The Berean Expositor
Volume 25 - Page 76 of 190
Index | Zoom
Summing up the apostle's argument in these opening verses of Col. 3:, we may say:
"Risen with Christ"--"Hidden with Christ"--"Manifested with Christ". A threefold cord,
not easily broken, a pledge of life, security and future glory. While these things that are
above occupy the mind, there will be little upon which the "old man" can seize, and true
scriptural sanctification will be manifest.
Not until this groundwork has been laid does the apostle go on to speak of
"mortifying" and "putting off". We, too, must abide by the Divine order and draw our
strength from risen life rather than from death.
Christ is all, and in all (3: 5-11).
pp. 187 - 192
The first practical outworking of the position set forth in Col. 3: 1-4 is expressed in
the solemn word "mortify". We can see at once that this springs from the statement:
"For ye died", and is the putting into practical effect of the death in which the believer
died with Christ.  Two words are possible here, each of which can be translated
"mortify"--thanatoo and nekroo. In this passage the apostle chooses the latter. In
Rom. 8: 13 he chose the former. Thanatoo means "to put to death", "to kill".  In
Rom. 8: it is the "deeds" of the body that are to be thus treated. In Col. 3: 5 it is the
"members which are upon the earth" that are to be mortified. The word nekroo differs
from thanatoo in that it stresses the fact that the thing thus treated is "corpse-like". It is
used twice of Abraham who, though as good as dead so far as parenthood was concerned,
nevertheless became the father of many nations (Rom. 4: 19; Heb. 11: 12).
The fact of dying with Christ must necessarily leave a dead body or corpse. This must
now be accepted as true and the new life regulated accordingly. Already much the same
thing has been said with regard to the world:--
"If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the
world, are ye subject to ordinances?" (Col. 2: 20).
So we might paraphrase Col. 3::--
"If ye died with Christ to trespasses and sins, and have been quickened with Him, your
life being hid with Christ in God, why, as though still living to sins, do you allow your
members to rule and sway your manner of life?"
We found that Rom. 6: shed light upon the earlier verses of this chapter; and we
shall find that Rom. 7: is a help to the understanding of the passage now before us.
It appears that "the members" are so intimately associated with the sinful acts which
they implement, that the apostle in Col. 3: 5 uses the figure Catachresis* (* - See
articles of Figures of Speech in the series entitled "With all thy getting, get