Lord Of My Daily Life
Paul now begins the practical section of his letter to the Colossians. He begins the practical section of his epistle with a summary of what the first two chapters have taught us.
Colossians 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
The old man, we once were, is gone and now Christ is our life. In the Greek there is no italicized words in vs. 4. It simply says, “Christ our life!” Now because we are no longer who we once were, now because our life is hid with Christ, now because Christ is our life, let us live our lives every day in the power of these truths. All our actions to do right. All our choices for good, all our refusals to act wrongly. All our choices to resist evil. All these are based upon who we are in Christ. It is not outward legalism, it is the inward power of Christ that directs us, moves us and inspires us to do right.
Put Down The Old Man – Colossians 3:5-7
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
Paul begins his list with the worst, the most deadly things which must be put down, mortified. The word mortify is from the Greek nekrow nek-ro’-o : to make dead, to put to death, to slay, to deprive of power, to destroy the strength of
Mortify these things which may be a part of us
fornication: sexual sin
uncleanness: sinful lifestyle
inordinate affection: lust
covetousness, which is idolatry: sinful desire
God’s wrath comes upon the children of disobedience because of these things. You know this because you used to be just like them. (You have seen what happens to those who live this way.)
Kill ‘em dead!
These terribly dangerous sins must not have any place in the Child of God’s life. Slay them, bury them, walk away and never bring any flowers to the grave.
The child of God has died to these and no longer under the power of those things which used to dominate them. This is a consistent theme with Paul.
Romans 6:4-6 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
One of the hardest passages of scripture to understand in the New Testament is Matthew 5:29-30 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
But it fairly easy to understand when you listen to Paul in Colossians 3:4 and Romans 6. What Jesus was teaching in Matthew 5 was not physical maiming but spiritual slaying. Put them down, mortify them, is the same truth as pluck them out or cut them off. You have died to these things old sinful thing that once dominated you so now they shouldn’t have any part of your daily lives.
Why then do we still see these things in our lives? Well, it probably because we never held the funeral. We need to stop and go back to what happened to us at salvation. As Paul tells us “Reckon yourselves dead indeed to sin.”
You must believe that the person who once was dominated by those sins, that weakness, that flaw, that bad habit. That person and those sins were crucified with Christ, buried with Christ and now we are risen new in Christ. That new man is no longer dominated and controlled by that old sin!
Too many times we simply don’t believe this is true. We are like Lucy in the "Peanuts" comic strip, she asks Linus, "Do you think people ever really change?" "Sure," replies Linus, "I feel I’ve changed a lot this past year." Lucy says, "I meant for the better."
Everything that is born of God is no shadowy work. God will not bring forth a dead fruit, a lifeless and powerless work, but a living, new man must be born from the living God.-Johann Arndt (1555-1621)
In the natural world it is impossible to be made all over again, but in the spiritual world it is exactly what Jesus Christ makes possible. - Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the captain of the ship sought to turn him back. "You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages," he cried. Calvert only replied, That is alright, "We died before we came here."- David Augsburger, Sticking My Neck Out,
Next Paul moves on to those things that must be put off daily.
Put Off The Old Ways – Colossians 3:8-9
8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
In addition to spiritual slaying, we must also practice spiritual pruning.
These are attitudes and actions that constantly recur in our life, they sprout up like weeds in a garden, therefore we must constantly keep cutting them off.
Anger: the attitude of getting and acting mad. It is not harmless, it is not benign. Cut if off.
Wrath: This is the stronger even more dangerous attitude. It takes control and causes us to act in that anger we were just feeling but now we say or do something, instead of just feeling angry which is bad, now we lash out and that is worse.
Malice: Anger becomes wrath and wrath become malice. It takes ona life of it’s own. It is not just a passing storm but the constant climate of a person’s life. This is a bitter person.
Blasphemy: Slander and gossip which is false and hurts another.
Filthy Communication: Obscenity, foul language. Which dishonors the Lord we love.
Lying: Speaking or spreading that which is not true.
Nip It In The Bud!
