March 25, 2019
But now you must put them all away…malice....
In his letter to the believers in Colossae, Paul does not have a mixed message. He is not mincing his words and he is not being politically correct. A heresy had cropped up in this group of new believers and Paul was determined to stomp it out. In German we would say Paul was speaking im Klartext. He was preaching the unadulterated Gospel.
In Chapter 3 he reminds his fellow believers that they have been raised up with Christ, literally lifted out of the mud of their old, sinful lives. Now that they are out of the mud, he urges them to take off their muddy clothes, i.e. rid themselves of their sinful nature. He charges them to put off doing hurtful and harmful things to each other, such as showing malice. Malice is the desire to cause harm, to purposefully hurt someone. Today we Christians might think to ourselves, “Well, that’s easy since I never intentionally harm anyone.” The problem is that sin begins with a malicious thought. Paul says, in essence, to stop the mudslinging! He urges us to seek and strive for the things above, not the things of this earth.
But Paul’s message to the Colossians and to the believers today is much more than “stop being a bad person and try to do good.” The new self has been renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:10) When we set our minds on Christ, we cannot help but show love and mercy to the people around us. Christians who have set their minds on the things above are not trying to be good people; rather they have become new people who possess the peace that passes all understanding.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I pray that we may all put off the things of the old self and bask in the glory of Christ, who came to earth to give us an image of our Father God in heaven. Amen.