Living Worthy of the Lord . . . Put to Death Your Vices
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature:…You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these:
Paul’s prayer for my being filled with the knowledge of God’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9) has challenged me, ladies, to read on for the specifics. Paul is not one to leave his readers hanging for long. If he’s noticed a problem, he’s sure to venture a solution.
What is going on in Colosse? Words like “hollow and deceptive philosophy”, “human tradition”, and “basic principles of this world” (Colossians 2:8), creep into Paul’s writing: Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it do you submit to its rules? (Colossians 2:20). With worldliness spinning, whirling all around them, they had forgotten they were indeed “raised with Christ” above the melee. All they had to do was set their hearts and minds on things above (Colossians 3:1-2), instead of on the things of this world.
But the world was not the only problem confronting the Colossians, nor us today. How about those earthly natures we struggle with constantly? In this letter to Colosse Paul groups all vices into perverted passions and untamed tongues (Colossians 3:5-9). Of course, the devil is well aware of which buttons to push.
Think about the struggle Paul has with his earthly nature. In Romans 7:15-25 he admits to utter dismay at the hold sin has on him. In the end he concludes that Christ did, can, and will rescue him from its pull; but he himself has to put to death what trips him up.
If Paul were to stop there, I would be left hanging on the hook of my particular vice. But he goes on to remind us all that the new you “is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:10). Help is on the way; better than that, help is in you in the person of the Christ (Colossians 1:27).