Colossians 3:1-4 ESV
“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.”
If you have first died with Christ to sin, and then you have been raised with Christ to newness of life in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, then seek the things of God which are from above, and don’t set your minds on the things of this earth.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8:5-8).
Do you understand what this is saying? If your minds are set on the flesh and on what is of this earth, and your minds are not set on the things of God, which is evidenced by how you live your life, then your life will end in death for eternity, not in eternal life with God (Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).
Colossians 3:5-10 ESV
“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. 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.”
If we died with Christ to sin that we might live to Christ and to his righteousness, we genuinely believe in Jesus Christ, and we must daily die with Christ to sin and daily live to him and to his righteousness. Sin should no longer be what we practice, but righteousness should be our practice.
Every day we must say “No!” to our flesh and “Yes!” to God. Every day we must choose to serve the Lord and not the flesh. For our salvation from sin is not a one-time deal and then we are good to go. Our salvation is a process of saying no to sin and yes to God and walking in obedience to him.
For, God’s gift of grace to us trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for his return. And his grace delivers us from our slavery to sin so that we can become slaves of his righteousness (Titus 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-23).
His grace to us is NOT free license to continue living in sin, only now without guilt and with no requirement to repent, obey, or submit to our Lord.
For, if we don’t, by the Spirit, put to death such things as sexual immorality, idolatry, impurity, immorality, fleshly passions, and evil desires, etc., we must know the wrath of God is what awaits us, not eternal life with God. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (Rom 8:1-17).
Colossians 3:12-17 ESV
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 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. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
“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. 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.”
The reason that Jesus Christ died on that cross was not just to forgive us our sins and to free us from the punishment of sin, and to give us the hope of eternal life with God. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15).
So, the whole purpose of our salvation and of the Christian life is for us to shed these old lives of living for the flesh, and in sin, so that we might live for our Lord in holiness and righteousness, living lives pleasing to him and for the praise of his glory. So, this is how we are supposed to walk.
And the kind of love we are to have, one for the other, is not human love, which is based in our emotions, but it is love which is from God and which prefers (chooses) what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, pure, moral, upright, trustworthy, honest, faithful.
So, we are not going to live in sin, and we will not pacify and encourage others in their sins, nor ignore habitual and deliberate sin in the life of believers in Jesus Christ. But we will work for the building up of the body of Christ to maturity in Christ and we will encourage them to live holy lives.
For, this is what we are supposed to do as brothers and sisters in Christ. We aren’t to applaud sin, or be entertained by it, or overlook it, or coddle people in their sinful rebellion against the Lord. But we are to confront sin, call it what it is, then call for repentance and for obedient faith in Jesus Christ.
Now, we need to do this with kindness, but with firmness of conviction, too, for many people who call themselves Christians are living no different from those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Many professers of Christianity, in fact, are living in idolatry and in immorality.
So, bearing with one another is not condoning or tolerating habitual and willful sin. And forgiving one another is also not overlooking habitual and deliberate sin against God and others. We are to forgive as God forgives us, and he demands holiness and righteous living. And he will discipline willful and habitual sin within the Christian’s life and Christian community.
So, put off the fruitless deeds of darkness, and walk according to the Spirit so that you no longer live to gratify the sinful cravings of your flesh.
A Believer’s Prayer
An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.