Colossians 3:1-7

0 Shares
0
0
0

Christian’s pursuit

Colossians 3:1-7

 

Colossians 3:1–7 ESV “3:1 ¶ If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 

3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 

3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 

3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 

3:5 ¶ Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 

3:6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.

3:7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.”

 

Every morning, we get up and pursue after what is on our hearts. We strive to acquire what we believe will satisfy our heart’s desire. If we are not careful, we can be persuaded to pursue after things that do not matter. 

False teachers had infiltrated the church at Colossae and was attempting to persuade them to pursue after things which were contrary to the Scriptures. 

Paul emphasizes to the Christians to continue pursuing after the things of God and not be persuaded by the false teachers to pursue after some new way of worship, philosophy, or legalistic, ceremonial activities. His instructions to avoid, do not get involved with this mysticism or formalism, or anything else that would take them away from Christ. Do not allow anyone to deceive you.

Consider the following instructions of Paul.

 

Paul warns about vain or empty philosophy:

 

Colossians 2:8 ESV “¶ See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

 

Paul warms about being entrap in the Ceremonial law:

 

Colossians 2:14–17 ESV “2:14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 

2:15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

2:16 ¶ Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 

2:17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.”

 

Paul warns about mysticism:

 

Colossians 2:18 ESV “Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,” 

 

These individuals were trying to lead the church away from the Lord Jesus Christ into this other worship.  These false teachers were attempting to deceive the congregation into believing that their way was a better way to worship the Lord.  They promised a greater religious experience but, it was not greater, just misleading, false, and deceptive.  

This is true today of those who are abandoning the worship of the Lord for some ‘new’ way of worship that is promoting a better religious experience.  The church must be wary of a newfangled way of doing things but examine it in light of the Scriptures. The Scriptures are the authority.

The only way to worship the Lord is through His Son, Jesus Christ, which rest in Him the fullness of the Godhead. He is the Lord.

 

Colossians 2:9 ESV “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,” 

 

When I came to Christ, I became a new person

 

Colossians 3:1–2 ESV “3:1 ¶ If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 

3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

 

To understand this passage, one must go back to chapter two and verse 12.

 

Colossians 2:12 ESV “having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” 

 

When a person comes to know Christ as his or her personal Saviour, he is identified with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.  The Christian is dead to his old self and has been raised a new person in Christ.  The old life has been crucified or has died, and now there is a new person that lives because of Jesus Christ.  Because of his faith in Jesus Christ, he is now a new person.  A person is saved by faith and faith alone.  

Verse 1, since the Christian is a new person in Jesus Christ, his desires and wants have changed.  They are not the same old desires because now he is a new person in Jesus Christ.  He has a new nature.

Galatians 2:20 ESV “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

A new person has new desires.  A new person has a new direction.  A new person has a new hope.  A person who comes to Christ by faith is a new person.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 

 

My heart’s desires changed

 

Notice the phrase ‘seek those things which are above.’ When a person becomes a Christian his desires change to that which is in heaven because that is where his Saviour is.  He is no longer seeking to fulfill the desires of the old life, but is seeking to please the Lord in his new life.

 

Matthew 6:33 ESV “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” 

 

The Christian’s desires and thoughts should be on eternal things, heavenly things, and not on the things of this world.  Even though, the Christian is living in this world, his or her life must be lived with heaven in mind, not this world.  The trap that so many fall into is thinking that this world is everything.  But, for the Christian, this world is a passing through place where the final resting place is with Christ.

 

Hebrews 11:13–16 ESV “11:13 ¶ These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 

11:14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 

11:15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 

11:16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”

 

My mind/thoughts are on spiritual things

 

Colossians 3:2 ESV “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” 

 

Since the Christian has new desires, he also thinks about new things.  He now thinks and meditates on the things of the Lord because he is a new person in the Lord.  His thought life has changed.  He understands spiritual things.  He understands more things in light of heaven and eternity.  He understands that life is more than just his world but includes the world to come.

Affection is referring to our thinking.  What is the thought process of a Christian?  Should it be on this world?  Should it focus on this life?  To set your thinking on things above means to think with eternity in mind.  It means to think on the things of Christ.  It means to think and meditate on the Lord and His Word.

This is a very good general rule: “Be as much in earnest for heavenly and eternal things, as ye formerly were for those that are earthly and perishing.”⁠1 

Since the Christian is a new person in Christ, his thinking and desires must be heavenly.  He needs to spend time in the Word of God, spend time in worshipping the Lord, spend time in fellowshipping with other Christians, and etc.

