Summary: Message 14 in our Colossians series exploring the need to deal with the flesh.
Chico Alliance Church
“Dealing with Unruly Members”
Continually pursue the eternal
Continually contemplate the eternal
Conclusively deal with our “members” on the earth
In light of the realities mentioned above Paul calls for further action. Paul shifts from the teaching that there is an aspect of our new life that is not earthly but hidden and still hidden with Christ in God urging us to deal with an aspect of our life that is yet earthly. He calls them the “on the earth members” “Members” is used of the parts of the physical body, or the differing members of the body of Christ to the capacities of our earthly body.
We are spirit, soul and body. God renews the spirit at conversion. The soul is being transformed by the renewing of the mind The body will be redeemed at the coming of Jesus. A conflict, a war rages on the battlefield of the soul and body between the fleshly aspects imbedded there and the new inner man.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Galatians 5:16-18
The struggle comes as Satan through the desires of the flesh seeks to control our members our capacities to communicate, love, relate to others, feel, think, and dream. These capacities can be used for good or evil.
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Romans 7:17-25
Paul urges us, in light of our new life and freedom, to deny our members expression and exposure to certain activities.
“put to death” point time command (do it now)
to make dead, to put to death, slay, to deprive of power, destroy the strength of
We operate according to a new system. We are to deny the members of our body access and expression to the things it once drew its strength. Paul instructs us to actively put the former practices and habits and inclinations ingrained in our system to death.
We are to count our members dead, unresponsive to the old ways. We are to refuse interaction with the old ways. Paul lists some specific areas deserving this severe treatment.
The items in this list appear many other places also because they are representative of a life lived on the level of the flesh with an earthy focus. Those who have experience new life in Christ are to operate from a NEW basis. We now exist in two dimensions.
Part of us operates in the spiritual dimension.
“Hidden with Christ in God.”
“Seated with Christ in the heavenlies”
“Blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies”
“Battling evil forces in the heavenlies”
Yet there is still part of us connected to the earthly. The Christian life is all about learning to live on the earth from a heavenly perspective and with resources drawn from the heavenlies. We are now to live according to the law of the spirit of life in Christ.
The Christian life is a process of seeing Christ’s life continually manifested through our members through His Spirit who indwells us. We are no longer obligated to live by the old ways. We are instructed to cut off our members from the old patterns by the power of the Spirit. We are to put to death the deeds of the body. Here Paul instructs us to deal with our members on the basis of our death and resurrection.
If you want to deal with anything out of control is to cut of the source of energy.
Paul calls us to cut off all the sources of energy that energize the flesh.
First – Cut off your members from “sexual immorality” (pornos)
The word used by God here was a word for prostitution, homosexuality, and sex outside of marriage. It is where we get our word pornography. We live in a society obsessed and out of control. We are bombarded by appeals to our members everyday. Our spirit, set free by Christ, is not attracted to such things. Our flesh, infected with sin, is enflamed by these things. Paul said in Romans 13 “make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”