Colossians 3:9-11

In Colossians 3:9-11 Paul continues telling us what life as a Christ Follower should look like. We are to put off our old self because we are different people with Jesus in us. Wright explains “When a tide of passion or a surge of anger is felt, it must be dealt with as the alien intruder it really is, and turned out of the house as having no right to be there at all, let alone to be giving orders.” “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” One principle we must remember is that when we put off our old nature, we need to to replace it with our new nature. A void will be filled by something, and we need to make sure it is our new Nature in Christ.

The phrase Paul used was commonly used for changing a set of clothes. We can almost picture a person taking off the old and putting on the new man in Jesus. Guzik explains “Paul is clearly alluding to Genesis, where it is said that God created Adam in His own image. Nevertheless, now that the first Adam is regarded as the old man who should be put off and discarded, because now we are created after the image of the second Adam, Jesus Christ.“ We are to become full of the knowledge that God has made available to us through the written Word, and the direction of the Holy Spirit who lives within us as Christ Followers.

As a new man we are part of a family, which favors no race, nationality, class, culture, sex or ethnicity. It only favors Jesus, because in this new family, Christ is all and in all. “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” This work of the new creation not only deals with the old man and gives us the new man patterned after Jesus Christ; it also breaks down the barriers that separate people. All of these barriers existed in the ancient Roman world; and the power of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ broke them all down. The barriers in the world today may be different, but the outcome must be the same – unity and family in the Body of Christ.

Bruce explains “In times of persecution slaves showed that they could face the trial and suffer for their faith as courageously as freeborn Romans. The slave-girl Blandina and her mistress both suffered in the persecution which broke out against the churches of the Rhone valley in a.d. 177, but it was the slave-girl who was the hero of the persecution, impressing friend and foe alike as a ‘noble athlete’ in the contest of martyrdom.” He goes on to share “In the arena of Carthage in a.d. 202 a profound impression was made on the spectators when the Roman matron Perpetua stood hand-in-hand with her slave Felicitas, as both women faced a common death for a common faith.” There are many examples of suffering as Christ Followers put this admonition in action in their lives. They suffered for their efforts to be one no matter their current status.

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