 

When I came to Christ, the old life is dead because I have a new life in Christ

Colossians 3:3–4 ESV “3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 

3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” 

 

Died to the old life and alive in Christ

When a person comes to know Christ as Saviour, the old life is dead.  The phrase “For ye are dead” in the original means ‘You have died.’  This means the old life has passed away and now the Christian has a new life in Jesus Christ.  This is what Paul meant in Galatians 2:20.

 

Galatians 2:20 ESV “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

 

The life of the Christian is a life that is to be lived for Christ because this life came from Him.  He quickened or made alive the person in Christ.

 

Ephesians 2:1–8 ESV “2:1 ¶ And you were dead in the trespasses and sins

2:2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 

2:3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 

2:5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 

2:6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 

2:7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 

2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” 

 

Since the Christian is dead to the old life, then the things of this world should not have a strangle hold on him.  The world’s influence should fade away and the influence of the Lord takes its place.  The Christian no longer views this present life as the only life but looks ahead and sees the eternal life that he has in Christ.  A life that will not end or fade away because he has been made alive in Jesus Christ and will be resurrected unto eternal life by the power of Christ.

The Christian understands that he lives in this world.  He understands that there are things that he must do and accomplish in this world.  But, it should not be the focus of his life.  His focus must be on Christ and His things.

 

1 John 2:15–17 ESV “2:15 ¶ Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 

2:16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 

2:17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 

 

Because of the new life in Christ, I will be with Him (appear)

 

Colossians 3:4 ESV “When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” 

 

Those who have accepted Christ as their Saviour will one day appear with Him when He comes back to set up His earthly kingdom during the Day of the Lord.

 

Revelation 19:11–16 ESV “19:11 ¶ Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 

19:12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 

19:13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 

19:14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 

19:15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 

19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” 

Look at verse fourteen.  The armies that come back with the Lord are those who have died in Christ.  They will come back with Him in glory.  They will be with Him when He sets up His earthly kingdom as mentioned in Isaiah chapter nine.  The Christian’s hope and desire is not in this world but in the world to come.

 

When I came to Christ, my life must change

 

Colossians 3:5–11 ESV “3:5 ¶ Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 

3:6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.

3:7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 

3:8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 

3:9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices

3:10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 

3:11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” 

 

Now that a person has a new life in Jesus Christ, there must be a change in his character and actions.  When a person truly comes to know Christ, his life changes.  When a person truly comes to know Christ, his nature changes.  He is a new person, has a new nature, and has a new future.  A person who really comes to know Christ is a different person.

Paul gives the Christians at Colossae several important instructions for living the Christian life.

 

I must put off my old, sinful lifestyle 

 

He must mortify or count as dead the sinful deeds of the old life that is in reference to the sins of the body.  Paul tells the Christian to count the body as dead to the sinful desires of the flesh like sexual sins, covetousness, evil desires, wicked imaginations, and so forth.  The Christian is to keep these things out of his life because he is a new person in Jesus Christ.  He is telling the Christian to examine his life and any action, deed, or desire that is harming his life needs to be cut off and gotten rid of.  The concept is like dealing with a limb that has gangrene in it.  The only way to keep from infecting the whole body is to remove it.  Sin needs removing from the Christian’s life.

He must put off or remove sinful emotions and actions from his life.  He is to put aside anger, hatred, slander, blasphemies, evil speaking, and filthy talk from his life.  He must speak the truth and put aside lying.

 

I must put on my new life in Christ

 

Colossians 3:10–15 ESV “3:10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 

3:11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. 

3:12 ¶ Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 

3:13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 

3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 

3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”

 

So the Christian must put on the new man or the new life that is found in Jesus Christ.  He needs to be renewed in the knowledge of the Lord.  He needs to have his life-renewed daily in Jesus Christ.  He needs to focus on the things of the Lord not on the things of the old life.

He needs to act, talk, and be more like Christ.  He needs to be holy because God is holy.  He needs to live for Christ.

 

Romans 12:1–2 ESV “12:1 ¶ I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” 

 

In verse 11, one sees the special aspect of being in Christ.  Before a person became a Christian, his life was filled with pre-conceived notions and ideas about others based on nationality, religion, race, social status, and etc.  After Christ, there is no distinction between Christians based on their background.  Each Christian is the same in Jesus Christ.

 

Lessons

 

I am a new person in Christ and I need to live for Christ by focusing on spiritual things and put aside the old life and ways.

 

 

anImage_5.tiff

1 Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the New Testament, Clarke, Adam, Quickverse

0 Shares