Seek the Things
Put Away the Former Way of Life
Put on the New
hidden with Christ in God, put to death, put off, put on, new man, Christ is
all and in all, love, peace of God, word of Christ, wives, husbands, children,
fathers, bondservants, masters, earnestly in prayer, vigilant, thanksgiving,
door for the word.
Above, where Christ is (1,2). Heaven above must be the goal of all Christians, not
only because it is a wonderful place (cf. Jn 14:2;
2Cor 12:2-7; Rev 21:1-5), but mainly because it is a place where we can be with
our precious Lord Jesus (cf. Col 3:1; Jn 14:3; Phil
1:23). The goal is fundamental—a Christian goes wrong the moment he does not
set his mind on things above (1Cor 15:19).
Setting our minds on things
above means giving God first place in our hearts, always seeking to please Him
in our thoughts, speech, and conduct. On the contrary, setting our minds on
earthly things means obeying the desires of our flesh and leading a
Our life is no longer our own
The devil cannot take our life
as it is hidden with Christ (1Jn 5:18).
Our real life is spiritual and
is destined for eternity at the appearing of our Lord Jesus (Col 3:4; 1Thess 4:17).
See verse 4.
Jn 17:14-16: Christians continue to live among the people of the world
but are not of them, i.e., we do not identify with them nor with their values.
For example, in some societies, teenage dating is encouraged or accepted in the
belief that this helps adolescents become mature. Christians must decide
whether to do the same not on the basis of what society or culture says but
according to what is suggested by the Bible.
1Cor 15:33 :
We should be careful not to associate with those who practice evil (Ps 1:1),
knowing that we may be influenced by them. We need to imitate our Lord Jesus in
this regard. Although He ate and mingled with sinners, these sinners were not
unrepentant evildoers. He drew close to them in order to bring them back to
God, not to join in their sinful acts.
: Verse 14 covers a large area of association and thus definitely includes
marriage with unbelievers. The church
of God is to be clearly
seen as separate from the world.
1Pet 2:9-12: The believers are
considered the special people of God. Their behavior and lifestyles are
distinct from those of the unbelievers.
One possible explanation weaves
together Luke 12:15, Luke 16:13 and the first two commandments (Ex 20:3-5).
Covetousness is defined here as desiring excessively the material things of the
world. This leads to serving and worshipping mammon (money) which is replacing God
with another object of worship, an idol.
When we are baptized, our old
man dies (Rom 6:6-8). The blood of Jesus washes away our sins and we attain the
status of a son of God (Jn 3:5; Gal 3:26-4:7). It is
clear however that as long as we are in the flesh, we still have the nature to
sin. See Rom 6:11-13 and Gal 4:9. These Bible passages tell us that the Romans
and Galatians could be swayed to sin implying that the nature of the Christian
is a ‘work-in-progress’. Thus, one way to change our nature is to be aware of
the new status and to live worthy of it (3:9; Rom 6:11-13).
When we are baptized, we become
a new man and put on Christ (Gal 3:27). We become a new man according to the
image of Christ (3:10). We should cherish this affiliation above all human
The church is the body of
Christ (Eph 1:22,23). One’s affiliation with the
church is established by three sacraments intimately linked to Christ and thus
to salvation. Baptism washes away our sins and makes us a new man. Footwashing lets us have a part with Jesus (Jn 13:8-10). The apostles were disunited, mistrustful of
one another and held together only by the love for Jesus. The Lord wanted them
to know that all disciples have a part with Him and thus form His body (the
church) after He has ascended to heaven. Footwashing
was instituted to induct the individual into a community where Christ is. This
induction ceremony is unique in the sense that the leader washes the feet of
the inductee showing that the church is an organization of humility and that
those having a part with it must also be of the same nature. If we refuse footwashing, we refuse to have a part with the body of
Christ. Holy Communion is taken as a church and not individually (1Cor 10:16,17; 11:33). It is the communion of the body of Christ.
In summary, our most important
affiliation is with Jesus. But the Lord has also established His body on earth,
the church. Through mutual edification based on the words of Christ and His
love, members of this body may be built up in the faith (1Tim 3:15; Eph
4:11-15). Thus, the church is a necessary and important affiliation in our
lives as she herself is intimately associated with Christ, being His body and
His bride (Eph 5:31,32).
Aspects of character that the
elect of God should have—holy and beloved of God, merciful, kind, humble, meek,
longsuffering, forbearing and forgiving.
God has promised that He will
provide for our needs if we seek first His kingdom and righteousness (Mt 6:33).
Although it may seem necessary to sacrifice our Christian principles in order
to compete with the people of this world, we should resist such temptation and
remain faithful to God. Consider the meek Isaac, who conceded to his oppressors
but was blessed by God with prosperity (Gen 26:12-33).
Unity is strength but unity by
itself is not a virtue (cf. Mk 3:22-27). In striving for unity and peace in the
church and in our lives, Christians must not compromise with regard to the
truth. When the truth was attacked, Jesus (cf. Mt 23) and Paul did not hesitate
to rebuke in love (1Tim 5:19,20; 2Tim 3:16-4:2).
Doing all things in the name of
the Lord Jesus does not mean invoking the name of Jesus when doing even the
most trivial things. Instead, it means doing all things in a manner that is worthy
of the name of the Lord, and nothing we do should ever dishonor the name of
Christ (cf. Eph 4:1; Phil 1:27; Col
The goal of all the commands
and exhortations in this passage is to live a Christ-centered life. Although
Paul covered many aspects of Christian living, his instructions are not meant
to be an exhaustive code of ethics. Thus, in conclusion, he reminds the
believers to do all things in light of the fact that they bear the name of
Christ. A Christian who always desires to glorify the name of the Lord Jesus
will naturally conduct himself in a manner worthy of the Lord.
Renewed in knowledge (3:10).
The word of Christ dwells richly in him (3:16).
Identifies himself, first and
foremost, as a Christian (3:10,11).
Holy and beloved of God,
merciful, kind, humble, meek, longsuffering, forbearing and forgiving (3:12,13).
At peace and thankful (3:15,17; Jn 14:27; Phil 4:6,7; 1Thess
Sings with grace in his heart
Does all in the name of the
Lord (3:17), i.e., he always thinks of the Lord in his life and acts to glorify
Him (Isa 43:7; 1Cor 10:31).
Christ is all and in all
Bound by love (3:14; 2Cor 5:14,15).
At peace with one another
Teaching and admonishing one
another in the wisdom of the word of Christ and in psalms and hymns and
spiritual songs (3:16). The church is a place of prayer, praise, and learning
and living of the truth (4:2; Mt 21:12,13; Lk
2:46-39; Acts 2:46,47; 6:2-4)