Paul wrote a letter to the believers at Colossae, giving them encouragement and instruction about living as followers of Jesus. See, not all of these were Jews who had grown up learning the Torah. Some were pagan Gentiles who had made the choice to come to God through Jesus, and all needed to know what it looked like to truly follow Jesus.
In the verses prior to this, Paul tells the believers to put to death the sinful, earthly things living in them—put away the old person who was of the world and live as the new person Jesus saved. He went so far as to say that distinctions of Jew and Gentile, slave and free, circumcised or not didn’t matter—only Christ and their decision to follow Him. (There’s so much more, I highly recommend reading it all!)
Paul didn’t just give them a list of the don’ts, expecting them to figure out the rest. He encouraged them with the things they should be marked by: tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
This works for us today, too. We who are believers, followers of Jesus, must walk away from the anti-God things we’ve always done and believed in. We have to drop the anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, lies, and dirty language. We must realize that sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires have no place in the one who has been rescued by Jesus. We must put all those things in us to death.
In the place of all those thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors, we must put on our new nature, add in the right and righteous thoughts to be renewed people, working to know our Creator and to become more like Him.
At salvation, we’re lifted from the consequences of all our anti-God thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. Jesus’ sacrifice makes all those as though we’d never had them. He renews us. Then we go out and about, among the people we’ve known all our lives, and POOF! All our old thinking and old ways rush back and take over.
Why is that?
Because as new believers, we don’t understand that we have to replace the old with new. Wrong with right. Anti-God with godly.
Oh, I know, it’s much more comfortable and fun to go along with the crowd, but each of us as individuals will stand before the Lord and the excuse of running with the crowd won’t eliminate the judgment for our choices.
Today is the day to choose: God or self. Will you choose to follow the crowd or Jesus? Will you put to death that which is displeasing to God and take up that which pleases Him?
Coffee, Bible, Journal.