Home   e-Library       中文 
e-Library Home |  Browse By Category |  Study the Bible    
 (Galatians to Colossians)
Lesson 29
TOC | Previous | Next

Lesson 29

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Seek the Things above (3:1-4)

Put Away the

Former Way
of Life (3:5-9)

Put on the New Man (3:10-17)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

Things above, 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.

II.    Segment Analysis

1.      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).

2.      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 self-centered life.

3.      Our life is no longer our own (1Cor 6:19).

4.      The devil cannot take our life as it is hidden with Christ (1Jn 5:18).

5.      Our real life is spiritual and is destined for eternity at the appearing of our Lord Jesus (Col 3:4; 1Thess 4:17).

6.      See verse 4.

7.      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.

8.      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.

9.      2Cor 6:14-18 : 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.

10.  1Pet 2:9-12: The believers are considered the special people of God. Their behavior and lifestyles are distinct from those of the unbelievers.

11.  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.

12.  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).

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 affiliations (3:11).

14.  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.

15.  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).

16.  Aspects of character that the elect of God should have—holy and beloved of God, merciful, kind, humble, meek, longsuffering, forbearing and forgiving.

17.  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).

18.  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).

19.  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 1:10).

20.  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.

21.  The individual:

22.  Renewed in knowledge (3:10). The word of Christ dwells richly in him (3:16).

23.  Identifies himself, first and foremost, as a Christian (3:10,11).

24.  Holy and beloved of God, merciful, kind, humble, meek, longsuffering, forbearing and forgiving (3:12,13).

25.  Loving (3:14).

26.  At peace and thankful (3:15,17; Jn 14:27; Phil 4:6,7; 1Thess 5:18).

27.  Sings with grace in his heart (3:16).

28.  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).

29.  The church:

30.  Christ is all and in all (3:11).

31.  Bound by love (3:14; 2Cor 5:14,15).

32.  At peace with one another (3:15).

33.  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)

PDF Download