This next chapter in Paul’s letter to the Colossians describes what it means to live a new life in Christ — how to BE a Christian. First let me explain what a new, born-again Christian believer recently went through. They…
- Came to the realization that salvation is through Jesus Christ by God’s grace alone.
- Repented of the sins — they vowed to stop sinning.
- Were baptized to show themselves and the world that they were dying to their old sinful selves and rising to a new life in Jesus.
- Surrendered their lives to Jesus and invited Him into their heart.
- Received the Holy Spirit who will guide them and help them not to sin any more.
- Read the Bible daily to get to know Jesus better.
- Joined a bible-believing church.
So, let’s dig into Colossians chapter 3 to see what Paul says about Christian Living…
Colossians Chapter 3
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
We are told by Jesus and in other of the New Testament letters not to put our focus on worldly things, but to concentrate and “set our sights” on heaven. From heaven comes truth. If we focus on the world, we will fall deeper and deeper into its darkness. When we focus on Jesus, we are brought closer to His light which starts to be reflected in our lives. See Romans 12:2, John 12:25, 1 John 2:17.
The last sentence speaks of the future. For those who are still alive when Jesus comes back for His believers in the rapture — which could happen any minute — and I’m convinced we are living in the last days — we will share in all His glory! Wow! That’s going to be awesome!
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
Here, Paul highlights a problem they had with the Gentiles who came from paganism. Worshiping anything else — or anyone else — but Jesus is a sin. Furthermore, it’s up to each of us to read the Bible and get to know Jesus and God the Father and strive to be like Him. Moreover, everyone is equal under Christ! Remember, this letter was written in the early 1st century. Slavery was part of the culture as we will see further in the letter. Most importantly is, that through the Holy Spirit, we are all equal and part of God’s family.
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Instructions for Christian Households
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.
20 Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. 23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. 25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.Colossians 3 NLT
I love verse 23: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” I have it written on a post-it note on my desk. I deal with people everyday. I don’t always agree or get along with them. Nevertheless, I have to treat them as though I was working for the Lord. That attitude goes a long way!
As for the parts on marriage and children, I defer to Pastor Kris Langham from ThroughTheWord.org and his studies on this chapter. He’s got what he calls “B-sides” with in-depth thoughts on this chapter that are worth listening to.
Read the Bible!
By ourselves, we could never make it! That’s why we need the Holy Spirit to guide us DAILY. We also need to read the Bible DAILY.
“It is impossible for a believer, no matter what his experience, to keep right with God if he will not take the trouble to spend time with God. Spend plenty of time with God; let other things go, but don’t neglect him.”Oswald Chambers
In another study I found this prayer attributed to St. Patrick…
“Christ with me,St. Patrick
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”
Let’s go deeper with this…
- Christ with me — Jesus is with you 24/7
- Christ before me — to guide you
- Christ behind me — to encourage and urge you on
- Christ in me — that’s the Holy Spirit
- Christ beneath me — holding you up
- Christ above me — keeping you humble
- Christ on my right and Christ on my left — beside you as a friend
- Christ when I lie down — giving you rest
- Christ when I sit down — giving you peace and security
- Christ when I arise — no better way to start the day!
Do you want to know Jesus like this?
It’s simple. Leave whatever earthly things you are worshiping and run to Jesus. Jesus wants a personal relationship with YOU!
He won’t let Himself in. You have to invite Him into your heart…
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!