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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
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 433

There is a day just about to burst upon us when God's mysteries will be seen, and all His ways vindicated; when justice, mercy, and love will be the attributes of His throne. When the earthly warfare is accomplished, and the saints are all gathered home, our first theme will be the song of Moses, the servant of God. The second theme will be the song of the Lamb, the song of grace and redemption. This song will be louder, loftier, and in sublimer strains, echoing and re-echoing through the heavenly courts. Thus the song of God's providence is sung, connecting the varying dispensations; for all is now seen without a veil between the legal, the prophetical, and the gospel. The church history upon the earth and the church redeemed in heaven all center around the cross of Calvary. This is the theme, this is the song,—Christ all and in all,—in anthems of praise resounding through heaven from thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand and an innumerable company of the redeemed host. All unite in this song of Moses and of the Lamb. It is a new song, for it was never before sung in heaven. TM 433.1

Again I ask, In view of the revelation made to John on the Isle of Patmos, which from the opening of the first chapter to the close of the last chapter is light, great light, revealed to us by Jesus Christ, who chose John to be the channel through whom this light was to shine forth to the world—with such wonderful, solemn truths revealed, with such grand truths unfolded before us in the events to transpire just prior to the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, how can those who claim to see wondrous things out of the law of God, be found in the list of the impure, of the fornicators and adulterers, constantly evading the truth, and secretly working out iniquity? Do you think that they can hide their ways from the Lord? that God seeth not? that God taketh no knowledge? TM 433.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 225

As these words were spoken, deep feeling was manifested. Some offered themselves as missionaries, while others sat in silence, apparently taking no interest in the subject. 7T 225.1

Then the words were spoken: “The South is a most unpromising field; but how changed would it be from what it is now if, after the colored people had been released from slavery, men and women had worked for them as Christians ought to work, teaching them how to care for themselves!” 7T 225.2

The condition of the colored people in the South is no more disheartening than was the condition of the world when Christ left heaven to come to its aid. He saw humanity sunken in wretchedness and sinfulness. He knew that men and women were depraved and degraded, and that they cherished the most loathsome vices. Angels marveled that Christ should undertake what seemed to them a hopeless task. They marveled that God could tolerate a race so sinful. They could see no room for love. But “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. 7T 225.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 401

The commission which Christ gave to the disciples just prior to His ascension to heaven was: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.” The commission reaches those who shall believe on His word through His disciples. And all who are called of God to stand as ambassadors for Him should take the lessons upon practical godliness given them by Christ in His word and teach them to the people. 4T 401.1

Christ opened the Scriptures to His disciples, beginning at Moses and the prophets, and instructed them in all things concerning Himself, and also explained to them the prophecies. The apostles in their preaching went back to Adam's day and brought their hearers down through prophetic history and ended with Christ and Him crucified, calling upon sinners to repent and turn from their sins to God. The representatives of Christ in our day should follow their example and in every discourse magnify Christ as the Exalted One, as all and in all. 4T 401.2

Not only is formality taking possession of the nominal churches, but it is increasing to an alarming extent among those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and looking for the soon appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven. We should not be narrow in our views and limit our facilities for doing good; yet while we extend our influence and enlarge our plans as Providence opens the way, we should be more earnest to avoid the idolatry of the world. While we make greater efforts to increase our usefulness, we must make corresponding efforts to obtain wisdom from God to carry on all the branches of the work after His own order, and not from a worldly standpoint. We should not pattern after the customs of the world, but make the most of the facilities which God has placed within our reach to get the truth before the people. 4T 401.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 390

The success attending the preaching of the gospel aroused the anger of the Jews anew. From every quarter were coming accounts of the spread of the new doctrine by which Jews were released from the observance of the rites of the ceremonial law and Gentiles were admitted to equal privileges with the Jews as children of Abraham. Paul, in his preaching at Corinth, presented the same arguments which he urged so forcibly in his epistles. His emphatic statement, “There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision” (Colossians 3:11), was regarded by his enemies as daring blasphemy, and they determined that his voice should be silenced. AA 390.1

Upon receiving warning of the plot, Paul decided to go around by way of Macedonia. His plan to reach Jerusalem in time for the Passover services had to be given up, but he hoped to be there at Pentecost. AA 390.2

Accompanying Paul and Luke were “Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.” Paul had with him a large sum of money from the Gentile churches, which he purposed to place in the hands of the brethren in charge of the work in Judea; and because of this he made arrangements for these representative brethren from various contributing churches, to accompany him to Jerusalem. AA 390.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 246

At the time of his conversion, Paul was inspired with a longing desire to help his fellow men to behold Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of the living God, mighty to transform and to save. Henceforth his life was wholly devoted to an effort to portray the love and power of the Crucified One. His great heart of sympathy took in all classes. “I am debtor,” he declared, “both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.” Romans 1:14. Love for the Lord of glory, whom he had so relentlessly persecuted in the person of His saints, was the actuating principle of his conduct, his motive power. If ever his ardor in the path of duty flagged, one glance at the cross and the amazing love there revealed, was enough to cause him to gird up the loins of his mind and press forward in the path of self-denial. AA 246.1

Behold the apostle preaching in the synagogue at Corinth, reasoning from the writings of Moses and the prophets, and bringing his hearers down to the advent of the promised Messiah. Listen as he makes plain the work of the Redeemer as the great high priest of mankind—the One who through the sacrifice of His own life was to make atonement for sin once for all, and was then to take up His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. Paul's hearers were made to understand that the Messiah for whose advent they had been longing, had already come; that His death was the antitype of all the sacrificial offerings, and that His ministry in the sanctuary in heaven was the great object that cast its shadow backward and made clear the ministry of the Jewish priesthood. AA 246.2

Paul “testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.” From the Old Testament Scriptures he showed that according to the prophecies and the universal expectation of the Jews, the Messiah would be of the lineage of Abraham and of David; then he traced the descent of Jesus from the patriarch Abraham through the royal psalmist. He read the testimony of the prophets regarding the character and work of the promised Messiah, and His reception and treatment on the earth; then he showed that all these predictions had been fulfilled in the life, ministry, and death of Jesus of Nazareth. AA 247.1

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