“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Reference: Colossians 3:5-10 [Emphasis mine])
This time, beloved, it is not human wrath that is being warned against but God’s wrath that is coming to the disobedient. Although the writer of Colossians also warns against anger and rage.
Do you know what angers God beloved? The writer of Colossians tells his/her reader that it is our earthly nature that is not curbed. But what other nature are we to have? One answer is found in verse 2 that comes before this passage; “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” In other words, heavenly thoughts.
I have wondered just lately, how would we live if we believed that God/Christ was coming to earth again as in the final days before judgment. How would we live if say we had two years left in our “earthly nature”? Would it be the same way we are living now? And, would we live more accountable strict lives, being frugal and stoic in nature? Or would we live with abandonment enjoying the abundance and blessing we have now in material resources? I am not talking about sinning beloved; but sharing freely with others, volunteering our time, spending quality and quantity time with family and friends, not worry about tomorrow or any of the days to come. I do not think that would incur God’s wrath. Because, I think that was/would be New Testament living. And this is what the writer of Colossians was talking about.
But we are not in New Testament times. We are in modern times – earthly nature times. From what I read, since the time of the New Testament church we (meaning global society at large and not yours or my circles of faith) have drifted from living in anticipation of Christ’s return to living in a fallen and broken world. A world that incurs God’s wrath. Let it not be you and I beloved that incurs God’s wrath. Instead, may we instruct and encourage others to set their minds on heavenly things as we set our minds on heavenly things. Selah!