Summary: The Bible deals here with some of the problems of defeated Christians. It will help us to realize that although the crucial battle has been fought and won through our death to self and our resurrection to new life, the Holy Spirit must penetrate still de
COLOSSIANS 3: 5-11 / Christ Above All Series
PUTTING TO DEATH OUR SINFUL SELF
Some of us would have to admit that talk about Resurrection Living is disturbing. We believe in Christ’s victory over sin, death, and the grave, but we don’t feel much like conquerors ourselves. We know ourselves too well for that. There are thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and habits which mock the reality of the Resurrection Life in us. We are aware of our inability to change some of the things which still debilitate and defeat us. We are discouraged by our old nature.
The Bible deals here with some of the problems of defeated Christians. It will help us to realize that although the crucial battle has been fought and won through our death to self and our resurrection to new life [by our acceptance of Christ’s death on the Cross and His resurrection from the dead], the Holy Spirit must penetrate still deeper and occupy our new nature more and more fully. The Holy Spirit must be continually allowed to apply the power of the death and resurrection of Christ to our life (CIM). For we must appropriate by faith the power of the Cross and the Resurrection daily if we are to walk in daily victory. For the principle of Resurrection Living has the power to conquer the sin of the old man, which adherence to false doctrine or a minute code of regulations never can (2:20-23).
I. PUT TO DEATH SINS, 5a.
II. SINS OF PERVERTED LOVE, 5b.
III. REASONS TO PUT TO DEATH SIN, 6-7.
IV SINS OF ATTITUDE, 8-9a.
V. REASONS FOR PUTTING OFF, 9b-11.
Verses 5-9 solemnly lay on the Christian the obligation to put the old nature to death. Verse 5 teaches us that living the Resurrection life involves a continuous putting to dead of the fleshly nature. “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”
Therefore, once you have your eyes on Christ; once you understand what Christ accomplished on the Cross and the power that is available to believers, “Consider the members of your earthly body as dead." What specifically is Paul asking us to consider as dead? We are to consider as dead the life which belongs to old nature and is ruled by that which by what is earthly. He gives us two lists: one in verse 5 and one in verses 8-9. The first list refers to unholy, perverted kinds of love, and the second list refers to kinds of hate.
Your old nature will continue to debilitate your Christian life if you don’t take action by focusing on Christ’s and the things which are eternal. Let's look at the first lists or the sins we are to consider as dead by the power of the cross of Christ. [These list are not exhaustive, just representative. Look at Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 4:19 & 5:5; Rom. 1:24, 26, 29-32; Rev. 9:20-21, 21:8; 22:15 for similar listings.]
The first vice of the old life that we are called on to appropriated the death of Christ and thereby removing this earthly desire is immorality. Immorality (porneia) refers primary to sexual relationships outside of marriage, but it also includes all kinds of unlawful sexual behavior, including deviations (1Cor 5:1, 10; 6:9 1 Tim. 1:9-10). God looks on immorality as a serious sin. In the Old Testament, it was punishable by death, and God's attitude toward it hasn't changed. He forbids any sexual activity outside of marriage.
Impurity- This refers to evil thoughts and intentions. The evil thought is behind the evil deed; therefore, if you control your thoughts, you'll control your body. That's why Paul says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Rom. 12:2).
Passion- Passion or lust (pathos) is related to the next item on the list. It is a passive term referring to latent sexual desire.
Evil Desire- This is a more intense passion, and more active than passion. Latent sexual desire becomes activated sexual desire. That creates evil thoughts, which in turn produce evil deeds.
Greed- The Greek word translated as "greed" in verse 5 [is pleonexia. It] literally means "to have more." In this context it means, "to want or have what isn't yours," or, "to want what is forbidden."
The word covetousness refers to a greedy desire to have more and more material things. It's a term that aptly describes today's society. This is a day of stockpiling and amassing as much as money can buy. And our culture seems to encourage this.
Even children are getting an early introduction to materialism. A Midwestern bank now issues credit cards to 12-year-olds. This increases the buying power of the young, who are prone to make purchases based on peer pressure. The coming generation will be highly skilled at “keeping up with the Joneses”