COLOSSIANS 3 – OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Today, we move into chapter 3 of Colossians. In this chapter, Paul describes to the Colossian church the changes which must be present in the lives of true believers.
1. Out with the old
Colossians 3:1-11 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who isour life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
- There is a clear standard set by Paul in the first few verses of chapter 3. Namely, in order to experience things above, we must experience Christ. (vs 1)
Craig Keener says it this way, “The Jewish mystics creating problems at Colossae were probably seeking these upper realms through mystical experiences (2:18), but Paul only mentions one thing specifically in heaven: Christ.”
- Paul gives us hope which comes from being “raised with Christ” meaning we no longer should be captivated or by the things of this world but rather by what Christ has promised.
- Verses 5-9 give us a non-exhaustive list of actions and heart conditions which should not be present in the life of the believer.
Max Anders – “The believer is to see everything, including earthly things, against the backdrop of eternity. With a new (resurrection) perspective on life, the eternal is to impact the temporal.
Romans 6:6 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin
2. In with the new
Col. 3:12-17 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
- Now Paul gives us what SHOULD be present in the life of a believer.
- These attributes mirror the fruits of the spirit from Galatians 5
- Verse sets love apart from the rest. Love is amplified as a result of Christ’s teaching from Matt 22 and Paul also describes Godly love in 1 Cor 13.
- Vs 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom
- “dwell” (enoikeõ) conveys the ides of a home. In other words, God’s Word should “have a home” in our hearts and minds.
Richard Melick states, “The “name of the Lord Jesus” provides the proper atmosphere for life. The Colossian believers were not only to come to God through Jesus and to worship Jesus but also to live their lives conscious of his authority and reputation.”
3. Change your life
Col. 3:18-25 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
- Here, Paul lays out the outward response of “putting off the old and putting on the new” as a believer.
- He gives us four statements on interpersonal relationships
- Wife to husband – “submit”
- Husband to wife – “love”
- Children to parents – “obey”
- Parents to children – “do not provoke”
- Employer/Employee – “do it heartily, as to the Lord”
- We are the representatives of Christ in this world
- We are given three points on which to think:
- We will be rewarded (verse 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance)
- We are ultimately serving Him (vs 24b for you serve the Lord Christ)
- We will pay the price if we don’t do it right (vs 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.)
1. Change your thinking
Vs2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth
2. Wrestle against your nature
Vss 12b-14a …put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love…
3. Accept that every thought and act is for Him
Vs 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men
 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Col 3:1–4.