 1 Corinthians 16:9 that whereas he could not go abroad to preach it, the hearts of men might be inclined to come to him, and hear it from his mouth; and that the door of their hearts might be opened, that they might attend unto it; that it might have an entrance into them, and a place in them: or else the door of his own speech and words is intended, and the sense be, that God would not only set before him an open door for the preaching of the Gospel, and make it effectual for the conversion of many souls; but that, as he would furnish him with all abilities, and every gift for that service, so that with enlargement of heart, and liberty of mind, he would give him elocution, a mouth and wisdom to speak, utterance and freedom of speech; that the door of the Gospel being opened, or an opportunity given to preach it, and the door of men's hearts opened to receive it, the door, of his lips might be also opened to show forth the praise of the grace of God. The Alexandrian copy adds, "with boldness", or "boldly", as in Ephesians 6:19

to speak the mystery of Christ; the Gospel, of which Christ is the author, preacher, sum, and substance; the whole of which is a mystery; the wisdom of God in a mystery; all the doctrines of it are mysteries; and particularly those, and which are here more especially designed, which regard the person, offices, and grace of Christ, as the mystery of his divine and eternal sonship, of his incarnation, of the union of the two natures, divine and human, in his person, of redemption by his blood, justification by his righteousness, and satisfaction by his sacrifice, things dear to the apostle, and which his soul was full of, and he wanted to speak out; and therefore desires prayer, to be made for him, that a door might be opened, and way made for his speaking of these things with freedom:

for which, says he,

I am also in bonds; this he adds, partly to show how dear the Gospel was to him, that he was willing to suffer, and did suffer cheerfully for the sake of it; and what an honour he esteemed it to lie in chains for it, of which, nor of that, was he in the least ashamed; and partly to stir them up the more to prayer for him, for his liberty in every respect.

{3} Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a {a} door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

(3) Those who minister the word, must especially be entrusted to the prayers of the Church.

(a) An open and free mouth to preach the Gospel.

Colossians 4:3. Comp. Ephesians 6:19 f.

ἅμα καὶ περὶ ἡμ.] while your prayer takes place at the same time also (not merely for yourselves, for others, and about whatever other affairs, but at the same time also) for us, includes us also. This ἡμῶν, not to be referred to Paul alone, like the singular δέδεμαι subsequently and Colossians 4:4, applies to him and Timothy, Colossians 1:1.

ἵνα] contents of the prayer ἵνα] contents of the prayer expressed as its purpose, as in Colossians 1:9 and frequently.

θύραν τ. λόγου] is not equivalent to στόμα (Beza, Calvin, Zanchius, Estius, Cornelius a Lapide, Bengel, and others, comp. Storr and Böhmer)—a singular appellation which Ephesians 6:7 does not warrant us to assume—but is rather a figurative way of indicating the thought: unhindered operation in the preaching of the gospel. So long as this does not exist, there is not opened to the preachers a door for the word, through which they may let it go forth. Comp. 1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Dion. Hal. de vi Dem. p. 1026. 14: οὐδὲ θύρας ἰδὼν λόγος, also Pind. Ol. vi. 44; πύλας ὕμνων ἀναπιτνάμεν, Bacchyl. fr. xiv. 2. The παῤῥησία of the preaching (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact), however, lies not in the θύρα and its opening, but in what follows. Hofmann incorrectly holds that the closed door is conceived as being on the side of those, to whom the preachers wished to preach the word, so that it could not enter in. This conception is decidedly at variance with the immediately following λαλῆσαι κ.τ.λ., according to which the hindrance portrayed (the door to be opened) exists on the side of the preachers. Moreover, in this ἵνα ὁ Θεὸς κ.τ.λ. the wish of the apostle, as regards his own person, is certainly directed to liberation from his captivity (comp. Philemon 1:22), not, however, to this in itself, but to the free working which depended on it. It was not the preaching in the prison which Paul meant, for that he had; but he longed after the opening of a θύρα τοῦ λόγου; God was to give it to him. Perhaps the thought of liberation suggested to himself the choice of the expression. Nor is the plural ἡμῶν and ἡμῖν, embracing others with himself, at variance with this view (as Hofmann holds); for by the captivity of the apostle his faithful friend and fellow-labourer Timothy, who was with him, was, as a matter of course, also hindered in the freedom of working, to which he might otherwise have devoted himself. This was involved in the nature of their personal and official fellowship. Observe how it is only with δέδεμαι that Paul makes, and must make, a transition to the singular. This transition by no means betrays (in opposition to Hitzig and Holtzmann) the words διʼ ὃ καὶ δέδεμαι, ἵνα φαν. αὐτό to be an interpolation from Ephesians 6:20. The fact, that Paul elsewhere (Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:27; 1 Corinthians 7:39) has δέειν in the figurative sense, cannot matter; comp., on the contrary, the δεσμός and δέσμιος which he so often uses.

λαλῆσαι κ.τ.λ.] infinitive of the aim: in order to speak the mystery of Christ. The emphasis is on λαλῆσαι: not to suppress it, but to let it be proclaimed. Comp. 1 Corinthians 2:6; 2 Corinthians 4:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:2.

τοῦ Χριστοῦ] genitive of the subject, the divine mystery contained in the appearance and redemptive act of Christ (comp. Ephesians 3:4), in so far, namely, as the divine counsel of redemption, concealed previously to its being made known by the gospel, was accomplished in Christ’s mission and work (Colossians 1:26, Colossians 2:2; Ephesians 1:9; Romans 16:25). Thus the μυστήριον of God in Colossians 2:2 is, because Christ was the bearer and accomplisher of it, the μυστήριον τοῦ Χριστοῦ.

