BASICS FOR LIVING IN CHRIST
A. In chapters 1-2, Paul has maintained that Christ is “all-sufficient” in matters of salvation and overcoming sin… Colossians 2:10
B. Beginning now in chapter 3, Paul gives some basic and practical admonitions that pertain to living a life in Christ
C. When carried out, these “Basics for Living in Christ” will assure that we find in Christ everything we need for this life and the one to come
D. The first admonition is found in verses 1-4…
A. SEEK THE HEAVENLY (3:1-4)
1. Set your mind on things above (3:1-2)
a. Why is this so important?
1) It is essential if we desire to be “transformed” – Romans 12:2
2) It is necessary if we want to be able to “live according to the Spirit” – Romans 8:5-6
2. How do we “seek those things which are above”?
1) By directing our minds’ attention to such things mentioned in Philippians 4:8
2) More specifically, by setting our attention on the Word of God, where we find:
a) Christ foreshadowed and foretold in the Old Testament
b) Christ’s life and teachings in the Gospels
c) Christ’s church in the Book of Acts
d) Christ’s fuller teachings in the Epistles
e) Christ’s encouragement and ultimate victory in the Book of Revelation
2. Further reasons to seek those things above (3:3-4)
a. We “died” (3:3)
1) This occurs when one is baptized into Christ, which is a burial into His death in which we are “crucified with Him” – Romans 6:3-6
2) We “died” to sin, that we might be free from sin and now live with Christ – Romans 6:7-13
b. Thus, we were also “raised with Christ” (3:1)
1) Which occurs when one comes forth from baptism – Colossians 2:12 (“…in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him…”)
2) We were raised so that we might “walk in newness of life” – Romans 6:4
c. Our life is “hidden with Christ in God” (3:3)
1) As Paul wrote to the Galatians 2:20
2) We have denied self, crucified self, so it is now Christ Who is to live in us!
d. When Christ appears in glory, so will we! (3:4)
1) The first three reasons for us to “seek the heavenly” were based upon what has happened in the PAST
2) This motivation is predicated upon what is promised for the FUTURE!
3. And what a wonderful promise that is! But to obtain that promise requires not only that we set our “minds” on things proper, but that we properly deal with our “bodies” as well.
4. To put it another way, from verses 5-9 we learn that we must also…
B. SLAY THE EARTHLY (3:5-9)
1. We must “put to death” the sensual sins (3:5-7)
a. Those that appeal to the “lust of the flesh”
b) A general term for any illicit sexual intercourse; includes adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality
b) Uncleanness in a moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, extravagant living
3) Passion (inordinate affection, KJV)
b) Used by the Greeks in either a good or bad sense; in the NT in a bad sense, it means depraved passion, vile passions
4) Evil desire (evil concupiscence, KJV)
b) Desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust
b. Also that which appeals to the “lust of the eyes”
b) Greedy desire to have more, covetousnes
2) Described by Paul to be equivalent to idolatry!
a) For covetousness puts things in the place of God
b) We are to set our minds on things above (where God is), but when we covet material objects we have our minds on things below, making such objects our idols!
c. Motivation for putting these things to death
1) To avoid the coming wrath of God! – Colossians 2:6-7
2) Its one thing to do these things when we “lived in them,” but in Christ we have “died to them”!
2. We must also “put off” the social sins (3:8-9)
a. Sins of the “emotions”
b) Movement or agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but esp. anger
b) Passion, angry, heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again
b) Malignity, malice, ill-will, desire to injure
b. Sins of the “tongue”
b) Slander, detraction, speech injurious, to another’s good name; impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty
2) Filthy language (filthy communication, KJV)
b) Foul speaking, low and obscene speech
b) To lie, to speak deliberate falsehoods; to deceive one by a lie, to lie to
c. The reason for putting off all these things: we must complete in PRACTICE what we started in PRINCIPLE – Colossians 3:9b
1) When we were baptized, we “put off” the old man with his deeds (in principle) – Colossians 2:11-12; 3:9
2) In practice, it does not occur overnight, thus the need for such admonitions as: “But now you must also put off all these…” – Colossians 3:8
3. Finally, and briefly, we notice in verses 10-11 an admonition by Paul which will be expanded upon in the next section (12-17). He encourages us to…
C. STRENGTHEN THE CHRIST-LIKE (3:10-11)
1. For we have put on the new man (3:10)
a. In baptism into Christ, we “put on Christ” – Galatians 3:27
b. Thus, in PRINCIPLE we also put on “the new man” who is renewed “according to the image of Him who created him”
c. What we have done in PRINCIPLE (Col. 3:10), we will need to do in PRACTICE (cf. Colossians 3:12)
2. For the goal is “Christ is all and in all” (3:11)
a. To be renewed according to the image of Christ! … Romans 8:29
b. To become like Christ, and in so doing, destroy the barriers that have long divided man!
A. This is what might be called “the whole duty of man” in New Testament terms: to be renewed according to the image of Christ!
B. To accomplish this goal, we must heed the admonitions of Paul and:
1. Seek The Heavenly
2. Slay The Earthly
3. Strengthen The Christian
C. Did you notice that everything in this chapter assumes that one has been “raised with Christ” (cf. Co 3:1, “IF THEN you were raised with Christ…”)?
1. How are we raised with Christ?
2. Paul has already described how, in Colossians 2:11-13, where we learn that it is in baptism that God will raise one who has faith in the working of God!
3. Have you been baptized into Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38), and to be able to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-5)