If you noticed yesterday, Paul’s writings talked about the fact that we died with Christ (Colossians 2:20); today I am looking at Paul’s writings that look at another action that takes place when we make Christ our Lord and Savior. “Since, then, since you have been raised with Christ, se your hearts on things above…,” Colossians 3:1a. We not only died to our sinful nature, we have been raised with Christ! For the next two days, I am going to explore what that means. What does it mean to be a Christian? This will mean that we are going to once again, look at scripture that defines what we shouldn’t do (sin) and then read what we should do. I want to remind you that when looking at a list like this, it is easy to fall into the legalism trap. Please examine your hearts while reading through these verses over the next few days. The point isn’t to try to look holy; the point is to trust in Christ’s resurrection power and let that bring you to an awareness of what a Spirit-filled life looks like. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory,” Colossians 3:3-4.
Verses 5-9 of Colossians 3 give us a clear list that is similar to Galatians 5 of what the earthly nature is and how that is not a life that belongs to us anymore. Please read through those verses if you haven’t done so already. These are things that easily can be a struggle. Paul writes that we are to put to death these things and to get rid of them. He says, “You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived,” Colossians 3:7. Last week, I wrote about how Paul explained in I Cor. 10:13 that God always provides a way out of our temptations. A perfect example of that was lived out in my life yesterday when I found myself frustrated with something and I wanted to “vent” to someone. I walked into the room ready to share my frustration about something someone did; the person unknowingly began talking to me about a completely different topic. I could have brought it up as soon as she was done sharing her news, but that had given me just enough time for me to reflect on the fact that it would not have been the way God would want me to react. This was an issue between me and someone else, and quite honestly, the issue was more mine since I decided to be offended. There was no reason to involve anyone else. God provided a way out; I had to choose to walk through that door.
We need to set our minds above because it gives us the opportunity to refocus and see the way out of the temptation. Please pray and ask God to reveal to you what needs to be taken out of your life and have replaced with a heavenly fruit. I am going to close with this last thought that Paul wrote in verses 9 and 10. Please reflect on this for some time and what it means for you who has accepted this new life. “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” That is what we are doing by studying the Fruit of the Spirit; we are renewing our knowledge of our Creator and how we are to be an image of Him. We have taken off the old self; that gives me an image of a snake shedding its old scales and showing its fresh, newer scales. Take of the old skin of sin and show the new beautiful you that Christ has given you.
Have you shed the old skin, the sinful nature?