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Paul now makes the transition from the more doctrinal section of Chapters 1-2 where he had been teaching the Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ and warning against false approaches to spirituality to the more practical section of Chapters 3-4. The Greek mindset could just pursue the theoretical, but for Paul wisdom always had feet to it.

Sports analogies: the need to Focus and Follow Through; cf. kicking a soccer ball

Vaughan: “The Christian life is a life ‘hidden with Christ in God,’ but it is still, Paul explains, a life lived out on earth.”


– Resurrection – 1:18; 2:11-13

– Power – 1:11; 29; 2:23 – need for power over fleshly indulgence

– “Christ in you the hope of glory” 1:27


“Seek …” / “Set …”

A. (:1) Focus Our Interests and Effort

1. Motivation – Union with Christ in His Resurrection

“If then you have been raised up with Christ”

Particle of a fulfilled condition – Better translation:

“In view of the fact, therefore …”; “Since …”

cf. 2:12-13 with the emphasis on the resurrection

What new resources we have in conjunction with the resurrection power of Christ

2. Exhortation – “keep seeking the things above”

What are the “things above”?

How do we go about seeking them?

Hendriksen: “implies persevering effort … more than a seeking to discover. It is a seeking to obtain”

3. Encouragement – Christ is Glorified – “seated at the right hand of God”

Position of majesty, authority, power

B. (:2-4) Focus Our Minds

1. Motivation – Union with Christ in His Death

“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God”

a. Cause – you have died (in the past)

b. Effect – your life is hidden (right now)

– Protected, safe, secure

– Unobserved by ourselves and others

– United with Christ in God

2. Exhortation – “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth”

The mind is a very important spiritual battleground

We must take every thought captive to obedience

3. Encouragement – Our Glory is Coming

“When Christ … is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory”

C. (:4b) Key: Christ is our life – “Christ, who is our life”

Wiersbe: “Eternal life is not some heavenly substance that God imparts when we, as sinners, trust the Saviour. Eternal life is Jesus Christ Himself.”

Wuest: “not just the Giver of our eternal life but the Essence of that life”


A. (:5-7) Reckon Ourselves Dead to All Sexual Sin

all of these sins affect our vertical relationship with God and bring His judgment

Put to death = refuse to obey these passions; deprive these things of their power; destroy their strength; reckon that Christ has set us free from these things

1. (:5) List of Sexual Sins

a. “Immorality” – Mainly illicit sexual intercourse (sex outside of marriage)

(fornication, adultery)

b. “Impurity” – Word for “uncleanness” – perverted forms of sex

Stedman: “homosexuality, child abuse, and various strange and kinky sexual practices”

c. “Passion” – Lust; pornography; allowing visual images to arouse one sexually

d. “Evil Desire” – closely associated with c; mental aspect; cf. looking at a woman in a way that you are lusting after her in your heart

e. “Greed, which amounts to idolatry” – greedy desire to have more – could refer to either things or pleasures; talking in this context about coveting the body of another in a sexual sense; cf. having an affair; the other person becomes so important in your life that they usurp the rightful place of God in some sense;

Tozer: “when we (strongly desire to) own a thing, it actually owns a part of us”

2. (:6) These things Worthy of the Wrath of God

“For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come”

Present Tense – it is coming; it is already on the way

cf. the wrath of God coming in the days of Noah; so it is in these last days

(orgies lead to orge); cf. Sight and Sound theatre production of Noah

Hendriksen: “These sins attract God’s displeasure like a magnet attracts iron or like a high steeple on an isolated hill draws lightning.”

3. (:7) These Things Characteristic of Pre-Conversion Days

“and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.”

B. (:8-9) Put Off All Social Sins

1. (:8-9A) List of Social Sins = Uncontrolled Malicious Expression Against Others

all of these sins would have a negative impact on the unity of the body of believers (our horizontal relationship with one another)

a. Sins of Anger

1) “Anger” – seething anger

2) “Wrath” – explosion of anger; violent outburst; no self control

3) “Malice” – involves ill-will; desire to injure another

b. Sins of the Tongue

1) “Slander” – speaking ill of another in a way that harms their reputation; word used is blasphemy (usually directed against God)

2) “Abusive speech from your mouth” – foul speaking

3) Lying, Dishonesty — “Do not lie to one another”

2. (:9B) These Things Characteristic of the Old Self

“since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices”

C. (:10-11A) Remember that Your Experience is Maturing to Match Your Position

1. You have already put on the new self

“and have put on the new self “

2. That new self in your experience is being Renewed and Matured

“who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him”

3. There is no room for mistreating others on the basis of mere human distinctions

“a renewal in which there is no distinction between”:

a. “Greek and Jew”

b. “circumcised and uncircumcised”

c. “barbarian, Scythian”

d. “slave and freeman”

Hendriksen: “All racial bigotry, chauvinism, and snobbery is condemned here.”

D. (:11B) Key to Spirituality: “Christ is all and in all”