-Paul goes from the corporate in chapters 1 & 2 to the individual Christian life in the last two chapters 3 & 4. He begins with our resurrected life IN Christ, which allows us to focus on the things above in glory rather than be consumed with the trials, tribulations, and temptations of this natural world. His implication is that we are raised with Christ because we have died to the old man and now our new creation by the Holy Spirit is “hidden with Christ in God.” Christ is our life, as the true and called believers, and He will be revealed. But that’s not all. We, as His saints, will be revealed “with Him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4).” Paul lists things in our mortal beings that need to be “put off (Colossians 3:9),” “put away (Colossians 3:7),” or “put to death (Colossians 3:5).” These things include sexual immorality, impurity, passion (from pathos, which denotes extreme desires, usually associated with sexuality), evil desire, and covetousness, which all amount to idolatry (Colossians 3:5). Also mentioned are the corruptions of anger, wrath, malice (evil intent), slander, obscene talk, and lying (Colossians 3:8-9). Paul through the Holy Spirit says it is on account of these things that the wrath of God is coming and that everyone once walked in this darkness of life before Christ came and saved. Our lives were all a big mess before Christ came and cleaned things up (Colossians 3:6-7).
-Sinful living habits were the bad news, but the good (no make that great!) news is that Christ has come and we can “put on (Colossians 3:10, 12, 14)” His righteousness with true knowledge in His image. In this renewed and transformed life, there is equality among believers with no distinction as Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:11). The list of things to “put on” include compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another, forgiveness, and thanksgiving (Colossians 3:12-13). Above all of these virtues, or fruits of the Holy Spirit, is the perfect bond of unity, LOVE (1 Corinthians 13, Colossians 3:14). Peace is also included, which is to rule in our hearts along with the Word of Christ, which can dwell in us richly through teaching and admonishing (noutheteō- to admonish “God wouldn’t want us to do that”, warn “God will take action to correct our errors”, exhort “we can do better than that motivation”) one another in and with all wisdom (Colossians 3:15-16). The base analysis is that we can be thankful in all forms of praise as we do everything in word or deed in the Name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:16-17).
-*Application* This is personal and very introspective when we consider how thus we should live as new creations IN Christ. If these characteristics are present and growing, we are in good shape (2 Peter 1:2-8; 3:18). If not, we had better examine ourselves to see if we are actually in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
-Some individual exhortations in regards to family matters and working relationships characterize Colossians 3:18-25. Submission, love, abstaining from bitterness, and obedience are big components in this section, all in the fear of the Lord in view of pleasing Him and fitting into His plan (Colossians 3:22). The key verse here is “whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men (Colossians 3:23).” It is the Lord that gives our inheritance as a reward as new creations, and make sure that the wrongdoer who is apart from God will be paid back for what they have done since there is no partiality with God (Colossians 3:24-25).
-*Application* There is no doubt individual responsibility and accountability, with regards to our relationship and walk with the Lord, is a critical application to us here. No one can make us right with God other than ourselves. It is our own personal faith that will make the difference in where we spend eternity. Please personally accept Christ Jesus as Savior and become a new creation through His Holy Spirit if this has not happened yet. We will benefit from this decision in more ways than we can ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21). We are blessed in Christ. Lay aside the old and put on the new.
Verses to Memorize- Colossians 3:3-4, 17, 23