5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Col 3:5-17; NKJV)
We need Jesus! If we know and understand this, we will believe in Him and all that He taught and was taught about Him in God’s word. These needs and beliefs are held by us in our hearts and our minds individually. They are only truly known to us and to God. People can’t see them and can only see our outward expression through our actions (word and deed).
In verse 5, we have a “therefore”. Based on Jesus filling our need and our belief and confidence in all of the wonderful blessings we have received as a result of our obedience to the gospel, this is way we will behave and way we will not.
There are “do not’s”. We are not to participate in fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, covetousness (which is idolatry), anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, and lying. We are no longer sons of disobedience as Christians but are sons of God. We have been born again into the family of God. Our Abba Father has adopted into His family. He has made a place in His family for us as His children so we should not behave like the children of another father…expressly the devil. We should not behave like sons of disobedience.
There are “do’s). If we are a disciple of Christ, we will do what is needed over what is wanted. Everything we do in word or deed (our actions) will be in the name of the Lord Jesus and are the visible manifestation of our mindset. What we DO is live with mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, forgiveness, love, and thankfulness. Through our actions, others will see Jesus. If we don’t behave like we should, people will see confusion which will sew doubt.
Our actions matter and they are how others see Jesus in our lives. They verify and validate what we believe about the One who gives us what we need. If there is conflict in what we believe and how we behave, we need to pause and examine ourselves and we need to seek God’s help in rooting out whatever we are holding in our heart and mind that is distracting us or keeping us from our One need. Actions or behaviors are symptoms but the real sickness is in our heart and mind and we are the only ones who can address that with our Great Physician. To not do so, we become contagious and can negatively impact others through our inconsistent and ungodly behavior.
Let me end with this quote and an encouragement for us to examine ourselves…our behaviors…and if we don’t see what God expects…to repent and seek His strength in changing course.
“You can preach a better sermon with your life than your lips” – Oliver Goldsmith