When we find these traits and attitudes, these sins cropping back up in our lives and they always will, then we must take the advice of the great philosopher, Barney Fife, who said, “Nip it in the bud!”
Don’t wait, don’t let it take root in your life again. When the seeds of anger, wrath, malice, gossip, foul language or lying sprouts up like a weeds in our daily life then stop and listen as the Holy Spirit convicts us and go to the Lord. Ask for his forgiveness and strength. Reckon, count it as true, that you are dead to those sins and instead are alive and new in Jesus Christ. If He is Lord of All, then He certainly is Lord of the actions and attitudes of my life.
This is not the end of what we must do to let Jesus be the Lord of our daily living. Not only are we to put to death and put off the old man and his undead life, but we must also put on. Both the negative and the positive is necessary. We have seen the negative and now Paul says, lets leave that behind and go on to the positive things of Christ that we must, “put on.” Look at 3:10-11
Put On The New Man – Colossians 3:10-11
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
Spiritual Planting Vs. 10
Paul says we must put on the new person who is renewed every day in the knowledge and after the image of Christ. By planting this new person every day in the attitudes and actions of our daily lives we don’t give room for the weeds to find the fallow ground of our daily lives and begin to take root again.
In vs. 11, We see the extent and the extremes of this new person. This new man in Christ is so new that even his nationality, his race and his station in life no longer exists. The new person is so new that those old things, those old labels that once defined us are now overwhelmed by the new person we are Jesus.
Paul says this new man has moved passed from all those things to a new reality, an new understanding, “Now, all that exists is my identity in Christ. Christ is life!” He has become our ultimate reality, our consuming passion and our overcoming power. Colossians 3:11 “Christ is all, and in all.”
New as a Shiny Penny
My grandmother used to have a saying, “Today, I feel good, like a brand new, shiny penny. That is how we are every day the new person we are in Jesus.
The key is seeing ourselves as God does, in His Son now, not as we once were in our sin. But as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
I believe this is the knowledge Paul says renews us every day. The knowledge of who we are in Jesus Christ. The newness we can experience every day in His love and forgiveness. In that love and forgiveness, we strip off the old person with his sin and failure and are renewed in our knowledge that Jesus Christ is our all in all.
The more we know Him, the more real and effective this is in the reality of our daily living. In other words, You can only be as new as your last walk with Jesus. You can only be as close as your last prayer to Him. You can only be as powerful as your last battle fought through Him. The more you know Him, the more you are renewed in Him daily.
Isaiah’s Mission of The Messiah
Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
This the description of the new person we are in Christ. Our broken hearts are mended, our captivity has been replaced with liberty, our prison of sin with the freedom of forgiveness. We have comfort instead of pain, beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning. We wear the garments of praise instead of the rags of heaviness. In Christ we are trees of righteousness not the weeds of our own destruction. We are the planting of the LORD, not the tares of the enemy.
Paul then expands this theme of “put on” by listing several attributes that come with the new man. He likens it to putting on new clothes.
Put On The New Clothes – Colossian 3:12-17
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Paul tells them, as new people in Christ, to make a conscience effort, to commit to a consistent action to put on the clothing of the new man each day. In the same way a person is conscience of putting on fresh clothes in the morning we must be conscience of putting on these renewed attitudes.
Bowels of mercies (tender mercies) this was the seat of the emotions to the people of the new testament. They were to be clothed with a compassionate heart on the inside.
Kindness: clothed with that compassion on the outside that reaches out to others
Humbleness of mind: clothed with humility, no pride in self, no ego or power trips
Meekness: clothed with the gentleness of real strength
Longsuffering: clothed with the patience through the events of my life
Forbearance: clothed with the patience towards the people in my life
Forgiveness: clothed with the true character of Christ
And above all put on charity (agape, self-sacrificing, Christian love) which binds everything perfectly together: and shows us as mature and complete.
Paul ends with two submissions:
Let the peace of God rule in your hearts: this is unity, the outward uniform of a child of God that the world can see.
