By Oscar Baker
In Col 3:1 to 4:1 we have the practical aspect of Christianity outlined (See notes in your Companion Bible). We can condense the outline thus;
A. Risen with Christ. Rule of old man off. B. New man put on.
C. Love, the bond of perfectness.
A. In one body. Rule of God's peace. B. Word of Christ dwelling within.
C. Love, bond of all relations.
All who are risen with Christ are asked to seek those things which are above, to put the affection on them, not on things which are on the earth and will perish. The old man loves the things of the earth, so the members (fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness) must be put to death. Not only have we died to these things, but also to anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy speech. The rule of the old man must be put off. It is summed up in lying.
Then the new man can be put on. His deeds are bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and longsuffering. It is summed up in loving.
This love is to be exercised in all human relationships, husbands and wives, parents and children, and masters and servants. It is a bond that leads the individual as well as the church on to perfection. Love is the badge of the Christian and by it you know him.
It is not till this foundation has been laid that peace can rule in the heart. And in connection with this is a calling, a calling in one body. This is the calling of which we are to walk worthy.
Then we are to let or allow the Word of Christ to dwell in us. But how? In all wisdom. This is not the wisdom of man which is foolishness with God. In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. We must acquire the hidden wisdom. We get it by putting on Christ. Satan can quote Scripture for his own ends, but the Word does not dwell in him richly! This is not a head knowledge, nor is it memorizing an array of proof texts to support a doctrine. In fact this can produce hate, as can be seen among many sects which are very exclusive. But the indwelling Word produces love, and that love is to be exercised.
This epistle is a corrective one. And here is correction. A positive basis is the knowledge that one has died with Christ and is
-risen with Christ. And when the knowledge is established, one can reckon it as being so. Seeking things above and putting affection on things there are the outcome of this knowing and reckoning (See Ro 6:6,11). Then there is the assurance that our life is hid or stored up with Christ in God. The hope is the appearing with Him in glory.
When our members on earth try to act, or we are tempted to be angry and the
like, we must remind ourselves that we have died to these things. We are no
longer servants of unrighteousness, but of righteousness. Our debt and
obligation is in that direction