John T. Willis

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Put Off the Old Person; Put On the New Person--Colossians 3:5-11

Paul and Timothy emphasize that since the people of God are to seek the things above, to set their minds on things above (Colossians 3:1-2), they are to "put off" the old person and "put on" the new person. Colossians 3:5-11 contains several imperatives emphasizing the old person that one is to "put off." There is a transition to the new person that one is to "put on." The details of the new person appears in Colossians 3:12-17, which will be the emphasis of the following blog.

I. Colossians 3:5-8 describe in detail the old person which one must "put off." There are two verbs to emphasize this "putting off"--"Put to death" (verse 5; see Romans 6:11, 13; 8:10); "Get rid of" (verse 8). Each of these verbs stresses FIVE sins charactistic of the old person, which may be derived from the Iranian "pentaschema." This falls into two parts.
a. The first list of five sins includes:
1. Fornication--The Bible constantly warns against fornication, sexual activity out of marriage. See 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 5:10-11; 6:9-10; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Timothy 1:9-10.
2. Impurity--This underlines fornication, indicating moral impurity or immoral sexual conduct. See 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Galatians 5:19; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Romans 1:24; Ephesians 5:3, 5.
3. Passion--This is shameful passion, which leads to sexual excesses. See
1 Thessalonians 4:5; Romans 1:26.
4. Evil desire--This is the desire of the flesh. See Galatians 5:16, 24; Romans 1:24; 6:12; 7:7-8; 13:14.
5. Greed or Covetousness, which is idolatry--This means setting the heart on wealth. One cannot serve God and wealth--See Matthew 6:24; Luke 12:15; 16:13.
b. The second list of five sins includes:
1. Anger--This is angry passion felt and performed against other human beings. See Ephesians 4:31; Galatians 5:19-20.
2. Wrath--This is vehement rage, much like anger. See Ephesians 4:31; Proverbs 16:32.
3. Malice--This is a wicked disposition expressing itself in evil speech. See
1 Corinthians 5:8; 14:20; Romans 1:29; Ephesians 4:31.
4. Slander--This is conscious telling of falsehood. See Mark 7:22; Ephesians 4:31; 1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Timothy 3:2.
5. Abusive language--James 3:1-12 describes ways in which a person does this with the tongue.
+The consequences of these sins is God's wrath in the final judgment. Colossians 3:6-7. See 2 Corinthians 5:10.

II. In Colossians 3:9-11, Paul and Timothy make the transition from the way of life of the old person to the way of the new person.
a. Now, one must not lie to other people. Verse 9. Lying continues to be a pervasive sin in humanity. The Bible forbids this practice. See Galatians 1:20; Romans 9:1; 2 Corinthians 11:31; 1 Timothy 2:7.
b. Positively, one must now "put on" the new person in knowledge according to the image of its creator. Verse 10. Paul frequently uses this figure of putting on a new garment--see Ephesians 4:24; Romans 13:12, 14.
c. This "new" relationship eliminates all former relationships. The "new person" is neither Jew nor Greek, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian nor Scythians, slave nor free. NOW Christ IS all and IN all. Verse 11. Former divisions are abolished in the eyes of God. We human beings still "struggle" about these differences. We are wrong when we do this. We are all one in Christ through the power of God as the Holy Spirit gives us strength and insight. See Ephesians
4:11-16; Galatians 3:26-28; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.

This great text is very important for Christian living. Read and pray about this text often. Reflect on these thoughts. This text can change our lives.

Share YOUR insights and ideas with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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