Pray and Read: Colossians 3:5-11
Contextual Notes: The key verse is of Colossians is found at 2:6-7 where Paul encourages the Colossian believers to grow deep as disciples of Jesus Christ. Following that, he moves from theory to practice. Verses 8-15 teach the practicality of dying to ourselves and living in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. Verses 16-23 then teach us that trying to live according to man’s way or a carnal way may seem useful at first but is ultimately futile. Then at chapter 3:1-4, Paul says that we live our lives out each day in this world but we are to live it in the hidden resource of Christ who is our Life. Now Paul moves to specific advice. Since we have the resurrection-powerful life of Christ in us, we should put off sin.
Key Truth: Paul wrote Colossians 3:5-11 to teach the Colossian Christians to put off sin of the body, the mind, and the mouth, and put on the renewal of Christ.
Key Application: Today I want to show you what God’s Word says about putting off sin and putting on Christ.
- Put off the sin of the body (Col 3:5-7)
- Put off the sin of the mind (Col 3:8a)
- Put off the sin of the mouth/heart (Col 3:8b-9)
- Put on the renewal of Christ (Col 3:10-11)
Exposition: Note well,
1. PUT OFF SIN OF THE BODY (3:5-7).
a. “Put yourself to death in your belongingness to the earth” (NJB). Romans 8:13. Paul and Timothy were not under any illusions about the hard realities of living the Christian life. They were aware of the pressures that shape and mold and have a seductive attraction for the Colossian Christians. Paul boldly applies the metaphor of death (Col_2:20; Col_3:3) pictured in baptism (Col_2:12) to the actual life of the Christian.
b. Πορνείαν: Fornication: the whole range of unlawful sexual promiscuity
c. ἀκαθαρσίαν: Uncleanness: impurity (NIV), indecency (NEB, GNB)
d. πάθος: Lust (NEB, NIV, GNB) uncontrolled passion: unrestrained sexual appetite. (cf. Rom 1:26; 1 Thess 4:5.)
e. ἐπιθυμίαν κακήν: Evil desire: (cf. Rom 1:24; 1 Thess 4:15).
f. πλεονεξίαν: Covetousness/Greed : desire to have more, “covetousness, avarice, insatiableness” (BAGD). εἰδωλολατρία: Idolatry
g. Because of these, the Wrath of God coming. (cf. 1 Thess 1:10).
h. ILLUSTRATION: What Kids Search A Spring '09 Symantec study of the top 100 searches conducted by children whose computers have the Online Family Norton software finds the top 10 words kids search are: 1. YouTube 2. Google 3. Facebook 4. Sex 5. MySpace 6. Porn 7. Yahoo 8. Michael Jackson 9. Fred (A popular fictional character whose YouTube channel has become a hit among kids) 10. eBay. (LifeSite News 10/14/09)
i. APPLICATION: Let me ask you a few questions. What kind of illicit sexual activity are you involved in? What are the fantasies of your mind these days? What are you looking at on the internet that you have no business consuming? What are you doing with other people that is sexually out of bounds? What are those of you who are unmarried doing together that you shouldn’t be? What are you saying or doing that is sexually illicit with someone who is married to someone else? What are you thinking or saying or doing with someone of the same sex as you that the Bible says is sinful? What unhealthy soul-ties (1 Cor. 6:16-20) are you forming? What are you watching on television or at the movies that you’d be embarrassed to be watching if your mom walked into the room? Grandmothers and mothers, what novels or other books are on your bookshelf this morning at home that has scenes and activities in them that you would condemn if it were acted out on the internet? Grandmothers and mothers, how do you, then, get so high and mighty about what your teen is googling? And why do you think your teen should respect your discipline when you have that kind of literature sitting openly on your bookshelf? And for those of you who have remained so smug so far, what about those soap operas, those “stories” you watch. Now let me ask you, what is edifying or redeeming in most of the storylines on those shows? Yet you play them every afternoon. Oh, I know, you live alone and you just want some noise in the house. Lame excuse. There are plenty of cleaner radio stations and channels you can listen to and watch. You watch them because you want to, not because you need noise.
2. PUT OFF SIN OF THE MIND (3:8a).
a. ὀργήν: Anger – human anger. Here the idea is that it is such a powerful emotion that only God can be trusted to exercise it fairly. (cf. Rom 12:19; James 1:19-20).
b. θυμόν: Rage/Wrath: synonym of the one before. This one more emotional response such as rage. Quick temper, outbursts of anger.
c. κακίαν: Malice: badness, wickedness, spitefulness, ill will.
d. ILLUSTRATION: You see, we are made in the image of God. God is three in one, a Trinity, three separate natures in one person. So is a human being. We are body, soul/mind, and spirit, three natures in one (1 Thess. 5:23). Because we are so integrated, what goes on in your mind affects your body and your spirit. Ask any counselor or medical practitioner. What we think affects how we behave and how our body and spirit respond to our surroundings.
e. APPLICATION: Are you harboring anger? Do you blow up? Are you spiteful? Revengeful? Are you short tempered? Are you a source of ill will at work? Does your family draw up when you come home? Perhaps it is time to confess your sin of unrighteous anger and ask the Lord to help you walk away from your rage.
3. PUT OFF SIN OF THE MOUTH/HEART (Col. 3:8b-9)
a. This point could read, Put off sin of the heart, because Jesus said in Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45 that it is out of the mouth that the heart (or your spirit) speaks and is revealed.
b. Βλασφημίαν: Blasphemy/slander: defamation,
c. αἰσχρολογίαν: Filthy language. Only here in NT, but construction is plain – “shameful, obscene” plus “saying”. Thus “obscene language,” “abusive speech,” “dirty talk.” Cf. James 3:1-12
d. ψεύδεσθε: Lying. Present tense: “Stop lying,” or “Don’t go on telling lies (as you used to).” Only here and Eph 4:25 in Paul. Destroys mutual respect and confidence.
e. APPLICATION: Are you one of those who enjoys a raunchy joke? Do you tell ethnic jokes? When you get hot, what kind of language comes out of your mouth? Do you tell lies? When you are telling someone some news, do you create information where you have blanks? Do you create hear-say? Do you intentionally create false information when you run off at the mouth? Do you butcher people with your tongue? Are you a creator of dissension? Do you stir up folks with your quiet, behind-the-scenes huddles? Today is a good day for you to ask the Lord to cleanse your heart and your mouth. Confess your language as sin and turn away from it, asking the Lord to help you speak in ways that build up others and do not tear them down.
4. PUT ON RENEWAL IN CHRIST (3:10-11)
a. Renewed in the knowledge of Christ
b. Renewed in the image of Christ
c. Renewed in the unity of Christ (all ethnic groups welcomed and celebrated in Christ and in His church).
d. ILLUSTRATION: The image is of taking off old clothes and putting on new clothes. Becoming a Christian is not just turning from an old way of life but also a positive embrace of a new way of living.
e. APPLICATION: Are you growing in your reading of the Bible? Are you growing in the image and likeness of Christ Jesus? Are you contributing to the unity of our church? Are you learning to walk in a new way of holiness and cleanliness before Christ?
Invitation: Do you need to be cleansed before Christ? Do you need to make Christ your Savior and Lord today? Come and respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading, won’t you?
 James D.G. Dunn, NIGTC: Colossians and Philemon, 213.
 A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures.
 Dunn, 219.
 Dunn, 219.
 Dunn, 219-20.
 Dunn, 220.