COLOSSIANS: STABILITY BY CHRIST'S ALL-SUFFICIENCY AND SUPREMACY
Part XII: Stability By Living In The New Nature
A. Today's unsettling, insecure world has led many believers to become unsettled and insecure, so in contrast to today's world, we believers need to focus on the stability and security we have in our Lord.
B. The Colossians epistle presents Christ's all-sufficiency and supremacy in ways that settle and provide security, and one way it does so is by teaching the believer's stability in living in the new nature created in him by God.
C. Colossians 3:5-15 teaches this truth, and we view it for our insight and edification (as follows):
II. Stability By Living In The New Nature, Colossians 3:5-15 NIV, ESV.
A. Stability in living begins by reckoning one's self to be dead to his sinful nature, Colossians 3:5-9:
1. Paul directed his readers to "put to death" whatever belonged to their old sin nature, Colossians 3:5a NIV.
2. This "putting to death" would result in the cessation of the sins committed by the sin nature, Col. 3:5b-9:
a. It would result in departing from sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed which is idolatry, for God's wrath is coming on the world because of such things, Colossians 3:5b-6 NIV.
b. It would result in ceasing from [unjust] anger [versus just anger in Eph. 4:26-27], rage, malice, slander and filthy language from one's mouth and lying, for such things come from the sin nature, Col. 3:8-9 NIV.
B. Stability in living then continues by putting on the new nature created at salvation, Colossians 3:10-15:
1. Paul directed his readers to "put on" the new nature created in Christ at their salvation, Colossians 3:10a.
2. This "putting on" of the new nature would result in the performance of righteous acts, Col. 3:10b-15:
a. It would result in renewal by a knowledge that conforms one to the pattern of his righteous Creator, Colossians 3:10b. The believer would understand the righteousness of God to which he was to conform.
b. This would thus result in abandoning the world's artificial divisions of national distinctions (Greek and Jew), religious distinctions (circumcised and uncircumcised), cultural distinctions (one foreign to Greek culture was a barbarian, and a Scythian was a wild, savage nomad) and economic or social distinctions (slave or free), but where Christ is all and in all believers regardless of such distinctions that create divisions among men in the lost world, Colossians 3:11. (Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 681)
c. It would also result in God's chosen people, who are positionally holy and dearly beloved, clothing themselves with the attitudes of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, Colossians 3:12.
d. Such clothing of one's self with these attitudes would result in actions of bearing with one another and forgiving whatever grievances they might have against other believers in following the example of Christ's forgiveness of the believer's own sins, Colossians 3:13.
e. Above all such things, believers are to put on love that binds them together in perfect unity, Col. 3:14.
f. Such love is to result in the peace of Christ ruling in the believers' hearts, for as members of one body they were called to peace, Colossians 3:15a.
g. In addition, believers were to be thankful to the Lord for His manifold blessings in Christ, Col. 3:15b.
C. We know from other Scriptures that this transition from life by means of one's sinful nature to life in his new nature is achieved by (1) one's confessing his sins committed in his sin nature (1 John 1:9) followed by (b) his relying by faith on the indwelling Holy Spirit of God to produce a righteous life (Galatians 5:16, 22-23).
Lesson: By confession of post-salvation sins (1 John 1:9) followed by relying by faith on the Holy Spirit's power, believers gain stability in living free of the sin nature with its sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed which is idolatry, unjust anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language and lying. Instead, they live in the new nature that brings a knowledge of God's righteousness that they are to imitate, which righteousness abandons the world's divisions of national, religious, cultural, economic and social distinctions with fellow believers and adopts attitudes of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience toward others, resulting in the righteous acts of bearing with other believers and forgiving them so as to love and produce peaceful unity in the body of Christ.
Application: (1) May we live free of the sinful nature by living in the new nature by faith in God's provisions to enjoy stability in living the Christian life in an unstable world. (2) As this involves (a) confession of sin that blocks fellowship with God and fellow believers (1 John 1:9 with 1:3) followed by (b) reliance on the Holy Spirit's power for living (Galatians 5:16, 22-23), may we utilize these steps for stability in living. (3) We should expect to become LESS in our thinking and values like the WORLD with its sinful woes and MORE like our RIGHTEOUS God!