Apr 25, 2010

Colossians 1:28 - William Tant

Col. 1:28. " Warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." The apostle cannot here mean that he expected every one of Adam's children would be presented perfect in Christ Jesus : for in another place he says of some, " God shall send them strong delusions that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." The expression every man," is often used in the inspired volume, but cannot mean every man in the world universally : let us look "at a few passages, " God bath dealt to every man the measure of faith," Rom. xii. 3., this cannot mean universally so, for " all men have not faith," 2 Thess. iii. 2., but must mean, " every man" who has faith has it according as God gives it: and faith is called "the faith of God's elect," Titus i. 1., or faith which none but the elect will ever possess. "Every man, according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren," Acts xi. 29. This must mean every one of the disciples, as the whole verse reads, " then the disciples, every man," &c. " Then shall every man have praise of God," I Cor. iv. 5. This cannot mean every man in the world universally shall, at the judgment day, receive praise of God; for to some Christ will say, " depart, ye cursed," and to others, " come, ye blessed;" it must mean, every man who is approved or praised, shall receive the testimony not from man, but God. "The kingdom of God is preached, and every roan presseth into it," Luke xvi. 16. Now if these words are parallel to Matthew xi. 12. " the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force," not entering by the gate into the sheep-fold, but climbing up some other way, it cannot mean every man universally, for then Christ would condemn his own sheep, who "enter in by the gate into the sheep-fold," but must mean every goat who puts on sheep's clothing, presseth into it. Or, if the words are descriptive of the earnest pursuit of a regenerated soul after the things of God, it must mean, that every man who belongs to this kingdom by eternal union, when called by grace, "presseth into it," or presseth towards heavenly realities, as Paul said of himself, " I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." " The head of every man is Christ," 1 Cor. xi. 3. This cannot mean that Christ is covenantly the head of every man ; for we read, " he is the head of his body, the church," which church consists of those the Father hath given Christ out of the world. " The Spirit is given to every man to profit withal," 1 Cor. xii. 7. This cannot mean every man universally, because Christ says, " I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive." But read it as every man who can receive the Spirit by virtue of interest in that covenant engagement of the Spirit, " thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power," and all is uniform ; and when the apostle, in the words with which I began, said, " warning every man, and teaching every man, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus," he meant that he was anxious " every man" to whom the Lord should bless his ministry, should know that all his perfection was in Christ and from Christ, as many of the Colossian saints knew Christ in them, and Christ alone, " the hope of glory."

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