“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4 ESV
I like it that it begins here with “IF” you have been raised with Christ, for not everyone has, even though they may profess to have been. Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord,” truly has been born again of the Spirit of God. Not everyone who makes an appearance of righteousness is truly living righteously, either. For, it all may be an act, a performance.
Many who profess faith in Jesus Christ are actually opposed to him and to his righteousness. For, they are living in wickedness, idolatry, immorality and impurity. They have a façade of following after Jesus Christ, but their hearts are far from him, for their hearts are still set on the sinful nature and the things of this world. Their minds are still set on the things of this earth, though they may present the opposite so that people will think well of them.
Some of them, in order to reconcile their lifestyles with their professions of faith, will tamper down God’s righteous requirements. They will cushion his instructions on holy living. They will soften the message of the gospel so that it does not confront them with their sins. And, they will twist the scriptures to their advantage to make them say what they want them to say so that they can go on in their wickedness guilt free.
So, they have not really died to their old sinful lifestyles. They have just put on an appearance of having been born again of the Spirit of God. They are not seeking what is above, only in form, but they are still seeking after the things of the flesh, i.e. what is worldly. Their minds are not set on Christ and his righteousness and holiness, but on their own selfish and fleshly desires.
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” Colossians 3:5-8 ESV
They have not really put these things to death, either. But, in order to give the appearance that they have put them to death, they may do a temporary fade-out of one, but then another character or another persona will just fade-in in its place, which may be a different expression of sin or it may be a different façade that they feel may be more convincing, if the other did not work for them.
They may wear a lot of different faces (characters, personas), in fact, all in the effort to deceive and to make themselves appear righteous when they know they are not, for they are still living in sin. Or, it could be that they change characters regularly in order to confuse, to throw people off balance, so that others don’t really know what is going on with them. For, many of them are clever enchanters who are skilled at manipulating people’s minds.
The authority over their heads (minds) is not Jesus Christ, for they never bowed the knee to him in submission to his will for their lives. The authority over their heads is still their own flesh, and it is cyclical (habitual). And, it is of Satan who wants to keep them in bondage to their sin. And, for many of them, it is of the beast and its one-world religion, too, for it is against Christ, and is against his gospel, although they may fake loyalty to Christ in order to deceive others into following after their lies.
They don’t really believe the wrath of God will come against them, for they convince themselves that a mere confession of Christ as Savior of their lives is enough to secure them heaven. And, so they feel liberated to continue in their sinful practices unhindered. So, they may consider these biblical instructions here as a mere suggestion, but one they are not obligated to follow.
“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:9-11 ESV
The Big Lie that is involved here is that we don’t have to repent of our sins and we don’t have to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands, but that we can still be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God based on a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ. And, so many people have bought into this lie, and it is spreading like gangrene.
The lie says we don’t have to put off our old self at all, along with its sinful practices, and we don’t have to put on the new self in Christ, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. But, this teaching is devoid of the light of Christ and of his gospel, for it does not receive, reflect, transmit or radiate the light of Christ and his truth, found in His Word.
The lie says that all we have to do is “believe”, but that “belief” is rarely defined, especially not biblically. So, it leaves the interpretation, of what belief in Jesus is, open to private interpretation, which often ignores God’s righteous requirements for salvation and eternal life with God.
[See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Tit. 2:11-14; Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Co. 5:15; 1 Pet. 2:24; Eph. 2:10].
But, this Big Lie (think of Pinocchio’s nose when he kept telling lies) appeals to the flesh of man. It attracts the immature, the foolish, the irresponsible and the self-indulgent. It is aimed at the weak, the vulnerable, and the naïve – to those lacking in discernment and good judgment. And, it appeals to those still trapped in their sinful addictions, and it promises them freedom while still leaving them in bondage. And, a large majority of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, at least here in America, have believed the lie.
But, the Big Lie doesn’t end there. In order to keep people still bound in their sins while promising them heaven when they die, they not only need to convince them that the lie is the truth, but they need to convince them that the truth is a lie. And, so they lie about the true gospel of grace and they call it “works-based salvation,” which it is not, for it is what Jesus and his NT apostles taught, including Paul, who taught God’s grace.
The Bible says that if you buy into this lie that says you can keep on in your sinful practices and still have heaven as your eternal destiny that you need to wake up and see the truth. For, the truth is that it is only those who walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, who have eternal life with God.
And, the truth is that if you continue living in sin, walking (in practice) in your sinful addictions, that you are going to die in your sins, not have eternal life with God (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8; Eph. 5:3-6; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Jn. 6:35-66).
So, by the Spirit of God, put your old life of living for sin and self to death, and be renewed in your mind of the Spirit of God, and put on your new self in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Put all these sinful practices, listed here in this passage, far from you. Remove them from your lives, and now walk by the Spirit, according to the Spirit, and no longer according to your flesh, and you will have the hope of eternal life with God now and for eternity. You will know his peace and his joy, and you will know freedom from bondage to sin, and empowerment of the Spirit of God to live godly and holy lives pleasing to God.
Then, set your hearts and your minds on things that are from God, and not on things of this earth which is passing away. Follow your Lord in obedience to His Word and to His Ways. Go where he sends you. Say what he commands you to say. Do what he has called you to do, but do so in His power and strength so that he gets all the glory. And, keep putting off those lies. Keep resisting Satan, fleeing temptation, and keep putting on Christ and his righteousness, in truth, and in action, and you will be blessed.
For Our Nation
An Original Work / September 11, 2012
Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.
Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.