Colossians 3 vv 5 11
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Colossians 3 vv 5 11

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Slides to go with YouTube sermon video on the Grace Wales Online channel

Slides to go with YouTube sermon video on the Grace Wales Online channel

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  • If you take the words of this passage of Scripture and pump them into a Wordle what you can end up with is a pretty good idea of what he’s going on about in the verses themselves.It’s about all sorts of bad stuff that comes generally under the heading of your ‘self’, which in the Bible is shorthand for the sinful and selfish human nature that you were born with but will be born again into glory without.I say ‘into glory without’ because that’s when it’s going to be FINALLY killed off.It has been COMPLETELY killed off since the day you decisively turned from sin to trust Christ … but it’s ghost keeps coming back to haunt your psychological house and seek to tempt you to go back where you (and I!) no longer belong.But we need to be very careful about how we understand quite what Paul is and isn’t saying here, because most of the treatments of these verses divorce them from their context and make them say something quite remote from Paul’s intentions and quite similar to some of the stuff the heretics at Colossae were themselves proposing!
  • This section of Paul’s letter to the Colossians turns from dealing with the heresy to dealing with the person you’re going to be on the basis of the truth …It’s about your self and the person you are going become, not actually having been helped at all by the heresy, and having been put right about the actual truth, Paul has turned to dealing with who you are going to grow into, consistent with the truth he’s re-established in your life.You see, heresy never comes along, hot from the hounds of hell, purporting to make you into a worse person.That would detract from its appeal in church no end at all!What it does is that it comes along to say ‘believe this, sign up to this ritual religion or rule – and (in one way or another) it will make of you either a better or superior man or woman’.Paul has been showing these Colossians that it MIGHT at first look like that, but the things that they’re suggesting are in fact of no actual value in restraining sensual indulgence.As we saw in previous weeks, it is setting your mind on the things (the hidden things) where the Christian’s hidden life is lodged, on the basis of what Christ has done and what has happened in your life to d with Him … looking at and looking forward to these things … that reforms and shapes your mind and your self-consciousness as a citizen of the Heaven you’re headed to … and redevelops your heart and mind as a child of God.If – on the basis of Grace and faith - you set your mind on the new world coming not the old world dying and getting ready to be sent completely up in smoke, then you will not just think but act as a citizen of Heaven.That’s what Paul is trying to show them here.And that’s the crucial context … his correction of their thinking about how to get holy … against which you need to read every WORD of Colossians 3 vv. 5-11 here today!
  • So Paul is NOT turning away from grace and faith based sanctification to telling these Colossians that they’ve now got to work it out by ritual, rules, religion … in short by WORKS.To preach this as if he is denies the Gospel and mauls this text!There are two particular areas of earth-bound life that Paul is going to single out that need to be addressed on the basis of the truth they’re to dwell on and aim at … and they both relate to what constitutes ‘your earthly nature’.But first of all Paul is going to tell us how we are to relate to this earthly nature we’ve died to …It’s as if he pointed to it and said to us, not ‘fetch!’ but ‘kill!’:Kill!νεκρώσατε οὖν τὰ μέλη τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆςVerses 1-4 of ch. 3 serve as an important transition passage in this letter as Paul turns from his polemic against the false teachers to exhorting the Colossians away from the deleterious effects in their spiritual lives that have been brought about by their untruthful teachings.This exhortation section will run from 3:5-4:6 … it’s fairly long which just goes to show how much damage untruth has caused in the Colossians, and perhaps how ‘sticky’ and hard to dislodge that error has become.O’Brien identifies four distinctive ‘catch words’ of early Christian practical theology in the next section …‘put to death’ 3:5-11‘put on’ 3:12-17‘be