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Colossians 3:11

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Where there is neither Greek nor Jew - See this fully explained in the notes at Galatians 3:28. The meaning here is, that all are on a level; that there is no distinction of nation in the church; that all are to be regarded and treated as brethren, and that therefore no one should be false to another, or lie to another.

Circumcision nor uncircumcision - No one is admitted into that blessed society because he is circumcised; no one is excluded because he is uncircumcised. That distinction is unknown, and all are on a level.

Barbarian - No one is excluded because he is a barbarian, or because he lives among those who are uncivilized, and is unpolished in his manners; see the word “barbarian” explained in the notes at Romans 1:14.

Scythian - This word does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. The name Scythian is applied in ancient geography to the people who lived on the north and northeast of the Black and Caspian seas, a region stretchings indefinitely into the unknown countries of Asia. They occupied the lands now peopled by the Monguls and Tartars. The name was almost synonymous with barbarian, for they were regarded as a wild and savage race. The meaning here is, that even such a ferocious and uncivilized people were not excluded from the gospel, but they were as welcome as any other, and were entitled to the same privileges as others. No one was excluded because he belonged to the most rude and uncivilized portion of mankind.

Bond nor free - See the notes at Galatians 3:28.

But Christ is all, and in all - The great thing that constitutes the uniqueness of the church is, that Christ is its Saviour, and that all are his friends and followers. Its members lay aside all other distinctions, and are known only as his friends. They are not known as Jews and Gentiles; as of this nation or that; as slaves or freemen, but they are known as Christians; distinguished from all the rest of mankind as the united friends of the Redeemer; compare the notes at Galatians 3:28.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
It is our duty to mortify our members which incline to the things of the world. Mortify them, kill them, suppress them, as weeds or vermin which spread and destroy all about them. Continual opposition must be made to all corrupt workings, and no provision made for carnal indulgences. Occasions of sin must be avoided: the lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world; and covetousness, which is idolatry; love of present good, and of outward enjoyments. It is necessary to mortify sins, because if we do not kill them, they will kill us. The gospel changes the higher as well as the lower powers of the soul, and supports the rule of right reason and conscience, over appetite and passion. There is now no difference from country, or conditions and circumstances of life. It is the duty of every one to be holy, because Christ is a Christian's All, his only Lord and Saviour, and all his hope and happiness.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Where there is neither Greek nor Jew - In which new creation no inquiry is made what nation the persons belonged to, or from what ancestry they had sprung, whether in Judea or Greece.

Circumcision nor uncircumcision - Nor is their peculiar form of religion of any consideration, whether circumcised like the Jews, or uncircumcised like the heathens.

Barbarian, Scythian - Nor whether of the more or less tractable of the nations of the world; for although knowledge, and the most refined and sublime knowledge, is the object to be attained, yet, under the teaching and influence of the blessed Spirit, the most dull and least informed are perfectly capable of comprehending this Divine science, and becoming wise unto salvation.

Bond nor free - Nor does the particular state or circumstances in which a man may be found, either help him to or exclude him from the benefit of this religion; the slave having as good a title to salvation by grace as the freeman.

But Christ is all, and in all - All mankind are his creatures, all conditions are disposed and regulated by his providence, and all human beings are equally purchased by his blood. He alone is the source whence all have proceeded, and to him alone all must return. He is the Maker, Preserver, Savior, and Judge of all men.

Ellen G. White
The Voice in Speech and Song, 303

Failure to Practice the Word—Actions speak louder than words. The sermon that is preached in the pulpit is counteracted by the sermon that is preached in the lives of those who claim to be advocates of truth. It is because of a lack of the practicing of the words of Christ that a curse is coming upon our churches. If Christ is not living in His human agent, then when circumstances are favorable to their development the attributes of Satan will appear. A noble life is the most powerful sermon in favor of Christianity. If we would live such a life, our consciences must be quickened by continual contact with the Word of God. Our souls must be familiar with the heavenly standard, and we must avoid every course that diverges from the right.—Letter 71, 1895. VSS 303.1

Constant Growth in Grace—Unless there is constant growth in grace, we shall be wanting in words suitable for the occasion. The reason so many of our ministers preach tame, lifeless discourses is that they allow a variety of things of a worldly nature to take their time and attention. Commune with your own heart and then commune with God. Unless you do this, your efforts will be fruitless, made Christless by the unsanctified hurry and confusion of worldly things.—Manuscript 101, 1902. VSS 304.1

Preaching and Practicing—At this period of time every minister of Christ is to heed the charge Paul gave to Timothy, “Take heed unto thyself,” to your character, your words, your conduct, “and unto the doctrine” [1 Timothy 4:16]. The minister must practice the doctrine he preaches, else he needs that someone should teach him the first principles of pure doctrine.... VSS 304.2

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Ellen G. White
The Voice in Speech and Song, 291

Temporary Nature of Impulsive Decisions—There are in the ministry men who gain apparent success by swaying minds through human influence. They play upon the feelings at will, making their hearers weep, and in a few minutes laugh. Under labor of this kind, many are moved by impulse to profess Christ, and there is thought to be a wonderful revival; but when the test comes, the work does not endure. Feelings are stirred, and many are borne along by the tide that seems to be setting heavenward; but in the strong current of temptation they quickly float back as driftwood. The laborer is self-deceived, and he misleads his hearers.—Gospel Workers, 382. VSS 291.1

Real Intelligence in Preaching—A man may preach in a spirited manner and please the ear, but convey no new idea or real intelligence to the mind. The impressions received through such preaching last no longer than while the speaker's voice is heard. When search is made for the fruit of such labor, there is little to be found.—Testimonies for the Church 1:447. VSS 291.2

Unnatural Use of the Voice—Some raise their voices to an unnatural key when they speak in the desk; others talk very rapidly, and the people cannot hear what is said. This works disaster to themselves, as well as to others, for their unnatural use of the voice results in injury to the vocal organs. They needlessly exhaust their strength, and make their efforts painful to their congregation. They should exercise self-control, that quality so essential for them as ambassadors of Christ, and overcome their pernicious habits. If they would but do this, they would be able to leave a pleasant impression on the minds of their hearers, and the preaching of the truth would become attractive.—The Review and Herald, October 28, 1890. VSS 291.3

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 16.4

Christian humility is a wonderful grace—the very antidote to the apostasy of Satan, which has unholy ambition and every delusion that he can frame. The grace of humility through Christ Jesus will make an imperfect man discern his imperfections and make him meet for the inheritance of the saints, where God is all and in all.... TDG 16.4

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 134.4

As our example we have One who is all and in all, the Chiefest among ten thousand, One whose excellency is beyond comparison. He graciously adapted His life for universal imitation. United in Christ were wealth and poverty; majesty and abasement; unlimited power, and meekness and lowliness, which in every soul who receives Him will be reflected.... TMK 134.4

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