The Berean Expositor
Volume 25 - Page 59 of 190
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Studies in Colossians.
#29.  BEWARE.
What it means to hold the Head (2: 19).
pp. 18 - 23
In our last article we were concerned with the false teaching that obtained among the
Colossians, which, if persisted in, would rob them of the prize. We now turn our
attention to the corrective administered. It is expressed negatively: "and not holding the
Head", but its teaching is positive. It is that we should "hold the Head", and this in
contrast with all the incipient spiritism and the intrusion of angelic mediation about
which the apostle has already spoken.
If the apostle had had unbelievers in mind, he would not have used the words "not
holding". The words imply that he is speaking to believers, but to believers whose grasp
of their true calling, and appreciation of the fullness of Christ, is small or weak. He
would point them to the Lord Jesus as the Head, and to living contact with Him as all-
sufficient for all the members of the one body. Not only does the apostle exhort the
Colossians to hold the Head; he speaks, too, of the knitting together of the members.
The balance of thought will be more readily seen if the verse is set out as follows:--
Colossians 2: 19.
A |
Head; body; joints (Emphasis upon unity).
| Nourishment ministered.
A |
Knit together (Emphasis upon unity).
| Increase with the increase of God.
In the preceding article we referred to Mark 7: 6-8. It is interesting to note that the
word "to hold" in Mark 7: 3, where the reference is to the traditions of the elders, is the
same as that used in Col. 2: 19 which, in contrast to all such tradition, speaks of holding
Christ as the Head. The word "hold" is krateo; the related word kratos is translated in
the A.V. "dominion", "power", "strength", and once, with kata, "mightily". The three
occurrences in the prison epistles are Eph. 1: 19, 6: 10, and Col. 1: 11, where it is
rendered "power". "To hold with strength" appears to be the true meaning of the word in
all its many ramifications. This may explain the wealth of language involving "power",
"might", "strength" used in such passages as Eph. 1: 19, 3: 16 and 6: 10 in
connection with faith in Christ as the Head and the Fullness, the indwelling of Christ by
faith, and the conflict with spiritual wickedness.
The Headship of Christ contains within it most, if not all, that is implied in the
purpose of the ages. It is a word, however, not used in the O.T. with such frequency and
precision as it is used by Paul in the prison epistles.
When the restoration of Israel takes place:--