Colossians 3:5-17

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Colossians 3:5-17

Paul writes to the church that when a person is in Christ, his or her life has changed.  But, not only changed, the child of God is to live in accordance to the Word of God.  There are attitudes, actions, words, agendas, emotions, and so much more in the old life is not to be present in the new life in Christ.

So, the child of God must put off these old habits and actions and put on the things of the Lord.  Child of God is not just to sit back and do nothing, but bring his or her life under the control of the Holy Spirit and discipline his or her body, mouth, hands, and mind.

Colossians 3:5–17 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. 

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. 

3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 

3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

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 a person has a new life in Jesus Christ, there must be a change in his actions, words, thoughts, and life.  When a person comes to know Christ, his life changes.  When a person comes to know Christ, his nature changes.  He is a new person, has a new nature, and has a new future.  A person who 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 

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

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 entire body is to remove it.  Sin needs removing from the Christian’s life.

Put to death – drastic response which shows the seriousness of bring one’s life under control.  It means that you count yourself, your old life, dead in Christ so you might live for Him the rest of your life.

Put to death:

Sexual immorality – God has ordained the sexual intimacy to be between a husband and wife.  Anything outside of this is sin and must not be in the life of the Christian.

Impurity – impure thoughts, words, jokes, gestures, etc.

1 Peter 2:11 ESV “¶ Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.”

Passion – uncontrolled passions, lust, etc.

Evil desires – desires toward evil, wickedness

Covetousness – coveting things that others have and you do not have, idolatry because it takes the place of the Lord in your life.

Exodus 20:17 ESV “¶ “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.””

Luke 12:15 ESV “And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.””

Ephesians 5:3 ESV “¶ But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.”

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

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.

Anger – there is an anger which is not sin.  However, being angry at the wrong things or circumstances is sin.

Wrath – when anger turns into an unforgiving spirit – anger becomes deep seated

Malice – anger that has congealed into taking revenge, getting even.  It is deeper that wrath because it takes action to hurt the person.

Slander – this is blasphemy.  Blasphemy against the Lord is taking the Lord’s name in vain, defaming the Lord.  Blasphemy against a person is telling lies, slandering, giving half-truths, misrepresenting things to bring a reproach on the person.  James Vernon McGee writes, “Well, my friends, when you say things like that, untrue things about a child of God, you are guilty of blasphemy.”⁠1

Obscene talk – filthy jokes, etc.

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

Tell the truth – speak the truth.  But, speak the truth with grace.

Colossians 4:6 ESV “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

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.

Put on:

Compassion – mercy, grace, tenderhearted

Kindness – help one another, being kind and considerate

Humility – putting God first and others second

Philippians 2:1–8 ESV “2:1 ¶ So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 

2:2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 

2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 

2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 

2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

2:6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 

2:7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 

2:8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Meekness – gentleness

Patience – long-suffering

Forbearing – to hold back, putting up with each other

Forgiving – as Christ has forgiven you, forgive others

Love – binds all of this together – binds people together

1 Corinthians 13:4–7 ESV “13:4 ¶ Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

13:5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

13:6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 

13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Peace – live peaceably with all if possible.  Let the peace of God rule in your heart.

Let the Lord dwell in your hearts

Colossians 3:16–17 ESV “3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 

3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Dwell means to be at home in your life.  When the Word of God is at home in your life, then peace will rule in your heart along with thanksgiving and praise.

Verse 17 – represents our conduct as a Christian that whatever we do we are do to it for the glory of God.  This should cause us to consider what we are doing and why we are doing it.  We are doing it for Jesus.  So we must ask ourselves, “Will the Lord be pleased with what I am doing now?”

Lesson

As a child of God, there are things in our life that we must put off, like filthy, dirty garments.

As a child of God, there are things we must put on in our life – beautiful garments that bring love, joy, peace, and unity.

As our Lord has set us free from the power and penalty of sin, we must put sin aside and live for Him daily.

What is in your life that needs putting off because it is not becoming of a child of Christ?

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1 James Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary, p. 357

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