Summary: Responsibilites we have as Children of God
GROWING UP WITH GOD
Scripture often uses several different phrases to describe one thought. In Genesis, we are described as being “created in the image of God.” John 3:16-17 tells us very plainly that God loves us so much that He sacrificed Himself for us to save us. When Jesus called His disciples, He called them “fishers of men.” When Peter wrote about this idea, he described believers as “a holy nation” and “royal priesthood.” All of these are different phrases describing one single idea- that we belong to God. We are children of God. He is our Father in Heaven and we are His children.
READ COLOSSIANS 3:1-10
My idea for this message came from misreading Colossians 3:1. I read, “raised with Christ” in the sense that we grow with God and develop under His wing. We are wee ones in God and now we are adults. That really is not what this verse is saying at all! This verse is of course speaking about baptism and the change that occurs when we become believers. The phrase “being raised with Christ” refers to the baptism experience. Yet, the meaning for the other verses is the same no matter how we read 3:1. The exhortations and commands and comments that Paul makes in verses 2-10 apply to either idea. Since we are children of God, baptized into Him and grow daily in our faith, these things are true.
It seems to me that Paul is telling us that because we are Children of God, because we grow with Him, because we belong to Him—there should be some difference in our lives. Paul says in verse 1—if you are a child of God, then these things should be true.
I. PURENESS IN OUR PHYSICAL BODIES (v. 5-7)
Verse 5 begins Paul’s commands about being a child of God. He begins by targeting one
of the trouble areas: the flesh. We, as children of God, are called to purity and holiness. Paul speaks to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8) about this very thing. He identifies these bodily sins such as fornication, lust, and other such desires as being done by “Gentiles who do not know God” (v5). People who know God don’t commit adultery! People who belong to God don’t give in to passions and sin with their bodies because they know it is sin and sin separates us from God. And when you are a child of God, you do not want to be separated from your Father. Paul also tells the Thessalonians, as I think He tells the Colossians, that we are called (because of who our Father is) to be holy, not unclean.
There is a price to pay when you live to satisfy every passion your body has… it is called the wrath of God. Paul groups all of the people who commit themselves to these sins and titles them the “sons of disobedience.” Children of God are the “sons of obedience” and are individuals committed to living holy lives with their bodies.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY… Daily Walk, May 7, 1992, “Not slain, crucified”
“Paul’s meaning is not that the flesh, with its affections and lusts, is no longer present at all with those that have become Christians, but that a walk in the flesh should not any longer exist in the case of Christians. A walk in the Spirit might be rightly expected of believers. This is only possible for those who have crucified the flesh. The word is not slain, but crucified. It is a task of the Christian to be accomplished only by continual effort (Colossians 3:5).
“In ‘crucified,’ however, the simple slaying is not the main idea, but the condemning, giving sentence, surrendering to infamous death. This has necessarily taken place in becoming Christ’s. Fellowship with Christ involves a crucifixion of the flesh for the very reason that it is fellowship with Christ’s death on the cross. “Christ indeed has only suffered what people have deserved on account of their sinful flesh. Whoever appropriates to himself Christ’s death upon the cross regards the flesh to himself no longer. For him, in Christ’s death, the flesh has been crucified.”
II. PURENESS IN SPIRIT / MIND (v. 8-10)
Paul does not stop when commanding the children of God to be pure in their bodies.
There are other parts of a believer just as important as the outside, and that is the inside. Your emotions, mind, spirit, soul… all of them should be pure as well. Paul says that if we are a child of God we should put out evil from our lives. This seems to be all encompassing:
1) Our emotions- “anger, malice”
2) Our attitudes towards God- “blasphemy”
3) Our treatment of one another- “filthy language, lie to one another”
All of these three areas have to do with the inside of a person. Scripture plainly teaches