Summary: An exegetical approach to Colossians 3
Week 1: Colossians 3:1-4 Focused on What’s Above
Week 2: Colossians 3:5-11 5 Spiritual Cautions, 5 Spiritual Disciplines
Week 3: Colossians 3:12-17 In With the New Self (Part 1)
Week 4: Colossians 3:12-17 In With the New Self (Part 2)
Passage: Colossians 3:5-7
Title: Out With the Old Self
Focus: 5 Spiritual Cautions, 5 Spiritual Disciplines
Last Week: Seeking, Setting and Security in Christ
1. Seek: The External Action
2. Set: The Internal Action
3. Secure: Safety in Christ
Introduction: If you are a Christian then the passage in Colossians three has lots of application for you. To truly pull the meaning there must be a profession that Jesus Christ is Lord. If not, then seeking the application of the following message is merely an attempt at morality.
Remember, when you trusted Christ think of your salvation as a literal death. “For you have died” (verse 3) “Consider the members of your earthly body as dead” (verse 5). Therefore, since you have gone through this death, you have been “raised up” with Christ. “The old is gone and the new has come”.
Paul states that there is urgency in putting away the things of this earth. We must no longer go on living as though we are still alive to sin when you are not. Christians must put away that old life, which springs from their earthly natures. When Paul says, “Whatever belongs to your earthly nature” is literally “the members that are upon the earth”. Living earthly lives contradicts with the “things above” (Col. 3:1-2).
What do we need to put away as Christians? Take these cautions into consideration (Note: All of these cautions fall into a following of Spiritual Disciplines):
Read: Colossians 3:5-7
Caution #1: Avoid Immorality (Fornication/Idolatry)
• Explanation: Every form of fornication was seriously condemned by the Mosaic law (Lev. 21:9; 19:29; Deut. 22:20, 21, 23–29; 23:18; Ex. 22:16).
o To avoid getting into to must Old Testament sexual detail (stoning prostitutes, death to land and families because of unfaithfulness, etc.), we will explore how the word is more frequently used in a symbolic form than in its ordinary sense.
• Immorality/fornication often means when we forsake God for and how we follow after idols. You “cheat” on God for these things.
• New Testament Idols include (but are not limited to)
o Self – How you see yourself in comparison to God and others
• “When they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12
o Time – How much work you do, how much time you rest, how well you make use of your time
• “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time.” Ephesians 5:15
o Possessions –What you do with your stuff
• “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
o Passions – What you are excited about
• “Abstain from the passions of the flesh” 1 Peter 2:11
o Influences – The company you keep
• “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
• Illustration: “Whatever a man seeks, honors, or exalts more than God, that is the god of his idolatry.” -William Ullathorne (a 19th century Benedictine Monk)
• Application: What do you use to cheat on God? Your idol will ultimately come out in some point. What you worship on the inside comes out at some point.
• Spiritual Discipline Solution: Worship and Celebration
Caution #2: Avoid Impurity (Uncleanness)
• Explanation: The second sin, “impurity” is spoken of in 1 Thess. 4:7-8. “God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” This “impurity means “sexual uncleanness”. The word used is where we get our word “pornography”.
o What “impurity” (pornography) does:
• Defiles: It stains the soul.
• Imprints: It imprints on the mind images that corrupt, pervert, and twist one’s sexuality.
• False Perception: Improper perception of the opposite gender.
• Its addictive and destructive power has been well documented.
• Illustration: FACTS
o Hollywood currently releases 11,000 adult movies per year – more than 20 times the mainstream movie production.
• LA Times Magazine, 2002.
o The average teenager spends three to four hours per day watching television and 83% of the programming most frequently watched by adolescents contains some sexual content.
• Gary Rose, CEO of The Medical Institute
o 38 percent of adults believe it is ‘morally acceptable’ to look at pictures of nudity or explicit sexual behavior.
• Morality Continues to Decay. Barna Research Group, 3 November, 2003.
o At 13.3 billion, the 2006 revenues of the sex and porn industry in the U.S. are bigger than the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball combined.