Summary: Paul is writing from prison in Rome after receiving a visit from Epaphras. Epaphras had been converted during Paul’s time in Ephesus and carried the Gospel to Colosse, which resulted in the establishment of the Church there. This young Church was facing challenges from other belief systems (Judaism & Gnosticism), so Paul writes to them to highlight the adequacy of Jesus and the inadequacy of any human effort in order to strengthen and encourage them. We are reminded that knowing the real Jesus will always help you stay away from the counterfeit.
(V. 1-17) The first four verses here are reminding us that if we have truly put our faith in Jesus then our lives should be proof of that. We will begin to live out Jesus’s “new humanity”. A saved person will no longer do and love the things an unsaved person would do. “Seeking the things that are above” means fixing your eyes on Jesus: it’s hard to live as the old you when all you can see is the new you in Christ. V. 5- Notice in the next few verses how Paul names specific sin. It’s much harder to continue walking in sin when it’s no longer generalized but becomes specific. Sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire & covetousness, anger, wrath, malice, slander & obscene talk. All of this is contrary to the practical ways a christian should live. Notice where he says because of these the wrath of God is coming: Part of God’s wrath is him allowing you to continue walking in these sins, which is a self destruct mode separating you from Him. You have to put off the old self that walks in those sins and begin to live your new life in Christ.
(V. 18-25) Paul closes by describing three relationships: relationships with our spouse, our children, and those with authority in our life (masters). How we submit ourselves in all of these relationships are simply a reflection of our willingness to submit to Jesus. These relationships are unique opportunities for us to display the Gospel to the world. When we become followers of Christ every relationship around us becomes a tool for God’s kingdom therefore we should serve in all those areas as if working for him.
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
(V. 1-4) What are practical ways of “setting your mind on the things that are above”?
(V. 5-6) How have these sins manifested themselves in your life?
(V. 5-8) What’s dangerous about God allowing us to continue walking in these sins?
(V. 9-11) What about your life looks like “the new self”? What looks like the “old self”?
(V. 12-15) How would the world look if God only forgave those that deserved it? How can that shape our view of forgiveness with those who have hurt us in some way?
(V. 16-17) Is there any other way to mature in Christ other than the word of God?
(V. 18-25) How can your relationships show someone the Gospel? Do they?