Introduction to Chapter 3:

1. In chapter 3 Paul now gives the climax and application of all the previous points made.

2. Paul uses the foundations set in chapters 1 and 2 concerning (1) “Christ in You” and (2) “The Sinful Nature is Cut off,” to give the reader direct commands and practical guides to living the “new life in Christ.”

Summary of Each Section:

1. Colossians 3:1-17 // Paul teaches the believer to set their hearts and minds on Christ, take off the old self, and live in the new self. 

(a.) vs. 1-2, Making reference to the believer being raised with Christ in Col. 2:12, Paul now gives the command to set both the heart and mind on Christ.

TAKE AWAY #1: The secret to living a “God-kind-of-Life,” according to Paul is to set your heart (affections) and mind (thoughts) on Jesus.

(b.) vs. 3-4, Paul makes clear that the believer has died and now lives a new life in Christ.  This new life will result in receiving glory when Christ appears at His second coming.

TAKE AWAY #2: There are not “two you’s”- one “holy” and the other “sinful.”  If you are born again you are one new person in Christ, your old life is dead- you are a new creation, 2 Cor. 5:17.

(c.) vs. 5-9a, Paul gives the list of things the believer must put to death, “slay utterly and totally,” (1) sexual immorality, (2) impurity, (3) lust, (4) evil desires, (5) greed (which is idolatry), (6) anger, (7) rage, (8) malice, (9) slander, (10) filthy language, and (11) lying.

TAKE AWAY #3: Though the believer has died and been cut off from the flesh, the flesh remains with the believer in their body and therefore must be put to death whenever its desires and temptations arise.

(d.) vs. 9b-11, Paul boldly declares that the “old self” has been taken off and the believer has put on the “new self.”  Therefore, to be saved according to Paul one’s old self must be taken off and a new self put, “born again,” John 3:3.  Plus, in this new life one’s prior nationality or social position; Greek, Jew, circumcised, barbarian, slave- doesn’t matter, Christ is in all!

Greek Scholar and New Testament Theologian Daniel Wallace states in the NET’s commentary on this passage, “Paul’s point, then, is that Christians should take off their dirty clothing (inappropriate behavior) and put on clean clothing (behavior consistent with knowing Christ) because this has already been accomplished in a positional sense at the time of their conversion (cf. Gal 3:27 with Rom 13:14).”

TAKE AWAY #4: Because believers are new and yet still carry the “body of death/flesh” with them in this life Paul’s prior command in Col. 3:1-2, “to set one’s heart and mind on Christ” is very important.  What believers do with their heart and mind determines the kind of life they will live- whether they will live in the “new self as they really are” or in the “old self as they once were.”

(e.) vs. 12-17, First, Paul describes believers as, (1) God’s Chosen People, (2) Holy, and (3) Dearly loved.

Second, he lists the attributes of the believer’s new self as, (1) Compassion, (2) Kindness, (3) Humility, (4) Gentleness, (5) Patience, (6) Forbearance, (7) Forgiveness, and (8) Love (which binds all the others together).

Third, he commands all believers to, (1) Let the Peace of Christ Rule in Their Hearts, (2) Be Thankful, (3) Let the Word of Christ Dwell Richly in Their Midst, (4) Teach and Admonish with the Word of God, (5) Sing Songs and Spiritual Songs with Grateful Hearts, and (6) Do All Things in the Name of Jesus Giving Thanks to the Father.

TAKE AWAY #5: Know who God says you are (chosen, holy, etc.), Live like Jesus (have compassion, kindness, etc.), and Follow Jesus’ commands, (Let peace and the Word of God dwell with you, etc).


2. Colossians 3:18-25 // Paul gives the biblical outline of social order for wives, husbands/fathers, children, and slaves- submit, love, and obey.  

(a.) vs. 18-25, Paul commands the Colosse church the same things he taught in the Ephesus church- family and social order, Eph. 5:22-6:9.

TAKE AWAY #6: (1) Wives submit to your husbands, (2) Husbands love your wives, (3) Children obey your parents, (4) Fathers don’t discourage your children, (5) Employees obey your bosses, and (6) Everyone do everything as unto the Lord who will either reward you or punish you without favoritism.

Note Concerning Slavery in the Roman Empire: (1) Slavery in the Roman culture was different in many ways than what the US did to Africans in the 1600-1800’s, (2) Over 50% of all people living in Rome were slaves, (3) Slavery was not based on skin color but primarily on lost wars or debt, (4) Paul taught that slave masters were to treat their slaves as Jesus their Master treated them, Col. 4:1, (5) Lastly, when Paul was in a place to change the social order he promoted the release of slaves by Christians, Philemon 1:15-16.

Summary of Chapter 3:

1. Set your hearts and minds on Christ and live the new life He has given you!

2. Follow the order of the Bible for blessed marriages, families, and society.

Sunday Sermon:

Extra Clarifications:

1. Note the difference between the physical body and the soul/spiritual nature:
(a) Physical Brain vs. The Soul/Spiritual Mind
(b) Physical Impulses vs. The Soul/Spiritual Will
(c) Physical Feelings vs. The Soul/Spiritual Emotions

2. We as Christians believe the soul/spiritual nature (mind, will, and emotions) control the body made of flesh.  

3. Therefore, the believer can do the following by the power of the Holy Spirit:

(a) Control their thoughts with the Mind, Col. 3:1.
(b) Discipline fleshy desires and impulses with the Will, Col. 3:5.
(c) Subdue evil physical feelings with their Emotions, Col. 3:8.