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The New Self, Part Two

Rev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., September 16, 2018
Part of the Colossians series.

As we continue our studies through the Epistle to the Colossians, we have arrived at a major feature of Paul’s Prison letters. Some have called it his ‘sin list,’ or ‘list of vices,’ that we find in Colossians 3:5-9 and Ephesians 5:3-11. In these passages, the Apostle lays out the sins that once characterized believers before they encountered the life-transforming grace and power of God in the Lord Jesus Christ. These verses, in all their awful bluntness, show us what we once were, what we once were enslaved by, and the terrible trajectory of our lives apart from God’s mercy. It is precisely these ‘sin lists’ that form the dark background upon which our new life in Christ shines with heavenly brilliance. In both passages, Paul makes it abundantly clear that these sins attract the holy wrath of God, and are not to be a part of our new existence as disciples of our Lord.

However, our transformation from what we were to what we shall finally be in Christ is not yet complete. We do face temptations that travel along these sinful pathways and involve our bodies as well as our souls. We are in the process of being sanctified by the Spirit of God. But in this long process, which fully depends upon divine grace and power, we do have duties and responsibilities. In Colossians 3, these duties are two-fold: There are sins to “put to death,” or to “put off” (3:5-9). And there are virtues to “put on” (3:12-17).

On Sunday, we will consider what must be “put off” as we examine Colossians 3:5-9. And we will also try to understand what putting these sins away really means and involves. We will consider how we “put them to death,” and how we get rid of them so that the new life we have been granted in our Savior may be seen.

Let’s pray for the Lord to open our eyes and our hearts to His Truth, and for His Spirit to bless us as we come together to worship our Great Lord and King!


Colossians 3:1-11

1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. (KJV)