Active Change

5 February 2017 PM – Colossians 3:8-11 – Col16 – Scott Childs

Introduction: When God saves a person, he changes their life from the inside. (2 Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The Holy Spirit indwells every believer from the moment of his conversion. He enables us to make the outward changes that God expects. If you are praying that God will change your life, you may be praying the wrong thing. Outward change is your responsibility. If you are saved, God has changed you on the inside, but now He commands you to make outward changes in your way of life. That is ACTIVE CHANGE.

Transition: In this section, God commands us to make two active changes.

1.        You must put off all these…

a.         What does “put off” mean?
1)         The word literally means to put off, put aside, or put away.
2)         The grammar tells us that it is a duty you must do to yourself.
3)         It described the act of taking off a coat or other clothing.
4)         Spiritually, it refers to taking off sinful activities from your former lifestyle. We must take these off and not put them back on.
b.         What must we put off?
1)         Anger. This Greek word is found in 34 verses in the N.T. It describes, anger, wrath, impulse, temper or indignation. It often describes the wrath of God. As far as I can tell, besides this verse only four times does it describe man’s anger and all are commands to stop.
a)         (Romans 12:19) “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
b)         (Ephesians 4:31) “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”
c)         (1 Timothy 2:8) “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”
d)         (James 1:19) “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”
e)         God clearly commands Christians to keep this anger out of their lives. We may be provoked to anger (Eph 4:26), but we must not yield to that temptation and get angry.
2)         Wrath. This Greek word is found in 18 N.T. verses. It describes passion, angry, heat or anger that boils up and soon subsides again. This is hot anger. Each time that it is applied to people it is bad. Wrath is not to be part of the Christian’s life. It must be actively put off.  (Ephesians 4:31) “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” With God’s help, we must not allow any hot anger into our lives.
3)         Malice. This Greek word is found in 11 N.T. verses. It is ill-will, desire to injure; wickedness or depravity. In a moral sense it is an evil meaning wickedness of heart, life, and character. Zodhiates “It refers to the vicious nature which is bent on doing harm to others.” C. Rogers It is characteristic of the unsaved lifestyle. (Titus 3:3) “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.” God commands that we actively get rid of all hurtful evil desires.
4)         Blasphemy. This word describes any slander or any speech that hurts or does harm to another’s good name. It is more than just hurting God’s name. We are not to slander or say any hurtful words to or about others. Again, God commands this as an active change we must make.
5)         Filthy communication out of your mouth. This refers to all foul speaking. It includes all abusive language and obscene words.
6)         Each of these five sins come from the heart (Mark 7:21-22). If you struggle with one or more of these sins, you will never get victory until you clean your heart of all unforgiveness, bitterness, hate, revenge and the spirit of anger that goes with them.

2.        You must stop yourself from lying

a.         The command is not hard to understand.
1)         The grammar indicates that “you must stop yourself from lying unto one another.” This too is an active change that every Christian must make. God is not going to ZAP you so that you will never tell another lie. You must stop yourself from lying with God’s help.
2)         This command forbids a lifestyle of lying. If you often tell lies, you have work to do.
3)         Lying has a bad origin. Jesus said that the devil was the father of lies. (John 8:44) “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
4)         The Bible clearly forbids lying. (Leviticus 19:11) “Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.” (Ephesians 4:25) “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.”
b.         The next verses give us a motivation to stop lying.
1)         You put off the old way of life when you trusted Christ (v.9). When a person is truly saved, he changes his mind about his sinful lifestyle and turns to God for cleansing and a new life. That is repentant conversion. (Acts 3:19) “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” A person who prays for salvation without a sorrow for his sinfulness and a desire for change may have never repented and been converted.
2)         When you put off the old life, that included all the deeds of that sinful lifestyle. You cut ties with the old life and had a desire for God’s new life. You still struggle with the old nature, but you now desire God’s will.
3)         You also put on the new when you trusted Christ (v.10). You turned to Christ. That is the conversion part of salvation. You did not want to continue living in that sinful old way of life. You adopted God’s new life. On the inside God changed you and gave you a new nature that desires to live in God’s way.
4)         That new life in Christ is being renewed unto a full knowledge like the image of the One who created you. The more we learn about and from Christ, the more we ought become like Christ.
5)         Because you put off the old and put on the new, you must put off all lying because it is part of the old sinful lifestyle. Plus, God is at work in your life making you more like the character of Christ.
6)         This change is not just for the Jews. It is for everyone (v.11).
a)         Greeks were non-Jews.
b)         Barbarians were anyone who did not speak Greek.
c)         Scythians were a people group that lived in modern Russia. They were considered the wildest of the barbarians.
d)         Bond refers to slaves of the lowest class.
7)         New life in Christ erases the barriers that are between people who do not know Christ. Genuine Christians are all one family in Christ.

Conclusion: If Christ has changed you on the inside, he will help you change on the outside but it is your duty. Outward change is active change. Making these changes is not always easy. It will take work, prayer and determination. Because we know that God never commands us to do things that he does not enable, we know that can have victory. Press on and the Lord will bless you!

Song: More Like the Master – 325