Paraenesis

Colossians 3:5-17– “Paraenesis” (Vices and Virtues)
– Consider the members of your earthly body as dead – literally, “mortify” in the sense of putrefaction (decayed, atrophy, decomposition, decrepitude, etc.) (Rom. 8:13; Eph. 5:18; 6:17).
– Immorality – “porneia,” literally, “sexual sins” (Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 4:19; 1Thes. 4:3)
– impurity – in a physical, intentional, and/or volitional sense (1Thes. 4:7)
– Passion – “pathos,” “to suffer in pity; lust,” as a result or product of the human nature’s diseased condition (Rom. 1:26).
– Evil desire – “kakos epithumia,” “an irregular and inordinate desire,” “excessive waste.”
– Greed – literally, “to have more;” it can be said that greed is the root from which all sin grows; it speaks of a longing to be filled with the degradation of lower nature.

– [All of which] amounts to idolatry – literally, “image worship;” unhealthy self-love (Eph. 5:3-5)
– Anger – “orge,” “an excitement of the mind; violent passion as a state of mind” (Eph. 4:31). [Aristotle (4th century B.C.) – “Anger is desire with grief.”]

– Wrath – “thumos,” “the physical eruption of mental anger”

– Malice – “kakia,” “a worthless and wicked heart and character or spirit”

– Slander – “blasphemia,” “vilification; verbal abuse against someone”
– Abusive speech – literally, “vile conversations;” “highly offensive verbiage”

– You laid aside the old self – “have stripped clean off the ‘ancient man’ [Adam] and dropped him now once and for all as a mode of life” (Rom. 5:12-14; 6:6; 7:4-6; 2Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:20-24).

– You put on the new self which is being renewed – “put on like a fresh garment (as opposed to the old worn out one) the ‘new humanity’ [the Second Adam – Christ], which is being continually refreshed in the ‘image’ of the One who created him” (Rom. 8:29; 1Cor. 15:49; 12:2; 2Cor. 3:18; 4:16; Eph. 4:17; 5:1, 8, 15, 22; 2Tim. 3:16-17).

– to a true knowledge according to the image – the “new self” transformation takes place in the mind (reason, heart, and spirit) according to the “eikon” (the mind of Christ) (Rom. 7:25; 15:5; 1Cor. 1:10; 2:16; Php. 1:27). [Gregory of Nyssa (4th century) – “In the new life in Christ, the creation is restored and reason is back in control of the human mind.”]

– A renewal in which there is no distinction – in the “new self,” the barriers between humanity and God have been torn down and relations ‘refreshed’, as has the barriers in humanity. There
is only Christ in the “new self,” even among the many in humanity. [Gregory of Nazianzus (4th century) – “…looking forward to full responsiveness to grace.”]

VS 12-17 – Bring to Life the New Humanity

– Heart of compassion – “a spleen of pity;” Christ is changing the core of your being (spleen)

– Kindness – “usefulness and moral excellence;” it is grace which pervades the whole nature.

– Humility – the opposite of unhealthy self-love (Rom. 12:3; Php. 2:3)

– Gentleness – “inward grace expressed outwardly;” willing to suffer wrong from others

– Patience – intestinal fortitude; consistent inner strength that relies on faith

– Love is the perfect bond of unity – “Agape perfects, as the ‘joint-tie’ (the adhesive, ligament), of the church as the expression of Christ on the earth” (Rom. 5:5; Eph. 4:3; Php. 1:27; 2:2; 1Thes. 4:9). [John Wesley – “Love contains the whole…and connects all the parts of it together.”]

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