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 we are truly believing in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, this means that we were crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we were raised with Christ to newness of life in him in order that we may no longer be enslaved to sin but that we might now be slaves (bondservants) of God and of his righteousness. Thus, we should be those who are walking (in conduct) no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Therefore, our minds and our hearts should be set on the things of the Spirit and not on the things of the flesh. For if we set our minds on the flesh, the end result is death, not life eternal. So, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh, for if we live according to the flesh we will die, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the body, we will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]
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.”
Let me take you back for a minute to the first verse here where it says, “IF you have been raised with Christ…” The word “if” indicates that what follows is conditional, such as “if this is true then this.” There are a ton of “if” verses in the New Testament teachings regarding our salvation from sin and eternal life with God, but mostly they are ignored in favor of a non-conditional gospel which permits you to keep on in your sin without guilt.
[Jn 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 11:17-24; 1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6, 14-15; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 1 Jn 2:24-25]
The word “if” also brings into question whether or not something exists. It raises the possibility of doubt that something exists or that it is true. So, basically this is not assuming that the intended audience for these words were, in fact, raised with Christ to newness of life in him, which would have required that they first died with Christ to sin. For we can’t have the resurrection without the cross, without first death to sin.
But not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ has, indeed, died with Christ to sin and has been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him. For many who profess faith in Jesus don’t believe that they must repent of their sins. They don’t believe that they have to obey the Lord or submit to his Lordship over their lives, either, for they call that “works-based salvation” or “lordship salvation,” which they believe they are to avoid.
So, many of them have not yet put to death what is earthly in them. And many who did have since wandered from their pure devotion to the Lord and they have gone back to living according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit. Yet, living according to the flesh in sexual immorality, impurity, evil desire, idolatry, anger, malice, lies, and slander, etc. is to be what we once walked in (past tense), not what we are presently walking in.
When we come to faith in Jesus Christ we put off the old self with its practices and we put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of God, our creator. We die with Christ to sin and we live to him and to his righteousness. So, we are not to return to living in sin, obeying what sin desires. These are all to be put away from us, for on account of these the wrath of God is coming.
[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]
Colossians 3:12-15 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.”
The gospel of Jesus Christ is all about putting off our old lives of living in sin, and for self, and putting on our new lives in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. For Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. Therefore, not only are we to put to death what is earthly in us, but we are to put on compassionate hearts, humility, forgiveness, love, and thankfulness, etc.
And not only that, but we are to put on moral purity, godly desire, worship of God only as our God, patience, kindness, pure lips, honesty, faithfulness, righteousness, uprightness, and self-control, etc. And we are to let the peace of God, which is peace with God, rule in our hearts. We are not to be anxious about anything nor are we to live as enemies of the cross of Christ, but we are to live as those who are devoted to Christ in obedience to him.
Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)
Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Chris Eaton
I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son
I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now
Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven
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