We are works in progress. In that case there is a daily choice to put on some attributes and cast others aside. The old life in Colossians is coupled with hollow and deceptive philosophy. The kind of philosophies that floated around were gnostic and sophist. The gnostic philosophies claimed that there was mystery to be had and it would only be revealed to the select on the inside. Usually there were rituals and cultic practices to initiate one into various levels. Paul contradicts this with the sole mystery being Christ. Sophistry relies on complicated arguments that sound impressive but lack substance. The moral arguments that people were making against Christians did not come from a genuine transformation which is only to be found in Christ. Being transformed into Christ involves casting off two lists of vices. The first category could be called sexual sins. The second would be vices related to anger. I’ll go into this in more detail tomorrow.
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1. How would philosophy (ways of thinking) and morality (ways of acting) be connected?
2. What kind of life would come from a focus on secret societies or complicted self-justification?
3. Would you say a list of vices are present today that could be loosely grouped under sexual and anger related?
4. Why don’t people throw off sexual sin today?
5. How does anger lead to sin?