Colossians 3:1-4 and Waldenstrom's Commentary

The Epistle Text for Easter Sunday

by Paul Peter Waldenström and translated by Tommy Carlson

Dr. Paul Peter Waldenstrom based his comments on a Greek New Testament text which he translated into Swedish. Tommy Carlson has translated both the Biblical text and Waldenstrom's comments from the Swedish text, 2nd Edition, 1902.

Verse 1 — If1 you therefore have been awakened2 so seek that which is above,3 where Christ is sitting at God’s right hand. Psalms 110:1, Philippians 3:20

1. That is to say, because (see comments to John 7:4). The word “if” is often used this way.

2. The Apostle regards the believers as already raised with Christ from the dead—see Col. 2:12, Eph. 2:6. They have gone from death to life (John 5:24).

3. The eternal and invisible possessions (2 Cor. 4:18) that God has prepared at Christ’s return for them who love him (Col. 1:5). Compare Matt. 6:20, 33; Philippians 3:14, 20, I Peter 1:4 and others.

Verse 2 — Direct your minds on 1 that which is above, not on that which is on earth.2

1. Compare Romans 8:5.

2. Such as wealth, honors, luxurious living, etc.

Verse 3 — Because you have died1 and your life2 is now hidden3 with Christ in God

1. Through baptism you are transplanted into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3 f.), buried with Christ (Col. 2:12), and dead to the world. The believers certainly find themselves within the earthly sphere, but they do not live there. Compare 2:20; Philippians 3:20.

2. That life which belongs to you, that is to say, the eternal, heavenly life that awaits you with Christ in the heavenly kingdom when it comes. That life is already the believers’ property through their union with Christ.

3. Christ is, after his return to heaven, hidden in God, so that the believers cannot see him. Their eternal, heavenly life has its foundation in God until the time for Christ’s return. (Compare 1:5)

Verse 4 — When Christ, your life,1 is revealed,2 then shall you3 also be revealed with him in glory.4 Philippians 3:21; I John 3:2

1. Christ is the believer’s eternal life, that is to say, their life has its foundation in him. They own it through him and in the communion with him. Compare 1 Cor. 1:30

2. Through his return.

3. Like him.

4. Christ’s revelation takes place in glory (Matt.16:27; Luke 9:26) and then shall the believers be glorified with him (Rom. 8:17). That glory, which they now already own, but is hidden in God, shall then be revealed.