Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:9-10)
This passage from Paul’s letter to the Colossians speaks of the old life and the new. This unit urges the believers to live out their faith in specific conduct and relationships. Since you have died with Christ and have been raised with him, then to certain behavior from your past you are to be dead; to behavior that befits Christ you are to be alive.
Essentially, this is telling us to leave patterns of behavior that are contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ behind, to let them die. Now we are called to a higher station, that of followers of Christ. As he taught his disciples, he also teaches us to live with new patterns of love, mercy, forgiveness and belief.
The language of dying and rising fits the occasion of baptism as the setting for such exhortations. This possibility is further supported by the expressions “stripped of” and “clothed yourselves with,” perhaps a reference to the ritual of changing garments as a symbol of one’s change of conduct and status before God. One does not put off the body, as would be the view of anti-worldly spiritual groups (perhaps the Colossians false teachers?), but one puts off, one dies to, behavior centered on the created rather than on the Creator.
Foremost among the evils to be discarded are sexual sins and covetousness. Covetousness, setting the heart on material wealth, is idolatry because it is to have a god other than the one true God. And, we all know, that the first commandment of God is to have no other gods before Him.
Help us to cast away the sinful ways of the past and let them die as we enter new life in the kingdom of God, our almighty father in heaven. Through Jesus Christ, we are cleansed of sin and forgiven. Open our hearts and our minds to this new life and help us to live it to the glory of our one God, our Creator.
References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.
Columbia Prayer Chain: Monday, December 31
In our prayers: Eddie Bolton, Myrna, Esther, Pam James, Becca, Doug and Sharon, Shandra Dickenson, John Kelchner, Jeannie, Elizabeth Matthews, Nedrick Griffin, Jennifer Handy, Nancy Stuckey, Annemarie Sullivan, Rachel and Randy Wurtzbaugh, Patty Peckham, Denise Byrd, Caralynn, Greg and Lisa Steele, Dean Timothy Jones, Linda Langford, Marty Fritz, Harriet Hancock, Tommy and Robby Palmer, Patty and Ted Mac Laughlin, Janet Long, Bobby Wilson, Debbie and Pat Barry, Betty Jo Sullivan, Mary Francis Harris, Patrick and Patricia Barry, Jordan Hill, Doris Clevenger, Charles Sigel, Joe Reno, Bob Davis, John Whatley, Nancy Zuckerman, Charles Davis Sr., Elaine and Sharon, Bill Carter, Betty Peavy Frick, Joye Cantrell, Fred and Gail, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Jerry Callahan, Norman Masters
In memoriam: Maj. Charles “Chuck” Pollard Andrews U.S. Army (Ret.), Colonel Walker Blakely Todd U.S. Army (Ret.), Albertha Mouzon Gilmore, Mary Elizabeth Baldwin, Jean Bartlett Bassar, Corine Hill, B. Jacquelyn S. Burton, Bobby James, Rose Mercedes Howes, Jimmy L. Etheridge, Lillian Annell Schwartz Bickley, Betty Louise Gayle Crapps, Sandra K. Frey, Larry O. Hutto, Ralph D. Kennedy Jr., Colonel Clarence “Mike” Retzky U.S. Army (Ret.), Nicholas Jesi Smith, Lillian Storey, Charles B. Rowen
Our prayers are with: the elderly, the homeless, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress, our police officers and firefighters, all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily.