Colossians 3:1-11

Rules for Holy Living

3 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.
5 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 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 Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Again, today, we look at a passage that is crucial for a Christian! This passage is essentially about the fact that, now that we are a ‘new creation’ we need to act the part! Paul takes 11 verses here to pretty much say, “come on guys, you’re a new creation, you’re not who you used to be, so stop living like that”.

I remember once having a conversation with a lady who was doing something completely illogical to me (and in fact, she was complaining about it at the time). I made a comment, suggesting she could simply not do that anymore, which clearly offended her. She proceeded to tell me how as a child she had very little in life and therefore, this particular things she was now doing, was because she was never going to “go back there”.

What she failed to understand, is that she would never ‘be back there’. By doing this simple thing, she would not be putting herself back in the place she was in as a child – rather she would be comfortable.

This is what Paul is addressing. He writes here that there are ways to live in the new Kingdom. There are rules to follow. There is a social norm. There is a standard by which we need to live, regardless of who we are or where we come from, because that is what it is like in the Kingdom of God.

Think of it like this: When we travel to different countries, the rules change. In some countries, you drive on the opposite side of the road. You use different currency. There are different social norms (I recently discovered that a ‘baby shower’ is considered a no-no in many countries because of the superstition attached to it). There are different ways of communicating.

The same thing applies if you (particularly as a child) stay in someone else’s home. There are different rules. There are different norms. There are different ways to do things – and the right thing to do is adapt to the way of life of your host, especially because they are usually carrying the cost of your stay.

When you and I accepted God’s gift of salvation, we were adopted into a new family where Christ became our Father. New home. New rules. New way of doing life.

Thankfully, Jesus does operate on the basis of “shape up or ship out” but that is not an excuse for us to live how we please, taking no cognizance of of the new way we should live.


You’ve already read Col 3:1-11. Read it again – this time, stop at every instruction and ask yourself: “Have I adapted my behaviour to fit the standard that is required by my new Father”. If not – well, do it. Make a note to work specifically on those things in the next few days so that your behaviour can line up with your family. You’re a Christian, saved by the power of Jesus Christ and adopted into a new family: Act like it!


Jesus, thank you for adopting me into your family. Thank you that I have a new life, a new identity, a new hope, a new future. Please help me to live according to your standard. In Jesus name, Amen.

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