Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
- What strikes you about this passage? What reaction do you have?
- Paul talks about “putting to death” our earthly nature. I am struck by the forceful, active language there – that we are to murder or execute our earthly nature, and yet often we co exist with it or even nourish it. What is your reaction to this?
- Is there anything you have noticed that you’ve happily co existed with or even nourished that God is calling you to kill off?
- In verse 11, Paul makes a comment about discrimination. Outside the church, there are differences of class, skin color, wealth, religious practices. Inside the church, all are human, equally in need of God’s grace and equally of worth in God’s eyes. No community had ever talked like this before and it became what the church was known for, among other things. How are we doing today in being known as a non discriminatory community? Why do you think we fall short? What can YOU do about it?
- In verse 12, Paul pivots and starts listing the character traits and behaviors of a follower of Jesus. He switches metaphors from execution and murder to clothes fitting, so we’ll switch along with Paul. He suggests that some things that used to be in fashion before you were a follower are no longer in fashion. They no longer look good on you. What used to be in fashion before you were a Jesus follower that are no longer in fashion for you?
- What did you used to love that you no longer enjoy?
- Is there an outfit you’re ready to try on? Paul says that the clothes that fit a follower of Christ are compassion and gentleness and humility and kindness. Do they fit you?