διʼ ὃ καὶ δέδεμαι] διʼ ὅ applies to the μυστήρ.; and the whole clause serves to justify the intercession desired. When, namely, Paul wishes λαλῆσαι τὸ μυστήρ. τ. Χ., he therewith desires that, which is in such sense his entire destination, that on account of this mystery—because, namely, he has made it known—he also bears his fetters. This καί is consequently the also of the corresponding relation, quite common with relatives (Baeumlein, Partik. p. 152).

Colossians 4:3. ἡμῶν: perhaps including all his fellow-workers, probably not Paul alone, on account of the singular (δέδεμαι).—θύραν τοῦ λόγου: i.e., a removal of whatever obstructs its progress, possibly liberation from prison, to which he was looking forward (Philm. 22). For the metaphor, cf. 1 Corinthians 16:9, 2 Corinthians 2:12.—λαλῆσαι: “so as to speak,” infinitive of the consequence.—τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ Χριστοῦ: the mystery which has Christ for its content. On account of his proclamation of it, and especially of the truth that the Gentiles were admitted freely to its blessings, he is now a prisoner.

3. praying also for us] Cp. Romans 15:30; Ephesians 6:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Hebrews 13:18. He wisely covets for his apostolic work, and the work of his friends, the prayers of the obscurest watchful believer.

open … a door of utterance] Lit., a door of the word of the Gospel, i.e., an opportunity for the missionary. For the phrase cp. 1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12; where, as here, the “open door” is not the emboldened mouth (which is chiefly in his thought Ephesians 6:19-20) but the favourable circumstances. Cp. for a partial parallel Acts 14:27, and perhaps Revelation 3:8.

to speak] Such was the use to which the “open door” of occasion would be put.

the mystery of Christ] Cp. Ephesians 3:4 for the same phrase. The word mystery is frequent with St Paul; he uses it in some 21 places, of which 11 lie in this Epistle and Ephesians. On the word, see above on Colossians 1:26.—“Of Christ:”—with whose Person, Work, and Life, the great Secret was vitally bound up. See on Colossians 1:27.

for which] On account of which. “St Paul might have been still at large if he had been content to preach a Judaic Gospel” (Lightfoot). Cp. Acts 21:13; Acts 28:20.

I am … in bonds] Lit., I have been bound. Cp. Ephesians 6:19 and our notes. And see Ephesians 3:1; Ephesians 4:1; Php 1:7; Php 1:13-14; Php 1:16; Philemon 1:10; Philemon 1:13.—It is easy to read, and to forget, this passing allusion. But what must have been the hourly trial to a sensitive spirit, of this attachment day and night to a (probably) pagan sentinel, perhaps wholly devoid of generous instincts!

Colossians 4:3. Ἡμῶν, for us) Ch. Colossians 1:1.—ἀνοίξῃ θύραν τοῦ λόγου, would open the [but Engl. Vers. not of the mouth; therefore, “a door”] door of utterance) i.e. the mouth, Ephesians 6:19; Micah 7:5. A great opportunity is elsewhere called a door [and so Engl. Vers. here], 1 Corinthians 16:9.—δέδεμαι, ἵνα φανερώσω, I am in bonds, that I may make it manifest[29]) a paradox; as in 2 Timothy 2:9; Php 1:12-13.

[29] But Engl. Vers. puts a colon after bonds; so that ἵνα is thus connected with προσευχόμενοι, not δέδεμαι.—ED.

Verse 3. - Praying at the same time also for us (Ephesians 6:19; Romans 15:30-32; 1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1, 2; Hebrews 13:18). In Ephesians and Romans the apostle implores prayer for himself alone, and dwells on his personal circumstances. Here and in the Thessalonian letters he unites his fellow labourers with him in the request. That God may open to us a door for the word (1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:1). "The word" is the Word of God which the apostle preaches (Colossians 1:5, 25; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; Galatians 6:6; 2 Timothy 4:2; Acts 16:6); and "a debt" is wanted, in his present difficulties, through which that Word may freely pass, such as he speaks of in 1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12 (comp. Acts 14:27; Revelation 3:8). It is fanciful to give "door" here the sense of "mouth." The "opening of my mouth," in Ephesians 6:19, expresses the subjective freedom (corresponding to "as I ought to speak," ver. 4); "the door for the word," the objective liberty desired by St. Paul in his imprisonment. To speak the mystery of Christ, because of which also I am bound (Colossians 1:23-29; Ephesians 6:19; Ephesians 3:1-13; Ephesians 4:1; Philippians 1:12-14; Philemon 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:8-10; Acts 20:22-24). Were his prison door once opened, the apostle would be able freely to preach the gospel to the Gentiles - for this "the mystery of Christ" chiefly signifies (Colossians 1:25-29; Ephesians 3:1-8; 1 Timothy 2:3-7.) (On "mystery," see note, Colossians 1:26.) It is this very mission which makes him long for freedom, that keeps him a prisoner (Colossians 1:23; Ephesians 3:13). He is in the strange position of an "ambassador in chains" (Ephesians 6:19; Philemon 1:9, 10: comp. 2 Timothy 2:9). This "I am bound" (singular) shows that the "for us" of the former clause designedly includes others with himself. Colossians 4:3Door of utterance (θύραν τοῦ λόγου)

Rev., better, a door for the world. Compare 1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Revelation 3:8. See also entering in, 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:1. And the parallel passage, Ephesians 6:19. There may be an allusion to a release from imprisonment.

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