Colossians 4:4
That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.That I may make it manifest ... - Notes, Ephesians 6:20. 4. Alford thinks that Paul asks their prayers for his release as if it were the "only" way by which he could "make it (the Gospel) manifest" as he ought. But while this is included in their subject of prayer, Php 1:12, 13, written somewhat later in his imprisonment, clearly shows that "a door for the word" could be opened, and was opened, for its manifestation, even while he remained imprisoned (compare 2Ti 2:9). That I may manifest, or open and clear, it in due circumstances, as becomes an able minister of Christ, Romans 1:15 1 Corinthians 2:4 1 Corinthians 9:16 with 2 Timothy 2:15 4:2. That I may make it manifest,.... It being a mystery, a secret, which was hid in God from everlasting, and, during the legal dispensation, was wrapped up in types, and shadows, and sacrifices, and is still hidden unto the natural man. Wherefore the apostle was desirous of making it manifest in a ministerial way; for God only, by his Spirit, makes it manifest in a spiritual, experimental, and saving way.

As, says he,

I ought to speak. The Arabic version adds, "concerning it", the Gospel, the mystery of Christ. The apostle's meaning is, that he might deliver it with that clearness and evidence, and use that plainness of speech which became the Gospel, and him as a minister of it, and not ambiguous expressions, equivocal phrases, words of double meanings, on purpose to hide things from men, but by manifestation of the truth, to commend himself to every man's conscience in the sight of God. As also to speak it faithfully, declaring the whole counsel of God, keeping back nothing that might be profitable to the churches; and with all constancy and certainty, with all boldness and intrepidity of soul, and freedom of mind; not seeking to please men, aiming at vain glory, and popular applause, or being afraid of their faces, menaces, and reproaches.

That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Colossians 4:4. Ἵνα κ.τ.λ.] cannot, seeing that the preceding ἵνα ὁ Θεὸς ἀνοίξῃ κ.τ.λ. means the free preaching outside of the prison, be dependent either on δέδεμαι (Bengel, Hofmann, comp. Theodoret) or on προσευχόμενοι, so that it would run parallel with ἵνα in Colossians 4:3 (Beza, Bähr, de Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, Dalmer, and others); it is the aim of the λαλῆσαι τὸ μυστ. τ. Χ.: in order that I may make it manifest (by preaching) as I must speak it. Comp. also Bleek, who, however, less simply attaches it already to ἵνα ὁ Θεὸς ἀνοίξῃ κ.τ.λ. The significant weight of this clause expressing the aim lies in the specification of mode ὡς δεῖ με λαλῆσαι, in which δεῖ has the emphasis. To give forth his preaching in such measure, as it was the necessity of his apostolic destiny to do (δεῖ)—so frankly and without reserve, so free from hindrance, so far and wide from land to land, with such liberty to form churches and to combat erroneous teachings, and so forth

Paul was unable, so long as he was in captivity, even when others were allowed access to him. There is a tragic trait in this ὡς δεῖ με λαλῆσαι, the feeling of the hindered present. The traditional explanation is that of Chrysostom: μετὰ πολλῆς τῆς παῤῥησίας καὶ μηδὲν ὑποστειλάμενον, namely, in captivity, where Paul longed to speak in the right way (de Wette; so usually), or conformably to higher necessity (Bähr, Huther, comp. Beza, 1 Corinthians 9:16), or without allowing himself to be disturbed in his preaching as apostle to the Gentiles by his imprisonment occasioned by Jewish-Christian hostility (Hofmann). But in opposition to the reference of the whole intercession to the ministry in prison, see on Colossians 4:3. The wish and the hope of working once more in freedom were so necessarily bound up in Paul with the consciousness of his comprehensive apostolic task, that we can least of all suppose him to have given it up already in Caesarea, where he appealed to the emperor. Even in the Epistle to the Philippians (Php 1:25, Php 2:24), his expectation is still in fact directed to renewed freedom of working.Colossians 4:4. ἵνα is variously connected. The usual way is best which connects it with ἀνοίξῃ. This is better than going back to προσευχ., while the connexion with λαλ. is strained. It may be taken (as Beng., Hofm., Sod.) with δέδεμαι, “bound in order that I may manifest,” but if so why should Paul have desired liberty? Soden gives a peculiar turn to the thought. He thinks Paul is bound in order that he may manifest to his judges how he can do no other (δεῖ emphatic) than preach. This seems to be met by Haupt’s criticism that for this we must have had φανερώσω ὅτι δεῖ με λαλῆσαι αὐτό.—φανερώσω. Soden urges in favour of his interpretation that φαν. is never used of Paul’s preaching, but there seems to be no reason why it should not be. It is a stronger word than λαλ., he wants to “make it clear”.—ὡς δεῖ με λαλῆσαι refers to the mode of preaching, but the precise sense is uncertain. Some think it means boldly, others in a way suited to the peculiar circumstances, others in a way that shall be equal to the greatness of the message. Or, again, a reference is assumed by many to the Judaising opposition. But probably the feeling that prompts the words is that in prison his activity was curbed, and he wished to be free that he might preach the Gospel without restriction.4. That I may make it manifest] Cp. Ephesians 6:20. The request for prayer for opportunity glides into that for prayer for grace to use it.

Make manifest:—the word is the same as that in e.g. 2 Corinthians 4:10-11. It is used only here by St Paul in just this connexion, and here probably means more than merely exposition. The message, set in the light of the messenger’s life in God, was to be a “revelation.”

I ought] under the holy obligation of my commission. Cp. 1 Corinthians 9:16; and see Acts 20:24; Romans 1:14-15.Colossians 4:4. Ὡς, as) This depends on λαλῆσαι, to speak, Colossians 4:3.Verse 4. - That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak (Ephesians 6:20; 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; 2 Corinthians 5:11, 20-6:10; Romans 12:6; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; 2 Timothy 3:10; Acts 20:18-21, 27, 33-35). This clause qualifies the last; the "open door" is to be asked for the apostle, that he may make effective use of it. The mystery has been made manifest by God in the mission of Christ (Colossians 1:27; Colossians 2:15, note; 2 Corinthians 5:19, etc.); but that manifestation has to be made known to the Gentile world (Ephesians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 10:14). To this end he had received a special manifestation of "the mystery of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Galatians 1:15, 16; Acts 9:15, 16; Acts 22:14, 15, 21; Acts 26:16-18). How the apostle conceives that he "ought to speak" appears from the parallel passages (see especially 2 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 6; and Acts 20.). That I may make it manifest (ἵνα φανερώσω)

Compare speak boldly, Ephesians 6:20. That connects with the clause that God-Christ.

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