There is a lot of material in these two chapters that we will be covering in some detail when we get to Ephesians 4-6 in our current sermon series. Therefore, I’m not going to steal my own thunder, but rather, will point out a couple of interesting principles to keep us all on the path toward growing in godliness.
Before Paul begins to outline the biblical expectations of a Christian’s lifestyle, he reminds us that all godliness and holiness in living flows first out of recognizing our position in Christ. We are not just sinners trying to make it in a fallen world; we are seated with Christ and our lives are hidden with Christ. That is part of the reason that change is not only possible but is normative for the follower of Christ. As Paul lists those sins we are to put to death, he reminds us that the reason we can put them away is because we once walked in these things when we were living in them (Colossians 3:7). That is past tense! That is who we were, not who we are. If we are in Christ, then we are born again, new creations, and have been raised from spiritual death to newness of life. Paul is telling the Colossian Christians to live out their new identity in Christ – be who you truly are!
One more point: notice that in Colossians 4:2, Paul instructs believers to devote yourselves to prayer. You will be hearing much more about this from the pulpit in coming weeks as we try to establish a thriving culture of prayer in our church. Spurgeon gives us great hope for devoting ourselves to prayer: “It is not possible that God should refuse to hear prayer; it is possible for him to bid the sun and the moon to stay her monthly march. It is possible for him to bid the waves freeze in the sea – possible for him to quench the light of the stars in eternal darkness. But it is not possible for him not to hear prayer that is based on his promise and offered in faith. God…takes more pleasure in our prayers that we do in his answers. Therefore, we ought to come boldly! We ought to come with thankfulness in our hearts and and join the hymn of praise with the cry of prayer.” ‘Nuf said, don’t you think?
Folks, I will be out of town until Thursday night for the Village Missions Couples Conference with Cheryl and I will not have my computer or internet access. Our reading for next week is in 1 and 2 Thessalonians. I will post my devotional thoughts starting next Friday, February 2. In the meantime, stay in the Word!