And then, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly: this is inward guidance of the Lord that leads us daily in all wisdom.
Don’t get the wrong idea as did a certain Ethiopian emperor named Menelik II. When he would get sick, he'd eat a few pages from the Bible. He believed it would restore his health. Or perhaps he was taking Paul literally when he said let the word of God dwell in you. Anyway, the emperor died in 1913 after a particularly bad illness which he tried to cure by eating the entire book of 2 Kings. No, don’t be that guy, be the guy that Paul goes on to describe here.
Paul goes on in vs. 15 and tells us when we have put on the clothing of the new man and submitted to unity and the word of God, then we act wisely, by teaching and admonish one another is psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
This is corporate worship, all of us together. In other words the new man, dresses in new clothes, the new spiritual attributes and actions. This new person submits to the peace of God and is led by the word of Christ. And you know where that submission and that guidance leads them? To church to be with the people of God. The wisdom that is now ours as new ones in Christ, won’t let us miss church or make excuses for being absent from the Lord’s house, because then you can’t teach and admonish one another if you are not with one another in God’s house.
Finally, Paul says in Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Everything you do, in speech or in actions, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Jesus.
If only we could apply that principle to every action we take, every word we say or every decision we make, what a God honoring, spiritual difference it would make.
If we stopped and thought, “If I do this, am I acting in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ? Am I expressing my thankfulness to God the Father by Jesus Christ the Son, in what I am doing, saying or choosing, right now?
My life, my family, my church would so change for the better and we would better glorify our Savior if we just applied the guidelines of this chapter to our daily living.
How Will I look today?
When I used to work at United Parcel Service in Dallas. In the driver’s locker room was a mirror. And etched into the glass of that mirror were these questions. Starting at the top. Hair combed? Smile? Clothes Ironed? Shoes Polished? The last thing every driver was to be aware of as he left to meet the public was, “How well do I represent UPS.”
As Christians we have a much more penetrating, powerful mirror. A spiritual mirror that we look into and that asks us, “How do I, a child of God, a follower of the Lord, a disciple of Christ, a member of His body the church, look to others this morning? How well am I representing my Lord to the lost world?” That spiritual mirror is the Word of God.
We look into the mirror of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit reveals who we are.
James 1:22-25 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Put It All Together – Colossians 3:18 - 4:1
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
Paul Gets Personal and Practical
He addresses the Christian family because on the family is the church built. One the family is society built and through the family the world is changed.
Paul gets personal and tells wives to submit this is worthy of the new person you are in Christ. Husbands love your wives. Sacrifice for them. Children obey your parents in all things, this is honoring the Lord. Fathers, notice men we are the only ones dealt with more than once, fathers be very careful in the way you raise your children. If you provoke them instead of love and lead them, they will be discouraged, disheartened, dispirited, and broken in spirit. Servants, Paul says, obey your masters not with only the outward visible actions but with the inward heart as though you served the Lord. No matter who we serve or work for on earth in heaven’s eyes we are actually serving the Lord Christ. Finally, Paul talks to the Masters and tells them to treat their servants, their workers, their employees justly and fairly because they even though they are the bosses here on earth they have a much greater Master in heaven.
In Colossians Chapter 3 we are given Guidelines For A Godly Life. If each one of us would just commit ourselves to live Colossians 3 in our daily lives. If we would just weigh every action, every thought, every choice in the light and wisdom of this chapter, what a difference that commitment would make. What a new person I would be daily. What a more forgiving, more loving, more compassionate child of God I would be. What a different world I would then live in. What a different family I would then love and raise. What a different church we would then grow.
I was saddened just this week by a situation that hurts my heart as a pastor. A situation that would never have arisen if the new person in Christ, just acted in the love, forgiveness and wisdom Paul talks about in this chapter. Instead, the old man put on the old rags. Pulled them out of the grave and put those filthy things back on. Don’t let that happen to you, don’t let that happen to our church. That is not who we are in Christ. He is our All in All and we should be His new people dressed in the fresh, clean clothes of a spiritually new man in Him.