James J. Barker

Lesson 10

Text: COLOSSIANS 3:5-10


  1. Last week we looked at Colossians 3:1-4, which teaches that we are united to Christ in His death and resurrection.
  2. From the spiritual position of the believer in Christ as dead, risen, ascended, and returning comes the duty -- "therefore" (3:5).
  3. Though we are regenerated and indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and though our life is "hid with Christ in God" (3:3), and though Christ "is our life" (3:4), we still have our old sinful nature, referred to here as "the old man" (3:9).
  4. The book of Colossians teaches us who we are in Christ. Colossians 2:10 says we "are complete" in Christ.
  5. We are to accept this as a fact and then live in the power of it. We need to understand that the Lord Jesus Christ not only died to deliver us from the penalty of sin, but the power of sin.
  6. The Bible teaches that deliverance from the power of sin is to be sought in the death of Christ, not in any gradual process of sanctification.
  7. Revelation 12:11 says, "And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb."
  8. Thomas Chalmers said the Christian not only finds peace from the guilt of sin, but protection from its tyranny.



  1. The phrase "the old man" is used in two other passages of Scripture. Romans 6:6 says, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
  2. Ephesians 4:22 says, "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts."
  3. The "old man" is a description of what we were in Adam as a result of the fall. The "old man" represents the flesh, which is still present even after conversion. It is the evil principle within man.
  4. It can never be eradicated in this life, but by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit it can be "effectually and continually counteracted" (W.H. Griffith Thomas).
  5. The word "mortify" (3:5) means, "to put to death and consider them dead" because "the old man" (who we were before we were saved) is dead.
  6. We have already died to sin judicially (3:3), and now we are to die to sin practically (3:5).
  7. This important lesson is also taught in the book of Romans. Romans 6:11 says, "Likewise reckon (consider) ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
  8. This reckoning is made practical and effectual through faith. Just as we accept by faith the fact that Christ died for our sins, we likewise accept by faith the fact that we are dead to sin.
  9. "Therefore" (Col. 3:5) we are to mortify (put to death) our "members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry" (3:5).
  10. We have already died to sin judicially (3:3), and now we are to die to sin practically (3:5).



  1. The Bible says we are to mortify (put to death) all the evil desires which arise from our old Adamic nature (3:5, 9). These gross sins listed here characterize "the old man," the worldly, selfish, carnal, unregenerate man.
  2. When I was a child I used to watch the comedian Jimmy Durante on television say, Im mortified! He was very funny, but there is nothing funny about our passage tonight.
  3. These are vile sins which should be mortified. Although they are popular in today's wicked society, the Bible condemns them and says, "For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience."
  4. The Greek word translated "fornication" (3:5) pornia is where we get our English word "pornography," and includes every form of immoral behaviour. It includes all sex outside of marriage.
  5. A big scandal now is the dramatic increase in rape on college campuses. Most of these rapes are so-called date-rapes and are caused by drunkenness and drugs.
  6. We are living in a pornographic culture, a society that is literally obsessed with sex Filth is everywhere -- indecent clothing styles, the entertainment media, advertising, in the schools, etc. Every year the Super Bowl commercials and halftime performances get raunchier and raunchier.
  7. Sunday night they showed a nearly nude woman walking through a farmers' market to promote a hamburger chain.
  8. The word "fornication" is used frequently in the New Testament. Our Lord said, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications..." (Matthew 15:19).
  9. Romans 1:29 describes sinners as, "Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication..."
  10. Galatians 5:19 says, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness."
  11. First Thessalonians 4:3 says, "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication."
  12. "Uncleanness" (3:5) refers to moral impurity in all forms -- impurity in thought as well as speech -- dirty minds and dirty mouths.
  13. "Inordinate affection" (3:5) has to do with unwholesome affections and desires. Romans 1:26 refers to "vile affections." These evil days are marked by lustful and selfish gratification.
  14. "If it feels good, do it" is the popular slogan of today's sleazy adulterers and adulteresses. And if someone objects and quotes Scripture they get furious.
  15. "Evil concupiscence" (3:5) signifies wicked, sensual desires and cravings.
  16. "And covetousness, which is idolatry" (3:5b). America is not an idolatrous country like India, but there are many covetous people in America. Therefore, according to Colossians 3:5, America is an idolatrous country.
  17. Covetousness may seem out of place in a verse condemning immorality, but it isn't. Exodus 20:17 says, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife."
  18. Ephesians 4:19 says, "Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness" (same word -- "covetousness").
  19. Sexual immorality drags people into all sorts of wicked practices. Sexual indulgence becomes an unhealthy obsession. There is very dirty movie coming out called "Fifty Shades of Gray" (based on a pornographic book). The trailer for this dirty movie has already been viewed more than 45 million times on YouTube!
  20. The book is said to be the fastest selling paperback of all time, knocking the Harry Potter series off the top spot. It is sad commentary on modern America when the two biggest selling books are about deviant sex, and Satanism and witchcraft.
  21. For many people, sex itself is worshipped in the place of God.
  22. This is a form of idolatry and has led to the slaughter of over a million babies a year here in America, the break-up of many marriages and families, and terrible STDs such as herpes, venereal disease, and AIDS.
  23. All of this wickedness will surely bring down the wrath of God (Col. 3:6).


III. SOCIAL SINS (3:8-10).

  1. These sins have been described as sins of uncharitableness and insincerity. We are disgusted and repulsed by the sensual sins, but oftentimes we get accustomed to these so-called "social sins."
  2. G. Campbell Morgan called these "the sins in good standing."
  3. "Anger" (3:8) refers to excessive anger. There is such a thing as righteous anger. Ephesians 4:26, 27 says, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil."
  4. Excessive anger and uncontrollable anger "gives place to the devil."
  5. "Wrath" (3:8) goes even further. Wrath is a burning anger that is allowed to develop and grow, leading to sudden outbursts of fierce rage and temper tantrums.
  6. "Malice" (3:8) goes another step further. This refers to wrath that has acquired such a hold that it gives birth to willful intent to hurt another person.
  7. "Blasphemy" (3:8) refers to evil speech against God. It can also include slanderous speech against others; speech that is injurious to another's good name. Ephesians 4:31 says, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice."
  8. "Filthy communication" (3:8) would include dirty jokes, gutter language, sexual innuendo, etc. Nowadays dirty words are commonplace, even among women and children.
  9. "Lie not one to another" (3:9). God hates lying. Proverbs 6:16-19 says lying is an abomination to God.
  10. Lying comes from Satan, whom our Lord called "a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44).
  11. Revelation 21:8 says, "All liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
  12. Psalm 141:3 says, "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips."



  1. In verses 9 and 10, we are reminded that we have already put off "the old man" (our unregenerate self), and have put on the new man (our regenerate self).
  2. John Phillips says, "Ye are dead" (3:3) is a critical fact, but this critical fact "must be accompanied by the corresponding act, 'Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth' (3:5)."
  3. God does not convert the old man; He crucifies it. Romans 6:6 says, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him."
  4. Victory comes when we understand this, and we "reckon" (consider) the old man dead, and we mortify (to put to death and consider them dead) those things that are displeasing to God: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, etc.
  5. Romans 8:13 says, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."

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