Colossians 3:5–8 ‘Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature…’ (v5)
Agreat theme of Paul’s is leaving the old self behind as we daily embrace the new, as we see in this section of Colossians.
For the believers to live out of a new self, Paul says that they need to continue putting to death whatever would keep them embroiled in sin; that is, their earthly nature.
We see then how he lists in two places (vv 5 and 8) a number of vices to avoid. We might assume that this a complete categorisation of sins, but Paul often made lists (such as the fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22–23) and probably didn’t intend for them to be seen as the exhaustive group of virtues or vices.
The theme of the first list is sexual sin, and Paul employs active and forceful language to encourage his readers to eradicate this from their lives.
He knows that these sexual sins have an impact not only on the individual, but on the community, and he longs for marriages to be upheld and respected.
Then in the second group he deals with the practices of the old self that flow from our mouths – the sins of the flesh when we lose self-control.
We might shout at our family or friends or flatmates, and it’s not a pretty sight. These sins too tear apart the community, bringing discord and hurt and potentially breeding bitterness.
For Paul, the redeemed life has no place for practices such as these. Because of the Spirit living within, the Colossians – and we – can leave them behind to the life they ‘once lived’ (v7) as they no longer walk in those ways. Do we believe we can leave these sins behind?
A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord Jesus, help me to live a life of purity, as You cleanse my thoughts, words and actions. I want to honour You. Amen.’
An Action To Take:
Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of any of the sins mentioned in today’s text. With His help, repent and accept His cleansing and freedom.
Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 24:3–4 & 119:9–11; Matt. 5:7–8; Gal. 5:19–21