We continue our study in Colossians 3 about how we should get busy getting godly. Let’s look at the second two challenges in this passage:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
In verses 5 and 8 of our passage this morning we are told to (1) put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature, and (2) rid yourselves of all such things as anger, etc. These are active, almost violent images of execution and extermination!
First we are to put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature. And Paul gives us a list so we are not left in the dark: five specific sins are mentioned — sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed. We are to execute these! And Paul adds for good measure that greed is idolatry!
Second we are to rid ourselves of certain other sins. And he gives us a list so we are not unclear: five specific sins are given — anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language (v. 8).
Do most Christians naturally think of the Christian life as involving EXECUTION and EXTERMINATION? I don’t think so. We set out on a path of simply being nice. And that’s no way to deal with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language!
The challenge today? Pick one of those nasty ten — and consciously ask God to help you KILL IT! Ask the Lord to help you SQUASH IT like that cockroach you discover under your kitchen sink! Don’t hesitate! Stomp it to death!