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Volume 25 - Page 61 of 190 Index | Zoom | |
This is an exhortation and a principle that really covers all that the apostle has to say
in the rest of the chapter regarding true sanctification, Christ's Headship, and the utter
repudiation of every attempt of man to dominate the members of His Body.
Col. 2: likewise speaks of humility, but this time a false humility associated with
grovelling superstition and vain glory in the flesh. Corresponding to the "perfecting" and
the "fullness" of Eph. 4: we have the "completeness" of the believer in Col. 2:, the
same word underlying both terms. The "truth in Jesus", says the apostle, lies in the fact
that the old man has been put off, and the new man put on (Eph. 4: 21-24).
The warning in Col. 2: is clearly parallel with that of Eph. 4: Instead of "the sleight
of men" and their deception, we have "vain deceitful philosophy", the "traditions of
men", "the rudiments of the word". Where Eph. 4: speaks of the repudiation of the old
man with his deeds, Col. 2: speaks of the circumcision made without hands, the putting
off of the body of the flesh. Even the blessedness of forgiveness is included in both
"Even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph. 4: 32).
"Having forgiven you all trespasses" (Col. 2: 13).
The "cunning craftiness" of Eph. 4: is seen in the "voluntary humility and
worshipping of angels" that, if followed, would "beguile of the prize" (Col. 2: 18).
The aspect of the truth that is particularly marked in Ephesians is the unity that must
obtain between the members of the body. The aspect of the same truth particularly
stressed in Colossians is that these same united members must also be closely united to
the Lord as the Head.
With these parallels to help us, let us now turn our attention to the actual statement of
Col. 2: 19:--
"Joints and bands" (Haphe and sundesmos).
The word that gives us "joint" comes from haptomai, "to touch", and is in the near
context--Col. 2: 21: "Touch not." Sundesmos, "bond", is found in Eph. 4: 3 and in
Col. 3: 14:--
"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
"Put on love, which is the bond of perfectness."
There is a similarity in the description of the body here with that given by Galen, a
Greek physician, born A.D.130 at Pergamos, not very far from Ephesus and Colosse.
He also speaks of the structure of the body as of a twofold union, stating that the body
owes its compactness partly to articulation and partly to the attachments. Aristotle too
speaks of haphe, "contact" and sumphusis, "cohesion". Lightfoot's translation of the two
words in Col. 2: 19 is "junctures and ligaments". A knowledge of anatomy is not very
wide-spread even in this day of universal encyclopędias, but the slightest acquaintance