Dealing with sin and living for Jesus Christ
The Apostle Paul finishes encouraging his readers about the rapture of the church and then immediately talks about mortifying our flesh. He states they (flesh) are on this earth but he gets very specific by naming fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence and covetousness which he defined as idolatry. Another words Paul was saying put these sins to death because they may seem natural in our flesh but these desires are enmity to God. This kind of reminds me of a referee giving instructions before a sports event and in essence he is saying follow the rules and keep it clean when you go to battle. Many times in the Bible the Holy Spirit depicts Christians as soldiers with our spiritual armor through Jesus Christ as we remain in this world before God takes us home. When we get to heaven our bodies, minds and spirits as redeemed saints in Paradise will be sinless.
In verse six Paul talks about the wrath of God coming on the children of disobedience. It is good to try our best to obey God every day because this becomes part of our spirit when we engage in this practice. Those that do not just kind of go out into the world and perhaps might even fall into one or more of these sins. It is interesting that Paul reminds them that they were once like this when living in those sins but now they are washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.
Then the Apostle even gets more specified by writing to the Colossians by saying put off anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy and filthy communication out of your mouth. In verse five Paul goes over one set of sins and then in verse eight he goes over a completely different sequence of transgressions.
At this point the Apostle is keeping them honest by telling them not to lie to one another in word or in their practice of lifestyles. He reminds them that they as believers in Christ put off the old man with his deeds which were obviously evil and the Colossian church put on the new man which is renewed in Godly knowledge after the image of Jesus Christ who is their Creator. This is obviously a practice that Paul is referring to that we as Christians must do every day in our lives because our fleshly nature is constantly trying to pop up and have dominance in our spirit. When we got redeemed through Jesus Christ that did happen but this is a constant battle we face every day of our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must first make a choice that we are going to work with God on this matter. You would be surprised how many Christians will not make a definite choice regarding this issue and as a result are living a lifestyle of sin. They are on very dangerous ground with Jesus Christ. This is hard so do not let anyone tell you it is easy.
The Apostle then goes on to explain that Jesus Christ is all and in all but he first compares opposites such as Greek/Jew, circumcision/ uncirumcision and bond or free. In essence Paul was saying I do not care where you are in life because the Son of God is all and He is supposed to be in all of our circumstances. It is true because whether our life is going great or horrible no true closure will be found in either scenario because Jesus Christ is our grace and peace. This is why our comfort is not in the flip flop of our circumstances. Under this system we have to wait for a good day and wonder why we still do not have real peace in our hearts. Only Jesus Christ through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit can bestow this upon our soul. Let me quote the original text so you can read it and perhaps make reference to this if need be in this particular study of the Bible.
(5) "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: (6) For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: (7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. (8) But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. (9) Lie not to one another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; (10) And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him: (11) Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncirumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all." Colossians 3:5 - 11.
It is our duty and responsibility to mortify our members which are upon the earth. These distractions which are opposed to God incline us to the things of the world. Fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection and evil concupiscence are contrary to our Christian life but it will also destroy our heavenly hope. We have to live right but with Godly pureness of hope to our Savior Jesus Christ. The moral is do not let any sin steal this away from your righteous path on earth as we look to Jesus Christ in heaven.
Paul also writes about covetousness which is idolatry. If we have an inordinate affection in this world we are in essence saying this is good. No it is not. It is a lure and bad. If outward enjoyments become an obsession to us then this will permeate our spirit and for all practical purposes we will no longer be living a Godly life. If covetousness is spiritual idolatry then we are giving our love to this world as opposed to Jesus Christ Himself. The Bible talks about this in many different places and it is either one or the other. If we try and straddle the fence we are not strong enough to resist the world so make a decision and commitment to have faith and obedience in God. You know this principle must be important because the very first commandment starts out by saying," (3) "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. (4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in water under earth: (5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the inquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and forth generation of them that hate Me; (6) And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments." Exodus 20:3 - 6.
In keeping with this subject it is obviously necessary to mortify sins because if we do not kill them they will kill us so the best defense is a good offence.
The Apostle then talks about the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience. Those who do not obey the principles of the law have to suffer the penalties of the precepts they disobeyed because God programed into the entire universe a sowing and reaping principle before we were even born. We had nothing to do with this law but are still responsible for our proper obedience in our response to Jesus Christ.
Mortify is an out of the ordinary verb that the Apostle uses but if these sins have or are living in us then I can personally see why Paul chose to use this word. Remember the Apostle reminds them in which you also walked some time when you lived in them. That includes Paul, me and you. If we formally walked in our transgressions which we did then we should be extremely motivated to forsake them through Jesus Christ but this requires us Christians to mortify our flesh. This takes conviction to obey Jesus Christ.
Paul was speaking in the present tense so once again we should be in the practice and discipline of applying this principle to our lives. If we know people that are in the practice of doing this we should pray for them but try to stay away from their company. Even secular people come up to me and say in essence who you hang out with is who you most likely become like because by nature we are easily influenced and affected by the responses of others.
The Apostle seems to desire to stay with this subject. Remember he writes about this "After" he talks about the rapture of the church. Be careful where your passions are because the next set of sins seems to be very passionate in an evil way. He talks about putting off anger, wrath and malice. Paul probably saved malice for last because it is the worst in this list of sins. This sin is anger at a very high level and it just kind of settles in the spirit.
The next word in this list of transgressions is blasphemy but in context it is not speaking bad of God as much as it is talking evil of people. The reason why I said this is because the next word is filthy communication. Gossip and slander is a way of life over here in this country but what these people do not understand is their speech effects the hearers in a bad way. Life gets reduced but the result is never God is good. People like evil but they will miss out on the goodness of God. They are also sowing sin and reaping evil. No longer will these people have a good conscience before God which you can not fake but will always have that weight of guilt in their hearts.
Paul then talks about lying. Of course he says it is wrong but we can never forget that the devil is the Father of lies. The Apostle writes again to put off the old man with his deeds and put on the new man. This must be accomplished in Godly knowledge or renewed in knowledge. Whether it is a new principle or an old precept an ignorant soul can not grow in Jesus Christ.
Paul talks about the image of Him who created him so for all practical purposes the Apostle was implying that when we grow in Godly knowledge this is "Light" somewhat similar to God creating light in the original Genesis creation. We were made after the image of God. Sanctification is a privilege not a burden after our salvation experience in the Person of Jesus Christ.
Paul then talks about contrasts that I already reviewed so for example if free and bond can both be one in Jesus Christ that is attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit through the Person of Jesus Christ. We obey but it is God doing the work through our spirit.
Notice Paul is saying that one side has to live holy but so does the contrasting other side because the same rules apply to both but so do the benefits of obeying God. Our Savior does not show favorites but this world will always be guilty of this bias.
Paul writes about Jesus Christ and said He is all, and in all. What can I say --- Jesus Christ is our life and everything. The Son of God is our hope and fulfillment. If you would like to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins then invite the Son of God into your life. Now may be a good time to make this all important eternal decision. I hope and pray that you just made this choice for your life and eternity.
God Bless you,