Holy and Beloved.
In the book of Colossians, at the end of chapter 2, Paul reasons with the church about identifying with practices that based themselves in arrogance and self glorification rather than in Christ. He specifically calls out “asceticism” which basically says that a person would be highly self disciplined or abstinent from certain practices/foods/drinks in order to appear above reproach for reasons that were not conviction but rather for piety or sensousness.
Paul even says that these things have the “appearance of wisdom” but they are of no value in stopping the indulgences of the flesh. Then in Chapter 3 he tells us to put to death what is earthly in us and to put on the things that identify us as God’s chosen ones.
Let’s just do a quick list out of the things he says to “put to death” vs the things he says to “put on as God’s chosen”.
The things to put to death that are earthly in you:
- sexual immorality
- evil desire
- covetousness (which is idolatry)
- obscene talk
- don’t lie to each other
The things to put on as God’s chosen ones:
- compassionate hearts
- the Word of Christ
- teaching and admonishment
Paul’s last statement in this passage says “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him”.
I read through these and some days are easier than others. Our society today is very much centered on doing what is best based on "feelings". We have become less intellectual and much more sensuous as a culture. We have seen this saturate the church! We have seen and experience people argue with us that a "love" is about what makes us feel good and the wide perception that must accompany it rather than preach and teach what God defines as love. We must mortify our sensuousness and put on the "chosen" mindset!
To be honest, some things are easier to mortify and other things are easier to put on. Other days are harder. I find great comfort in the first part of the chapter. In verse 3 he says “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ appears, then you also will appear with him in glory”. This is the battle cry to “put to death” and to “put on”. What AWESOME motivation!
Let’s pray over these things in our life and allow the Holy Spirit to give us the tools we need to mortify our flesh and put on what has identified us as “holy and beloved”.