Putting off the Old and Putting on the New
8 But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. 11 In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all. (Colossians 3:8-11)
Continuing the theme from last week of having a transformed life as a believer, Paul shifts to a new metaphor, relating the change in a believer’s life to that of changing clothes. With verse 8, Paul shares a list of behaviors that should not be in a transformed life, specifically focusing on temper. First, anger, meaning to allow a seething emotion that builds under the surface. Second, wrath, meaning a sudden moment of lashing out. Third, malice, meaning to harbor ill will against another. Fourth, slander, meaning to attack a person’s character and integrity. Finally, filthy language from your mouth, meaning cursing or destructive language.
At the beginning of verse 9, Paul gives one more thing that believers should not do, “lie to one another.” It may seem odd that this was separated from the list in verse 8, but Paul wanted to emphasize this in light of the false teachers that were sharing their false doctrine. Then, in verses 9 and 10, Paul states that these behaviors should be removed, taken off with the “old self with its practices,” and instead, “have put on the new self.” This transformation process is all because “you are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of Your Creator.” Paul states in Romans 6:6-7, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin.” As believers, once you have repented of your sin and accepted Christ as your Savior, the old self has died away, the chains of sin no longer hold onto you. Therefore, Paul is encouraging believers to resist the temptation to return to their past sin. Let the Holy Spirit guide you and give you strength to resist and overcome the sin nature.
Not only that, but in order to keep one another accountable and help each other grow, verse 11, “In Christ, there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.” Instead of the false teachers’ way of dividing one another through tiers of spiritual understanding, the body of believers are all united together through Christ, with Christ as the head of the body and everyone else supporting one another. May we care for one another, not allowing our emotions to take control, especially that of anger. May we truly consider one another’s needs, not lying to one another. May we be united in Christ.
Isaac De Guzman