Monday in the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

Colossians 3:6-9

So Put to Death

Having been born again of the Spirit, having died and risen with Christ in that regenerating event, Paul now implores the Colossian Christians to be what they are, to live the life that is theirs in Christ Jesus.  This should be the natural fruit of the new nature the believer has received through that new birth.  The Apostle uses the language of “putting off” and “putting on” regarding sin and virtue, not as if this were as easy as changing clothes, but that sinful habits must be “put to death” and Christian virtues improved.  And this is not an option; indeed, the lack of such a change in a person’s behavior and character is reason to doubt the integrity of his claim to regeneration.

And just so there is no mistake about what sins the Christian can no longer abide, Paul lists a few.  Of course, this list is not exhaustive, but in that it is a representative list of the sins of the ancient world, and in that it is similarly a representative list of sins for our own day, well then it would seem that this list is comprehensive enough of all humanity and indicative of the sins which so easily beset everyone.  Sexual immorality includes any and all sexual behavior outside husband and wife within the covenant of marriage.  Impurity is a broader term referring to the misuse of sex as with self-abuse.  Passion and evil desire can have more comprehensive applications than sex but given the context seem again to refer to the boiling over of lust leading to at least thoughts of, if not the very acts of, licentiousness.  And all such illicit sexual desire is rooted in covetousness which is to set one’s mind on earthly things in direct contradiction to what a believer is supposed to do.  Ultimately, it is idolatry as one’s affections are set on something else other than the One who should be our hearts’ desire.  And though we are quick to grant ourselves grace for these “mistakes,” Paul is clear that he is not wasting ink, for “on account of these things the wrath of God is coming.”

In the several “sin lists” which the Apostle makes when writing to the churches, sexual sin generally tops the register.  Of course there are others, and he includes these in his next list: anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk, lying—those that seem to be “not quite as bad,” though we know very well they are just as destructive.  Still, sexual sin usually heads the catalog.  I suppose the reason is that in every generation, sexual sin is so pervasive.  And as Paul says elsewhere there is something unique in the way that sexual sin defiles one’s own body (1 Corinthians 6:18).  So put these sins to death, lest they put you to death.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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