In this passage Paul covers three main focus points for the pursuit of living in that new identity.
When we have our focus on God, and are seeking the “thing that are above”, our lives will fall into that pattern as well. When we are focused on something, that acts like a rudder, and by setting our hearts and priorities on God, instead of material things of this earth, our lives will follow suit. In our pursuit for living a life that is in line with our Identity in Christ, having a proper focus is key.
Dealing with the old self:
The next section Paul deals with is that we need to deal with our old self. We need to understand that we have to take measures to not only move away from our old lives, but sometimes battle and overcome them. Paul lists characteristics of the “Old Self” here… Anger, wrath, malice, Slander, obscene talk, lying… these character traits are not healthy and are not a part of who we are in Christ. Paul encourages us to continue the pursuit of eliminating our sinful behaviours and to cultivate Christian virtues.
Putting on the new self:
The third and final part is fully stepping into “That new self”, that amazing identity that we have in Jesus. Paul now lists virtues that ARE a part of the IDENTITY… Humility, gentleness, Patience, Bearing with one another, forgiving one another, and above all else LOVE… Love is the crowning virtue that all other virtues fall under. If we are to LOVE one another as Jesus has loved us (which is what we are called to do as Christians!) Then all these other characteristics will come into practice.
To leave you with a thought, knowing your Bible is not enough. You can know every word in that book and that wouldn’t be enough. We need to apply what God has revealed to us in our lives! Let the Holy Spirit transform us by his words and live with a faith that is alive and not idle.
Hopefully we will see you out next week! We are having a guest speaker and worship band coming!