Today Paul tells the Colossians to walk in Christ, “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Then he warns them to “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”
Paul says that being a Christian isn’t about following outward rules regarding what to do or not do in the ways of how you worship or what you touch, eat or drink. “These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” Following rules can give the appearance of holiness but it is still man trusting in his own abilities to be holy. Our sins are forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ and our ability to overcome them is provided by the Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore Paul tells them to “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth… put to death your members which are on the earth.” Paul explains how to die to the flesh by instructing the Colossians what to put off and what to put on:
Put off – anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, and lying.
Put on – tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, forgiveness. “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
Paul concludes the letter to the Colossians by encouraging them to continue in prayer, “praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak… Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen.”
Tomorrow Paul writes a letter to Philemon, a wealthy Christian in Colosse, regarding his runaway servant. Keep reading.