| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 22 - Page 28 of 214 Index | Zoom | |
The ministry of the apostle in this special labour for the Colossians is described as
"warning and teaching". If the reader will refer to the structure of the epistle given in
Volume XX, page 57, he will see that the central member commences with the word
"Beware". The great difference between Ephesians and Colossians is in this central
section (Col. 2: 4-23) with its warning notes:--
"And this I say lest any man beguile you."
"Beware lest any man spoil you."
"Let no man therefore judge you."
"Let no man beguile you of your reward."
Admonition or warning belongs to the training and discipline of children:
presupposes life and position in the family:--
"Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6: 4).
Admonition or warning belongs to growth, to walk, to the things that accompany
salvation, to the prize or reward, not so much to salvation in its first place:--
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize. So run
that ye may obtain . . . . . All our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the
sea, and were all baptized . . . . . all did eat . . . . . all drank . . . . . but with many of them
God was not well pleased . . . . . Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:
and they are written for our admonition" (or warning) (I Cor. 9: 24 - 10: 11).
"Warning and teaching" are related as "practice and doctrine" are related.
We must now turn our attention to the central theme. In this chapter there are two
"presentings", and they are intimately associated:--
(1) "In the body of His flesh through death to present you holy and unblameable and
unreproveable in His sight" (Col. 1: 22).
(2) "That we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (Col. 1: 28).
The reader is sufficiently taught, we trust, to realize that the work of Christ on our
behalf is so complete, that to speak of adding to it or "perfecting" it is nothing short of
treason. The words used preclude all possible addition. What can be added to holiness?
and what improvement can there be upon a condition which is both unblameable and
unreproveable in God's sight.
That which is unreproveable there is surely
unimproveable here; and yet the fact remains that Paul does say, and in the near context,
"That I may present every man perfect", even though the ink that wrote verse 22 was
The difficulty lies in the word "perfect", and the meaning that it has attached to it in
modern speech. The derivation of the English word, however, takes us nearer to the
meaning of the Greek original. "Perfect" has come into English through the old French