Last week, it was shown that Christians are to “seek those things above” (Colossians 3:1). Why should the Christian seek to do these things?
Paul goes right back to Christ: “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). Christians always must be cognizant of this fact. At one time, he lived only for self and for sin. Now, all that has changed, and having died to self and to the world, a person’s allegiance is with Christ who gave himself for man. The old man of sin no longer lives. His life is now “hid with Christ in God.”
Often, it is said that a preacher should “hide behind the cross” as he proclaims God’s word, which is true. Yet, every Christian should be hiding behind God and his son as they live their lives, much like a young child will cling to a mother’s coattail when he is afraid or injured.
God is there for Christians. Peter wrote, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). Those outside of Christ will never have the peace and comfort of believing there is a God who knows a person’s pain and anguish and who is waiting to help.
Assurance is given to the Christian, whose life is centered on God, that the crown of victory awaits. “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). Christ is the Christian’s reason for living. As Paul told those on Mars Hill, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; … For we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:28).
Living for Christ each day seems trying to some, but those who desire to go to heaven know that it is worth giving up the “pleasure of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25). The promise of eternal life in heaven is the goal of every Christian. Paul once referred to it as the “crown of righteousness,” stating it was not only for him, but also for “unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).
Sin takes on many forms, and the apostle gives examples of such. “Mortify, therefore, your members, which are upon the Earth — fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence and covetousness, which is idolatry. For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience, in the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these — anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication — out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:5-9). The sins mentioned were sins the Colossae Christians had been guilty of committing before they became Christians.
The apostle bringing these to their attention serves to show Christians today that sins engaged in before one becomes a Christian must be “put to death.” If this does not happen, the sins will raise their wicked heads and be snares for those trying to live for God.
One item in the list of sins that troubles many is covetousness. It is hard to see covetousness, for many times it is a “secret” sin that seldom comes out in the open. Secret or not, it must be conquered. Anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth and lying many times are habitual in the lives of people. It takes a person being constantly on guard to break such habits, but it can and must be done.
Editor’s note: This is part two of a three-part series.