Colossians 2:9-15 explained to the Christians at Colossae what happened in their baptism and now Paul will explain how they should live this new life in Christ. As we look to the things that are above we are looking to Christ and the things of the spiritual realm. The new life that the Christian has is found in Christ and therefore Christ should be the center of the Christians life. God the Father has given all power and authority to Christ and He rules this world as He rules in Heaven. The Christian should discover what pleases Christ as this is pleasing to God.
The things that are of the earth are the things of the old life before Christ became the center. The things that are of the earth are also what people try to gain and possess of the world. People want power and they want honor and they want all they can receive from the world in order to please themselves. The Christians old life in the flesh has died with Christ on the cross and the focus is not to please themselves but to glorify God and please Him. The desire of the Christian is the relationship with Christ more than anything or anyone else. Some teachers do not understand this verse and believe that the world and our lives are evil. They teach that the Christian should not enjoy the physical things of this world. We must remember that God created all physical things of this world and as Christians we should also enjoy the creation that God has given us. (Genesis 1:27-31 1 Timothy 4:4-5) Christians can have a full life by concentrating of Christ. The Christian should not concentrate on this world but on the world that we are truly though Christ we are part of, the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:25-34)
This world and our physical lives are passing away. (1 Corinthians 7:29-31) Everything here in the world is temporary. All will pass away as the world must be, as the Christian, born again. When Christ returns all things will become new. The things the Christian can have that is permanent are the things from above. The Christian has a new life through Christ which is not physical but spiritual. Today the Christian is still living in their physical tent, the flesh, but when Christ returns the Christian will be able to see in their spiritual life. Every Christian will receive glory from Christ as we will be as He is. (1 John 3:2) Today the Christian should pursue the things of above and not the things of this world.
Having a hidden life with Christ in God is an expression with a threefold meaning. First, the Christian has a common spiritual life with the Father and Son. (1 Corinthians 6:17 2 Peter 1:4) This spiritual life the Christian has is beyond the understanding of the world to see the full import of the Christians new live through Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:14 1 John 3:2) Christians live in the eternal security of God and are protected from all spiritual enemies and have access to all of God’s spiritual blessings. (John 10:28 Romans 8:31-29 Hebrews 7:25 1 Peter 1:4)
Through the Christians concentration on Christ they learn to live a holy life. The Christian is not immediately perfect but becomes perfect through sanctification. Christians receive a new nature but still have old habits that must be forsaken. The old nature died with Christ but evil desires still tempt the Christian. (James 1:13-15) The Christian must discipline himself to refuse to obey their evil desire. (Romans 8:1-14)
Sex was created by God for a man and his own woman that they may live as one flesh and be fruitful. All other sex is evil. People confuse love and lust, lust is the desire for evil sexual relations. Greed is a desire to satisfy one’s own self. Their all kinds of things that people can be greedy for. Some are greedy for food, money, power, honor, and they pursue their own pleasure rather than pursuing Christ.
The world is full of false gods. A false god is anything that become between man and God. If we allow the desires of this world to become a distraction to our desire for Christ that distraction becomes a false god in our lives. A Christian must set aside all this wrong behavior. They discipline themselves to control their desires for evil. The Christian cannot live under the control of evil and under the control of Christ. (Mathew 6:24)
Sin destroys people’s lives. The wage for our sin is death and death reigns in sin. (Romans 5:21 Romans 6:23) Sin comes between man and a Holy righteous God and for this reason God sent His Son to die on the cross to settle the debt of sin. This is a reason for God’s anger for sin. In Romans 2:1-6 we learn how God will judge sin in the future. In Verse 5 Paul reminded the Colossians about the sinful living of their past but now they are to live in their new life.
Christians are to love their neighbor as they love themselves. (Matthew 19:19) The Christian is responsible for their behavior towards other people. Our motivation in relationships is the love that God has given us. (1 John 4:8,13) Christians must behave not as they used to but as Christ.
Paul gives a list of bad behavior that the Christian must put off. The Christian must put off anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech. These bad behaviors can hurt the spirits of other people. Neither can a Christian lie as Jesus said, “I am the truth” so Christians must speak in truth. (John 14:6)
The Christian is to take off their old nature and put on their new nature. Here Paul is using a picture of how someone takes of their dirty clothes and puts on clean clothes. We are to evolve into the image of Christ. We learn by our study of God’s Word, which is Jesus. (John 1:1) In order for the Christian to know how to behave he needs to study what Jesus taught. As Christians grow in their love for Christ they desire to be more like Him. Christians want to obey Him and please Him. Jesus said that if we love Him then we will keep His commandments. (John 14:15) The Christian is given the Holy Spirit to dwell in them and the Spirit helps the Christian to control themselves. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Though the spread of the gospel there are Christians form all parts of the world. None of the differences between the cultures of people in the world matters to God for they all are His creation. As a Christian all are equal in the eye of God. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16) Christians have Christ dwelling within them and must behave in the right way towards other Christians.
