Epaphras, who is one of you - A native of some part of Phrygia, and probably of Colosse itself.
A servant of Christ - A minister of the Gospel.
Labouring fervently for you - Αγωνιζομενος· Agonizing; very properly expressed by our translators, labouring fervently.
That ye may stand perfect and complete - Ἱνα στητε τελειοι και πεπληρμενοι . That ye may stand firm, perfectly instructed, and fully persuaded of the truth of those doctrines which have been taught you as the revealed will of God: this I believe to be the meaning of the apostle.
Instead of πεπληρωμενοι, complete or filled up, almost all the MSS. of the Alexandrian rescension, which are considered the most authentic and correct, have πεπληροφορημενοι, that ye may be fully persuaded. The word πληροφορια signifies such a complete persuasion of the certainty of a thing, as leaves the mind which has it neither room nor inclination to doubt; and πληροφορεω, the verb, has the same meaning, viz., to be thus persuaded, or to persuade thus, by demonstrative argumentation and exhibition of unquestionable facts.
This is such a persuasion as the Spirit of God, by means of the Gospel, gives to every sincere and faithful man; and from which arises the solid happiness of the genuine Christian. They who argue against it, prove, at least, that they have not got it.
Epaphras - Notes, Colossians 1:7.
Always laboring fervently for you in prayers - Margin, “or striving.” Greek: “agonizing.” The word denotes the intense desire which he had for their salvation; his fervent, earnest pleading for their welfare.
That ye may stand perfect and complete - Margin, as in Greek, filled. The desire was, that they might maintain their Christian principles unadulterated by the mixture of philosophy and error, and completely perform the will of God in every respect. This is the expression of a pious wish in regard to them, without any affirmation that any had been absolutely perfect, or that they would be perfect in this world. It is, however, a command of God that we should be perfect (see Matthew 5:48), and it is the highest wish of benevolence in reference to anyone that he may be complete in moral character, and may do all the will of God; compare the notes at 1 Corinthians 13:9.
Christ's obedience to His Father's commandments is to be the measure of our obedience. Those who follow Christ, if they would become complete in Him, must keep their will surrendered to the will of God. Abundant provision has been made that those who will seek God with the whole heart may find Him a present help in every time of trouble. Help has been laid on One that is mighty. Christ has promised, I will be your helper. OHC 107.4Read in context »
Advancement in true education does not harmonize with selfishness. True knowledge comes from God, and returns again to God. His children are to receive that they may give again. Those who through the grace of God have received intellectual and spiritual benefits are, as they advance, to draw others with them to a higher excellence. And this work, done to promote the good of others, will have the cooperation of unseen agencies. As we faithfully continue the work, we shall have high aspirations for righteousness, holiness, and a perfect knowledge of God. We ourselves will become complete in Christ in this life, and will take with us to the courts above our increased capabilities, there to continue our higher education.—Manuscript 108, September 1, 1898, “Higher Education.” TDG 253.4Read in context »
It is our privilege, by an earnest study of the Word, to learn wherein we are not revealing the principles of that Word in our daily lives. And as the mirror reveals to us our defects, we are to seek by earnest prayer and faith to put them away, and come up to the standard that is given us. As we strive to meet the perfection that God desires for us, insensibly to us the image of God will be revealed in words and works and spirit. The human will become molded to the divine.—Letter 300, September 29, 1907, to Elder O. A. Olsen, president of the Australasian Union Conference. TDG 281.4Read in context »