Journal Col 3 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness–which is idolatry.”  Col 3:5


“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self (which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator).” Col 3:9-10


“Put on, then (as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved) compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience—bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other.  As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”  Col 3:12-13


“And, whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus…” Col 3:17a


Observation:  Growing in godliness does not happen effectively through osmosis (absorbing godliness through haphazard spiritual disciplines and just hanging out with other Believers), it happens through effort and growing in knowledge.  Purpose?  To effectively love one another.


Analysis: Something was going on in the church at Colossae. What it was could probably be inferred by the epistle.  A bit of this, a bit of that…really, it could be not only the Epistle to the church at Colossae, but the Epistle to Bradenton or Palmetto or Parrish.


Chapters 1 and 2 could broadly be a reminder of Who we serve; what lengths and width of fathomless love expended, and how Paul laboriously kept reminding Colossae of His Grace.


Chapter 3 gets into doing something about it.  And what does Paul start with?  The face in the mirror.


This is where paying attention in English class pays off: Look at the use of the personal pronoun: You.  Even in passive sentences, the “You” is clear.  The idea of spreading the pain around, as though to lessen the impact (like using “everyone” or “all of you”) is non-existent—I can’t water this down, He is talking to me!!


The Holy Spirit is speaking in radical terms: “Put to death the sin that rages within you.”


“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments FOR righteousness.” Ro 6:13


Sin such as sexual immorality, greed (covetousness), lying, etc. are fairly well recognized.  After all, Paul is basically reciting the 10 commandments.  However, he tosses one in that may not easily come to mind: Forgiveness.


Not forgiving, giving mercy and grace in the face of wrongdoing, having an attitude that I am due my grudge for being wronged, etc., that is a sin of the magnitude of idolatry—putting my thoughts, anger, and attitude of being “owed” contrition by someone else—that deserves a pass by God?  “Yeah, the Three of Us totally get what you are going through, son—NOT!  Good thing I didn’t cop that attitude at the Cross, huh?”


Boy, the deeper I get into the Word, the more grateful I am for Grace!



Rick Sutton