subject’ 3:18-4:1, and then finally‘watch and pray’ 4:2-6Now, this particular section has been described as the negative one out of the lot, because it contains the injunctions to ‘kill off’ and to ‘put off’ the sinful old nature we rejected at repentance, faith and baptism … along with two catalogues of listed vices!And this putting to death relates to the two groups of issues Paul cares to mention to them as the product of false faith and practice … sexual immorality and sociopathic tendencies.Let’s say ‘THEIR sexual immorality’ and ‘THEIR sociopathic tendencies’, because it’s got to be reasonable to assume he isn’t raising these issues with them for the sake of it!So there are thse who want t characterise this as a negative section …But this first injunction begins with the Greek word ‘οὖν’ (therefore) which shows that it is all at least BASEDon and the RESULT OF the positive teaching of truth that has gone before.It RESTS on the sort of positive looking at and looking for the Heavenly things that characterise the new life of the believer … the life that is HIDDEN with Christ in God.That putting to death the negative old life turns out to be a pretty positive thing to do and a pretty positive stand to take.What belongs to that earthly nature?Two groups of five things …
  • Paul paints this once/now picture where the Colossians are shown (vv. 7-8) how they ought to behave now in contrast to their past …then highlights the things that belong to what they are DONE with … and asks that by looking for and looking where they are going they should be transformed, shifted off living for the old and past it and living for the new world coming.It takes faith to do that … because the two lists of five things on the screen there appeal to the five senses through which we get most of our current ‘input’, but the exhortations to ‘seek the things above’ and ‘set the mind on the things above’ find concrete expression, find fruit in the ‘putting to death’ of v. 5, ‘putting away’ of v. 8, ‘putting on’ of v. 12 and so on.It’s not just that the person looking at and for the things above will ALSO put to death these things.It’s that the looking at and looking for the things above are the MEANS by which they will be doing this!So NOW (but only now) are we ready to dive in to the slaying thing …
  • Νεκρόω means to kill in the sense to make dead.Paul uses the idea metaphorically quite a lot to speak about dealing decisively with the old nature that belonged to the old ‘us’ before we were made new in Christ.In Romans 6:11 he speaks of the Christian’s best course being to ‘count yourselves dead to sin’ … here Paul uses the aorist to point to a decisive initial act which introduces a subsequent settled attitude.What’s put to death?Here’s an odd phrase!‘The body parts that are upon earth’.?!!What they give rise to are the first list of five things in the table in the last slide … so we’re pretty clear what characterises your ‘body parts upon earth’ if they aren’t killed off, but …What is Paul getting at with this phrase?Within the NT the word is used of the literal limbs that make up the body … hands arms, legs, feet etc.Well, in Romans 6:13, 19 for example the Apostle points out that the readers’ body parts can be offered on the one hand to sin as instruments of wickedness and impurity or (on the other hand) to God as instruments of righteousness and holiness.Bruce says that the word ‘members’ comes to include “the various kinds of sin which were committed by their means and in which the ‘flesh’ (the old nature) expressed itself actively”.Now, please be aware that in this context Paul can NOT be primarily describing arm wrestling with particular deeds of naughtiness nor supreme efforts to beat down particular besetting sins.True ‘mortification’ of sin in the context of Colossians 3 here has to do with transformation of the will, a new attitude of mind – as C D G Moule put it: “a radical shifting of the very centre of the personality from self to Christ, such that ‘death’ to selfishness is by no means too strong a description.”
  • So Paul is NOT turning away from grace and faith based sanctification to telling these Colossians that they’ve now got to work it out by ritual, rules, religion … in short by WORKS.To preach this as if he is denies the Gospel and mauls this text!
  • Three things he’s got to say there:Kill your SELFDo it because God’s wrath is comingDo it because it’s your OLD life
  • Three things he’s got to say there:Kill your SELFFirstly what do you do?Secondly what in particular are you going to do this to?Kill your self?Your earthly nature.Kill it.