Paul reminds the Christians at Colossae of what God has done for them. It is through Christ that they belong to God. This is the reason that Christians should act in the right behavior. Paul gives a list of the attributes that a Christian should have. The Christian is to put on the heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. The Christian is to bear with one another and be forgiving towards one another. These are the attributes of Christ and in this way the Christian can become more like Christ.
Having a heart of compassion means that we have a deep concern about other people. The Christian should show kindness towards others and help them whenever they can. Humility is the antidote to self-love. Humble people do not think of themselves as better than someone else. Christians with a humble heart know that every person is of equal value to God. Humble people pray and hope for the success of every Christian’s walk of faith. Some people think of gentleness as a weakness. The truth is that gentle people know how to control their strength. Patient people know how to control their temper. They are abler to remain calm when others annoy them. Patient people can wait a long time for someone to do something or to display a correct behavior.
As Christians we may not like the way that others Christians behave. Sometimes this evolves into quarrels or fights. If a Christian has no forgiveness in their heart they will start to hate each other. This is wrong. Christians instead should be patient with the faults of others. They should keep in friendship and not become enemies. Christ is the model that the Christian should follow. People did many wrong things to Jesus, they even killed Him. But Christ forgave them. (Luke 23:34) Christ was able to do this because He trusted God and knew that God was a fair judge. (1 Peter 2:21-24) We can read the reasons for forgiving from Jesus in Matthew 6:9-15 and Matthew 18:21-35.
Paul describes the new nature that the Christian is to have. We are to put on love. By putting on love it is like putting on a coat on top of all the other qualities. Each one of the qualities of verses 12-13 comes as people love one another. This bond of love for each other unites people together. In Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus teaches that the most important law is to love God and the second is to love one another.
If the Christians at Colossae should put on the qualities that Paul has described then the Church (The body of Christ) will not fight or argue with each other. Peace will abide in a Church that has love towards each member. Christ will bring His peace into every situation when Christians obey Him. We should always be in gratitude for what Christ has done for us.
The message of Christ is powerful and will change the lives of people. Being filled by His Spirit will affect every part of our lives. Another gift of Christ is that he gives us His wisdom and the Christians are enabled to teach one another through His wisdom. Christians should also hold each other accountable to God as this helps them to become mature in their spiritual walk. The Christian should praise God because Christ has done so much for them.
The book of Psalms is a group of praises to God in the Old Testament. Christians can use these Psalms to praise God when they are together or when they are alone. Christians can also praise God with the use of all types of instruments and singing. Or the Christian can just sing his praises to God.
A person’s name becomes a representation of who they are. As a Christian we are representatives of Christ and His Kingdom. Just as what we do reflects on the identity of our name, as a ‘Christian what we do reflects on the name of Christ.
The wife is to be subject her husband as he is the head of the household just as the Church is to be subject to Christ as He is the head of the Church. The Husband is to love their wives. This is not the mere love as the world loves but the highest form of love that comes from God the Father. The Children are to be obedient to the parents in all things. The only exception to this is when the parent demands something in opposition to God’s Word. The coming to the Lord in some instances can be viewed by the parent as disobedience. Therefore, the child can disobey if it is according to the will of God. Fathers are not to provoke their children as this will be harmful to their children’s spirit.
In the ancient world slavery was an accepted practice and important to the economy of that time. The New Testament never attacks the establishment of slavery as such. Slaves are to be obedient to their masters even when the masters are not present. Slaves are to serve their masters honestly because this is also respectful to the Lord. Rather we are slave or free we all serve a higher Master who is always with us and watching.
In whatever we do we are to work diligently and be eager towards our work. We may be under the authority of a master or employer but we are truly working for the Lord. We may be fairly or unjustly compensated for our effort but the Lord ensures that the believer will receive fair compensation for his efforts. (Revelation 20:12-13) The Christian cannot justify disobedience by their faith. (Philemon 1:18) God deals with obedience and disobedience impartially. (Galatians 6:7)