Colossians 3:1-11 – “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” NKJV
It is always important to note any sentence, thought, topic, or paragraph that begins with “if.” Without the “if” the remainder of the thought has no application for the reader especially if it is a participatory subject as we find in this passage. The apostle Paul is telling the Church a Colossae and to all who will read in the generations to follow that if they have been raised in the “New Birth – Salvation” through Jesus then there are some important things to note.
- IF – THEN “seek” those things which are above where Christ is.
- IF – THEN “set your mind” on things above and not on earth.
Because if you have died to sin your life is now “hidden” with Christ in God and the world no longer recognizes you because you are no longer part of it.
Verse five begins a process that is not possible without the divine work of Grace and the Holy Spirit. Verse eight identifies some things that it is our responsibility to do. Obviously this is not without the work of the Spirit of God but these are things that are our responsibilities as “born-again believers” who have been transferred out of darkness into the newness of life and light in Christ.
Notice the things he tells us to put away “ourselves.”
- Filthy language
Because we have put off (by the work of the Holy Spirit) the Old Man with his deeds and have put on the New Man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him and it is universally applicable to everyone regardless of race, creed, or national origin.
In this NEW LIFE in Christ there is a part that God does sovereignly by the work of the Holy Spirit and a part that we cooperate and participate in through our knowledge and even personal determination which some would call will-power. We know they are not right and if we are IN CHRIST we have no justification for continued participation in them. You do not have to lie. You do not have to allow anger or wrath to rule. You do not have to allow malice in your heart. You do not have to blaspheme or use filthy language. Those are things you can decide not to do and immediately the Holy Spirit will become your Helper. Of course you will be attacked by the devil but “Greater is He that is in us that he that is in the world.” We are victors in Christ!
May God bless you as you go through your day!