Colossians 3 is a beautiful description of the new man we become in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5 says that when we are in Christ we are a “new creature”. I believe Colossians 3 describes precisely what that new creature looks like!
Raised Up with Christ (vs. 1)
In verse one, Paul says he is speaking to those who “have been raised up with Christ”. If one wonders whether or not he has been raised up with Christ, or even what it means to be raised up with Christ, one need only to read Romans 6. Paul says in Romans 6, “we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Our new life begins as soon as we are “raised up” from our watery grave of baptism!
A New Way of Thinking (vs. 2-4)
In Colossians 3:2-4 Paul explains that when we are raised up with Christ, we have a new way of thinking. The old man thought about things of an earthly nature, but the new man sets his “mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” We do this, Paul explains, because we “have died” and our “life is hidden with Christ in God.” The old man, who was a slave to sin, might have cared about fame and fortune, but the new man seeks first theKingdomofGodand His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). The woman you were before being buried with Christ might have cared an enormous amount about her appearance, but the new woman cares more about doing God’s will (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
A New Way of Living (vs. 5-7)
Paul explains the evils of the way the old man walked, being full of “immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” But he says that the new man should “consider the members of your earthly body as dead” to all of those sinful desires. The life of the new man is vastly different from the old man. The old man did what he felt like doing, the new man does the will of God.
A New Way of Talking (vs. 8-10)
The old man used his mouth for “anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech.” But Paul says to “put them all aside…from your mouth.” he goes on to say, “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices.”
We need to remember our mouth now belongs to God and everything that comes from our mouth should be beneficial to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29) and glorifying to God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
A New Way of Treating Others (vs. 11-15)
Those outside of Christ may be racist, prejudiced, and have double-standards, but in Christ it should not be this way! It had been made very clear that in Christ there should be “no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all and in all.” We are also told that the new man should be full of “compassion kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” We should be forgivers and people who seek unity!
A New Attitude (vs. 16-17)
Our new attitude should be one of thankfulness. From morning to evening Christians ought to be lifting up praises to God, singing about how great the blessings are in Christ! Everything we do should be done “in the name of the Lord” while we are “giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
A New Home Life (vs. 18-21)
The home of Christians should look different than the homes and families of the world. In the home of Christians there should be wives who are submissive to their husbands. There should be husbands who truly love their wives. There should be children who are obedient to their parents. And there should be parents who are not exasperating their children.
A New Work Ethic (vs. 22-25)
The new man works different than the old man. The new man works for his master like he’s working for God and not for man.
So Here are the Important Questions for Us:
1. Have I truly been raised up with Christ? – The question isn’t just, have you gone down into the water? The question is, did you really go down into the water and bury the old man? Did you commit yourself to a new life when you were immersed in that water? Did you come up from that water ready to live a new life?
2. Have I been “walking in newness of life”? – It is Christ who gives us a new life. But it is me who decides whether or not I will keep this new life or go back to my old life. It is such a shame when we return to our old habits and sins, as if we had never come to Christ in the first place. It is like a “dog returning to his vomit” (2 Peter 2:22).
Let’s all make every effort to walk in the new life Christ has given us by having a new way of thinking, a new way of living, a new way talking, a new way of treating others, a new attitude, a new home life, and a new work ethic!