Week Seven - Day Three
Off with the Old, On with the New
Colossians 3:1-14 - 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. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immo- rality, 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 o the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is be- ing 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. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion- ate 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.
Paul’s letter to the Colossians invites them to begin living as people changed by God. Paul does an amazing job explaining how Jesus is our risen Lord (Col 1: 15-23) and how our future with him is permanently fixed with him in glory. But, Paul wants us to live that reality out right now (Col 2:6). Paul’s letter goes on to provide practical instructions for living for Christ. It describes both taking o the old self (which came from the heart of stone described in Ezekiel 11:19) and putting on the new self (which lives for and by the desires of the Spirit).
In reference to a list of common sins which are pervasive in American culture and society today, verse 5 uses powerful verbiage - put these things to death! Paul equates “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness” with idolatry. Idolatry is the admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone more than Jesus. When one chooses some thing, person, or event over loving and pursuing Jesus, they are choosing the desires of the flesh (the old self) rather than the desires of the Spirit; that is idolatry. Paul says, “Don’t do that! That’s not who you are! You are a new creation!” (2 Cor 5:17).
- Prayerfully consider if there is anything inyour life interfering with following the desires of the Spirit. Record the revelations in your journal.
- Spend time both repenting and thanking God for bringing this interference to your attention. Ask him to reveal your next steps to overcome the sinful desires of your heart so you are free to pursue the desires of the Spirit. Record your action plan, consider adding a time frame to accomplish it, and share it with a family member or someone in your Discipleship Group.