  • Three things he’s got to say there:Kill your SELFDo it because God’s wrath is coming
  • Three things he’s got to say there:Kill your SELFDo it because God’s wrath is comingDo it because it’s your OLD (dead)life that’s already gone
  • Now here’s how you’ll notice that old nature going …It’ll be part of your life that is hidden with Christ in God, but it will put an end to these things here …
  • The five sins listed here are things that belong to the Colossians’ pagan past … in fact these are things that the Jews especially reproached the pagans for.Now, most of the time in my experience, people (often young people) ant to know what these things ARE so that they know what it is they can get away with … just how far they can go.And of course, the answer is … you CAN go just as far as you like!But if you are ACTUALLY living a Christian life you won’t be going anywhere with any of this because you’ll be looking for and looking at something completely different.Sexual immorality is πορνεία and means sex happening outside of where the Bible says it shouldImpurity is ἀκαθαρσία and means literally impurity … physical or moral uncleanness or impurity.Lust is πάθος … passion but used Biblically to describe a passion for that which is forbidden to you … which you are not entitled to!Evil desires is ἐπιθυμίαν κακήν … a pretty literal translation – you KNOW what those are!Greed (what’s that doing in THIS list?!) is πλεονεξία which, yes, means the greedy desire to have more, avarice or covetousness … wanting what you shouldn’t have because it is wrong in itself but what you shouldn’t have because it is over and above what is sufficient for you … which is εἰδωλολατρία (literally) the worship of idols.The theme that ties all these together is the inability to say no to oneself when one should … either because the thing desired or indulged is wrong in itself because it crosses God’s boundaries to indulge the sinful flesh, or because it fails to deny its sinful flesh when looking and aiming determinedly at the things that are above would definitely have caused you to do so.This list is ALL about the indulgence of the sinful human nature in connection with unrestrained physicality.The next list is all about the indulgence of the sinful human nature in connection with unrestrained sinful psychology.
  • The temptation to get back into ritual, rules and religion was to give you a bit of an edge … supposedly making you a better or a superior person.But all those human advantages they were looking at or for were blotted out by universal human sin and sinfulness, and the ground stood level at the foot of the Cross.v. 11 … being a better or superior man or woman is actually all about Jesus and nothing else.There were all these touch-stones and shibboleths the ancient world would cling to, so folks could assert their own superiority over others.Jews flaunted their Jewishness and their circumcision.Greeks and Romans flaunted their culture and their civic libertyBut (Paul shows) it is actually only the unmerited favour of Jesus that is going to make humanity any little scrap better or more worthy at all.Regardless of heritage, race or culture,“Christ is all and is in all.”

Colossians 3 vv 5 11 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Welcome to Grace!“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7
  • 2. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthlynature: 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 asthese: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language fromyour lips.9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old selfwith its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is beingrenewed 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.”
  • 3. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction
  • 4. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction• What’s going on here?“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, setyour hearts on things above, where Christ is,seated at the right hand of God.2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthlythings.3 For you died, and your life is now hidden withChrist in God.”
  • 5. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction• What’s going on here?“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs toyour earthly nature:
  • 6. “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature …” 3:5 3:8 3:121. sexual 1. Anger 1. Compassion immorality 2. Rage 2. Kindness2. Impurity 3. Malice 3. Humility3. Lust 4. slander, and 4. Gentleness,4. evil desires 5. filthy language and and from your lips 5. patience5. greed, which is idolatry
  • 7. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction• What’s going on here?“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs toyour earthly nature:
  • 8. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction• What’s going on here?• Sexual immorality
  • 9. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction• What’s going on here?• Sexual immorality“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to yourearthly nature:sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires andgreed, 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 oncelived.”
  • 10. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction• What’s going on here?• Sexual immorality“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to yourearthly nature:sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires andgreed, 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 oncelived.”
  • 11. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction• What’s going on here?• Sexual immorality“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to yourearthly nature:sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires andgreed, 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 oncelived.”
  • 12. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction• What’s going on here?• Sexual immorality“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to yourearthly nature:sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires andgreed, 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 oncelived.”
  • 13. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction• What’s going on here?• Sexual immorality… whatever belongs to your earthly nature:sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires andgreed, which is idolatry.”
  • 14. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction• What’s going on here?• Sexual immorality… whatever belongs to your earthly nature:sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires andgreed, which is idolatry.”
  • 15. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction• What’s going on here?• Sexual immorality• Anti-social tendencies“you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these:anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language fromyour lips.9Do not lie to each other,since you have taken off your old self with its practices10 and have put on the new self,which is being renewed in knowledgein the image of its Creator.”
  • 16. Colossians 3:5-11• Introduction• What’s going on here?• Sexual immorality• Anti-social tendencies• Conclusionv. 11 “Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcisedor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave orfree,but Christ is all, and is in all.”