THE BOOK OF COLOSSIANS
Put Your Past Sinful Ways to Death
Colossians 3:5-11 SCC 4/29/12
1. ‘Therefore’ in the immediate context points to Colossians 3:1-4 where Paul sums up the first two chapters, reiterating the believer's identification with the risen and enthroned Christ. Knowing this is true about us, we understand that we can and should put to death the things in our life that are contrary to our identity with Jesus.
2. ‘Consider’ means do it, do it effectively producing a definite result while you are to make a choice of your will to do it without hesitation because this is not a suggestion but an urgent order. This is placed first in the Greek construction for emphasis. You can almost hear Paul shouting out "KILL SIN!" Paul is emphasizing that "slaying" is so important that it calls for immediate attention and urgent action! Every time you sense these old "former life" inclinations, as the Nike commercial says "Just do it!"
3. ‘The members of the body’ are the "vehicles" to carry out the desires of the body.
A. Immorality: excessive behavior or lack of restraint, but eventually became associated with sexual excess and indulgence, of every kind of extramarital, unlawful, or unnatural sexual intercourse.
B. Impurity: literally describes any substance that is filthy or dirty and cold refer to refuse or to the contents of graves, causing ceremonial impurity separating us from God.
C. Passion: is the experience of a strong desire. It is a drive or force that does not rest until satisfied.
D. Evil: is wickedness as an evil habit of the mind and is used 11 times in NT to describe the wickedness, which comes from within a person.
E. Greed: means literally to have more and describes a strong desire to acquire more and more material possessions, especially that which is forbidden. It is a desire to have more irrespective of one's need and is always used in bad sense. It describes an insatiable selfishness.
F. The essence of idolatry: then is the desire to get things here on earth seeking satisfaction in them or by them below not above.
1. ‘What things?’ The sins Paul has just mentioned. The wrath of God is simply the rule of the universe that a man will sow what he reaps and that no one ever escapes the consequences of his sin for as Moses wrote "be sure your sin will find you out" (Nu 32:23). The unbeliever will experience His eternal wrath, and the believer His loving chastening. Either way, all who pursue sin will suffer the consequences.
2. ‘Will come’ denotes the certainty of this future event and his use of the present tense (instead of the future tense as one might expect) literally means " it is coming" or it is already on its way, so to speak thus picturing the wrath as already on its way.
1. ‘When were we in them’ describes our position as non-believers, when we were in Adam. All the prior thoughts, words, and deeds were in an atmosphere of sin when we were in Adam. Not one of their acts ever got outside the circle of sin--their previous manner of walking is a description of what is often termed total depravity. In other words, Paul gives a panoramic view and looks at the entire life while unsaved as nothing but sin.
1. ‘But now’ - This phrase signifies a contrast, something like you were "walking one direction" but now you are to walk another direction spiritually speaking. Truth demands a response.
2. ‘Them all’ - Not just the really bad ones but also the ones that don't seem ostensibly so "bad"!
3. ‘Put Aside’ figuratively the idea is to cease doing what one is accustomed to doing. Stop doing it. "Throw" it off. Be done with it. Put aside is an imperative, which calls for a decisive choice to effectively accomplish an action and can even convey the idea of doing so with some degree of urgency. The idea is "Do this now"! Put these habits of the old life away. Lay them aside like you would filthy, smelly, dirty clothes.
A. Anger: is a deep, smoldering, resentful bitterness. It is the settled heart attitude of the angry person.
B. Wrath: (outbursts of anger, rage, indignation) is an intense expression of the inner self, frequently expressed as strong indignation, a state of intense displeasure or rage.
C. Malice: describes a mean-spirited or vicious attitude or disposition.
D. Slander: is the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations, which defame, belittle or damage another’s reputation and cause them to fall into disrepute or to receive a bad reputation. It is to try to tear down another individual.
E. Abusive speech: is to be foul–mouthed, which in turn is derived from filthy or improper and refers to speech of a kind that is generally considered in poor taste, obscene speech, filthy or dirty speech.
1. ‘Do not lie’ means to communicate what is false, with the evident purpose of misleading. The command is stop lying or "do not have the habit’. Notice specifically who Paul tells the Colossians to not lie to!
2. Thus we see that one reason why they should adhere to the truth is that they are all "members of another." Dishonesty characterized the former life, the “old self”.
3. The Colossian believers are to remember that because of the new birth, they have wholly ‘put off the old self.’ They have "stripped him clean off" like a dirty garment and figuratively have gotten away from these filthy rags. It is important however to note that the evil nature of the old self is not (yet) eradicated, but that it remains in the believer until death.
4. ‘The Old Self or Old Man’ is the worn out, useless, and unconverted sinful nature. The Old Self describes all that a person is before conversion or all that he is as a child of Adam. The Old Self is the unregenerate person that was in Adam and was spiritually dead.
5. ‘With its evil practices’: the way in which you used to behave--what you customarily did--all the activities, which belong to the old nature, the former self. The old self conducted itself in a way, which led to the accomplishment of evil deeds (sin).
1. With the stripping off of the old nature there has come a new nature, the new man. We have laid aside the old garment, the "hand me down" rags from Adam and have put on the new garment, the new man in Christ. When did we put on the new? This "putting on" occurred the moment the old self (old man) died with Christ, at the time of regeneration by grace through faith. We received the old man at birth, and we were given the new man in our heavenly birth. The new man is not our work — it is God’s creation and gift. Our task is not to weave it, but to wear it.
2. ‘Who is being renewed’: When we receive Christ, God's work isn't over-- It has just begun. The present tense indicates that we are "constantly being renewed” to a new quality of life, which describes a process that will continue the rest of our earthly lives and is essentially synonymous with sanctification, growth in holiness, gradual being conformed to the image of God's Son.
3. ‘According to’ - This prepositional phrase means according to the standard. God's standard is Jesus Christ. God's purpose is to make us like His Son. The new man was created to be like God. God holds up Jesus Christ as the standard to which He wants us to be conformed. "Are my words, actions and deeds daily becoming more like the Lord Jesus Christ?" Am I more like Christ this year than last?
1. The "place" described is the renewed state of the "new man" in Christ, i.e., in Christ there are no class distinctions. People are not born equal in terms of mental capacity, physical capacity, etc, and so there is no such thing as true equality in this life. Christianity changes that because regeneration brings true equality to people. All believers share the same privilege and position.
2. ‘The Greek’ when he is converted, becomes a new being, with a new citizenship, a new allegiance. Now he is not so much a Greek but is in fact a Christian. The gospel broke down every barrier, so that Jew and Gentile became one in Christ. The Greek and Jew, the latter circumcised and the former, uncircumcised, were separated by seemingly insurmountable racial and religious barriers. No distinctions.
3. Both ‘slaves and freemen’ were saved and became brothers in Christ Jesus sets aside all our education, background, nationality and experience. Jesus breaks down social barriers. Jesus sets aside national, religious, cultural and social distinctions. Christ has obliterated the words barbarian, master, slave, all of them and has substituted the word (brother). Christ is now all that matters. He is everything in SALVATION. He is everything in SANCTIFICATION. He is everything necessary for human SATISFACTION.