In Christ we have a whole new way of thinking (1-4). As Christ died, so we die to our old way life: our affections are being transformed. In the present we know security because Jesus pleads our case and has all authority. In the future we know Jesus is coming back and we will be with him and like him.
This gives us a whole new way of living (5-8). As Jesus died we need to get rid of old habits, instincts and desires that belong to the old way of life. We used to walk that way but our lives are being transformed. It starts with the heart’s desires: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires; greed. Sexual sin is a barometer of how self-obsessed we can become. The second list more is focussed on actions in relation to others: anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, lying
In Christ we died to our old way of life and guilt but still we’re still work in progress, putting things to death.
And we have a whole new identity (9b-11). We are taking off the old self and putting on the new self and this is progressive.
Because of my new identity the differences no longer define us – they used to matter to me but our judgments are being transformed. Religious, cultural, class distinctions no longer define how we view ourselves or other Christians. Christ is all and in all. So we need to put off any judgmental discrimination in the church and between churches and be contented with who we are because Christ is living in us and he is everything to us.
1. What’s the difference between living by rules and being transformed by our connection to Christ?
2. What does it mean to you to set your minds on things above?
3. How do you put to death the old way of life? What do you find especially difficult about this?
4. What does Paul mean when he says there is no Gentile or Jew etc. How does this affect us personally and in the church?
To listen to Graham Nicholls preaching from Colossians 3:1 to 11 at Christ Church on Sunday morning 21st April 2013 use the link below.
Series: Colossians (2013)