Bible Study Notes on Colossians from Colin Wall (3)
Colossians Chapter 3 verses 1 to 17
In this chapter, Paul explains what it means to live in the world consistently as a Christian. The chapter is all about practical Christianity and the Christian life. In the first ten verses of Chapter 3, Paul focuses on the relationship of the Christian with Christ. These verses set forth what has been described as the ‘indicative and imperative’ of the Christian i.e. the standing and state of the Christian.
The indicative statements describe the believer’s position in Christ:
· Being dead – verse 3
· Been raised with Christ – verse 1
· The old life is over – take off the old self – verse 9
· The new life has begun – putting on the new self and be renewed in Christ – verse 10
What do you think ‘taking of the old self’ and ‘putting on the new self’ means?
The imperative statements describe what a believer is to do as a ‘new creation’:
· Set our hearts and minds on things above – verse 2
· Don’t do those things which belonged to our former lives – verses 5, 8 and 9
Paul gives a long list of the earthly ways and characteristics of living. What things of the earthly life do you find difficult to get rid of?
From verse 12 to 17, in contrast, Paul describes how we are to live as Christians, following Christ in our lives. We are to clothe ourselves with these qualities. What do you think ‘being clothed’ implies?
· Peace of Christ
As we grow and strive to become more like Jesus, these qualities will continue to grow in our lives. We are ‘work in progress’. Do verses 16 and 17 show us some of the ways in which we can grow in these Christian qualities. In what other ways, not mentioned by Paul, can we grow as Christians in this way?