A Study Of Colossians 3:5-8

A Study Of Colossians 3:5-8

A Study Of Colossians 3:5-8 covers sins believers should put to death, the cause of God’s coming wrath, and sins believers should put away.

A Study Of Colossians 3:5-8. Sins believers should put to death.

V.5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

The Greek word for “death” is nĕkrŏō, which means to subdue, be dead, and mortify. And the Greek word for “earthly” is ge, which means soil, solid part, earth, ground, and world. In other words, Paul is addressing matters related to a Christ-follower’s earthly existence.

In chapter two, Paul presented the picture of baptism as a symbol of believers identifying with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. And now he presses that point. Since we have died with Christ, here are some sins we should put to death as well.

The word “earthly” refers to our old, sin nature since in Jesus Christ, we are new creations. (2 Corinthians 5:17) And yet, we can and do still sin. Because even as followers of Jesus, life on this earth includes an ongoing spiritual battle against sin. Paul describes his own spiritual battle in Romans 7:15-19. The good news, however, is that our old sin nature is no long our master.

So, how do you put sins to death? By cutting off the sources that feed them.

Paul identifies sexual sins

Notice these sins don’t attack one at a time, like a martial arts movie where multiple fighters politely take turns to individually attack. Instead, they gang up on us all at once.

Sexual immorality = pŏrnĕia. Also translated “fornication” is the origin of our term pornography. And it refers to any sexual intercourse outside of marriage between a man and woman.

Impurity = akatharsia, which means impurity and uncleanness. It refers to the marred character affected by immoral behavior.

Passion = pathŏs, which means inordinate affection. It’s also translated “lust.” Although it can refer to any out of control passion, it typically means uncontrolled sexual desires.

Evil desire = Combines kakŏs, which means evil and ĕpithumia, which means a longing for what is forbidden.

Covetousness = plĕŏnĕxia, which means covetousness and greediness. And Paul immediately calls it idolatry. Why? Because anything that displaces God as the primary source of our desire, attention, and value is an idol.

It’s important to note that sexual temptation is not itself sin. In other words, simply observing an attractive person. It becomes sinful as our gaze lingers and our thoughts move into entertaining sexual fantasies. Sometimes the best course of action is to simply look away.

A Study Of Colossians 3:5-8. The cause of God’s coming wrath.

V.6-7 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.

God will issue a final judgment over all mankind and some will experience his wrath. The Greek word for “wrath” is ŏrgē, which means violent passion, abhorrence, anger, and indignation. It is a holy God’s emotional response to the sin he hates. (Proverbs 6:16-19). However, God’s wrath is not vindictive or capricious like human anger or represent his desire for us. And Paul reminds us here that for those who follow Jesus, it’s all in their past.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (ESV, 2 Peter 3:9)

God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness are granted to all who repent of sin and accept Jesus Christ as Lord. But his wrath is the ultimate consequence for those who reject him.

A Study Of Colossians 3:5-8. Sins believers should put away.

V.8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Paul now addresses sins related to emotions and attitudes. And the image associated with “put them all away” is the picture of stripping off old, dirty clothes.

Anger = ŏrgē, the same word used for God’s wrath. The difference, however, is that in humans it is always self-centered and often intentionally vindictive. Anger generally suggests an internal emotion of smoldering or seething hatred.

Wrath = thumŏs, which means fierceness, indignation, and wrath. It suggests an emotional outburst of angry words and actions.

Malice = kakia, which means evil, naughtiness and wickedness. It suggests evil with an intent to harm.

Slander = blasphēmia, from which comes “blasphemy” which is evil speaking and railing directed against God. Slander is speech that puts malice into practical effect and in this context is directed at another person.

Obscene talk = aischrŏlŏgia, which means vile conversation and filthy communication.

Putting these sins away is not something we accomplish on our own. It involves regularly filling our minds with God’s word and being filled with God’s Spirit. (ESV, Ephesians 5:18) Even then, we will still fail because of our fallen, sinful nature. But we are always covered by God’s grace.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

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