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Colossians 4:5

    Colossians 4:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Be wise in your behaviour to those who are outside, making good use of the time.

    Webster's Revision

    Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

    World English Bible

    Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

    Definitions for Colossians 4:5

    Without - Outside.

    Clarke's Commentary on Colossians 4:5

    Walk in wisdom - Act wisely and prudently in reference to them who are without - who yet continue unbelieving Gentiles or persecuting Jews.

    The Church of Christ was considered an enclosure; a field, or vineyard, well hedged or walled. Those who were not members of it, were considered without; i.e. not under that especial protection and defense which the true followers of Christ had. This has been since called "The pale of the Church," from palus, a stake; or, as Dr. Johnson defines it, "A narrow piece of wood, joined above and below to a rail, to enclose grounds." As to be a Christian was essential to the salvation of the soul, so to be in the Church of Christ was essential to the being a Christian; therefore it was concluded that "there was no salvation out of the pale of the Church." Now this is true in all places where the doctrines of Christianity are preached; but when one description of people professing Christianity, with their own peculiar mode of worship and creed, arrogate to themselves, exclusive of all others, the title of The Church; and then, on the ground of a maxim which is true in itself, but falsely understood and applied by them, assert that, as they are The Church, and there is no Church besides, then you must be one of them, believe as they believe, and worship as they worship, or you will be infallibly damned; I say, when this is asserted, every man who feels he has an immortal spirit is called on to examine the pretensions of such spiritual monopolists. Now, as the Church of Christ is formed on the foundation of the prophets and apostles, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone, the doctrines of this Christian Church must be sought for in the sacred Scriptures. As to fathers, councils, and human authorities of all kinds, they are, in this question, lighter than vanity; the book of God alone must decide. The Church, which has been so hasty to condemn all others, and, by its own soi disant or self-constituted authority, to make itself the determiner of the fates of men, dealing out the mansions of glory to its partisans, and the abodes of endless misery to all those who are out of its antichristian and inhuman pale; this Church, I say, has been brought to this standard, and proved by the Scriptures to be fallen from the faith of God's elect, and to be most awfully and dangerously corrupt; and to be within its pale, of all others professing Christianity, would be the most likely means of endangering the final salvation of the soul. Yet even in it many sincere and upright persons may be found, who, in spirit and practice, belong to the true Church of Christ. Such persons are to be found of all religious persuasions, and in all sorts of Christian societies.

    Redeeming the time - See on Ephesians 5:16 (note).

    Barnes' Notes on Colossians 4:5

    Walk in wisdom - That is, conduct uprightly and honestly. Deal with them on the strictest principles of integrity, so that they may not have occasion to reproach the religion which you profess.

    Toward them that are without - Without the pale of the church, or who are not professing Christians; see the notes at 1 Corinthians 5:12. They were surrounded by pagans, as Christians now are by men of the world. The injunction is one that requires us to act with prudence and propriety (ἐν σοφίᾳ en sophia toward them; and there is perhaps not a more important direction in the New Testament than this. Among the reasons for this are the following:

    (1) People of the world judge of religion, not from the profession, but from the life of its friends.

    (2) they judge of religion, not from preaching, or from books, or from the conduct of its Founder and his apostles, but from what they see in the daily walk and conversation of the members of the church.

    (3) they understand the nature of religion so well as to know when its friends are or are not consistent with their profession.

    (4) they set a much higher value on honesty and integrity than they do on the doctrines and duties of religion; and if the professed friends of religion are destitute of the principles of truth and honesty, they think they have nothing of any value. They may be very devout on the Sabbath; very regular at prayer-meetings; very strict in the observance of rites and ceremonies - but all these are of little worth in the estimation of the world, unless attended with an upright life.

    (5) no professing Christian can possibly do good to others who does not live an upright life. If you have cheated a man out of never so small a sum, it is vain that you talk to him about the salvation of his soul; if you have failed to pay him a debt when it was due, or to finish a piece of work when you promised it, or to tell him the exact truth in conversation, it is vain for you to endeavor to induce him to be a Christian. He will feel, if he does not say - and he might very properly say - that he wants no religion which will not make a man honest.

    (6) no person will attempt to do much good to others whose own life is not upright. He will be sensible of the inconsistency, and will feel that he cannot do it with any sense of propriety; and the honor of religion, therefore, and the salvation of our fellow-men, demand that in all our intercourse with others, we should lead lives of the strictest integrity.

    Redeeming the time - Notes, Ephesians 5:6.

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