Studies In Colossians By Brian A. Yeager

"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).

Studying Colossians


Study Notes For Colossians
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(Chapter Three)


Colossians 3:1 –

  • This context ties back to the question in chapter two (Colossians 2:20-22).
  • Dead to sin, dead to the law of Moses, risen with Christ (Romans 6:1-13, Romans 7:4, Ephesians 2:1-6, and Colossians 2:12-13).
  • Repentance from dead works (i.e. works under the Law or of the world), was a first principle that should not have needed to have been retaught (Hebrews 6:1). Yet, this principle continued to be a problem amongst Jewish Christians (Galatians 2:15-21).
  • For them, it was time to stop looking backwards at a dead, carnal law (Hebrews 9:8-15).
  • It was time for them to start looking upward. Seek things above (Isaiah 55:6-9, Matthew 6:19-21, Luke 12:31, Luke 13:23-24, John 6:1-27, Romans 2:7, I Corinthians 9:24-27, II Corinthians 4:8-5:1, Philippians 3:20, Hebrews 11:6, and Hebrews 13:14).
  • Where Christ is on the right hand of God (Mark 16:19, Acts 2:29-33, Acts 5:30-31, Acts 7:51-60, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:19-20, Hebrews 10:10-13, Hebrews 12:1-2, and I Peter 3:21-22).

Colossians 3:2 –

  • To understand what it means to set our affections on things above, consider how this word is translated in some other Scriptures and what those teach (Strong’s # 5426).
    • Matthew 16:21-23 and Mark 8:31-33 (the word is translated as “savourest”).
    • Acts 28:17-22, Romans 12:3, I Corinthians 4:6, and Philippians 1:7 (the word is translated as “thinkest” or “think”).
    • Romans 8:5, Romans 12:16, II Corinthians 13:11, Philippians 2:5, Philippians 3:16, (the word is translated as “mind”).
    • Romans 14:6 (the word is translated as “regardeth”).
    • Romans 15:5 and Philippians 2:2 (the word is translated as “likeminded”).
    • I Corinthians 13:11 (the word is translated as “understood”).
    • Philippians 4:10 (the word is translated as “care”).
  • Set your affection [thinking; what you savor; what you regard; what you care about] on things above (Psalms 119:166, Psalms 119:174, Lamentations 3:26, John 14:1-3, II Corinthians 5:14-17, Philippians 3:4-20, I Thessalonians 5:8, Hebrews 11:8-16, I Peter 1:1-16, I Peter 4:1-5, and II Peter 3:11-12).
  • Do not have your affections on earthly things (Proverbs 23:5, Matthew 6:24-34, Luke 12:15-21, Romans 8:1-11, Romans 12:1-2, II Timothy 2:3-4, and I John 2:15-17).
  • Consider, this does not mean you are to despise the life you now have in the flesh either. Balance these points (Ecclesiastes 2:24, Philippians 1:21-24, I Timothy 6:17, and I Peter 3:10-11).
  • Fleshly desires are not spiritually profitable to us (John 6:63, Galatians 5:16-17, James 1:13-16, and I Peter 2:11).

Colossians 3:3 –

  • Ye are dead (Romans 6:1-2, Romans 7:1-6, Colossians 2:20-23, and I Peter 2:21-25).
  • This will connect with verse 4. Being dead, but alive to whom (Romans 6:8-11)? Not alive in the flesh to your desire, but born spiritually to the desire of our Lord (Romans 6:13 and Galatians 2:15-21).
  • Your life is hid [concealed] with Christ in God is a fascinating statement. We know that does NOT mean we should hide ourselves from the world (Matthew 5:14-16 and I Timothy 5:25). The idea is that there is something, regarding the life we have and have been promised, that is essentially secret [Greek word; Strong’s # 2928; cf. Matthew 13:35]. While much has been revealed (I Corinthians 2:9-10), there are things we have in front of us still that we can only look forward to finding out about (I John 3:1-3).
  • In God/in Christ are interchangeable (John 10:30 and I Thessalonians 1:1).

Colossians 3:5 –

  • Mortify is translated as “dead” the two other times that Greek word (νεκρόω) appears in the New Testament (Romans 4:19 and Hebrews 11:12). The word means: “to deaden, i.e. (figuratively) to subdue: — be dead, mortify” (Strong’s # 3499).
  • “Members” means: “a limb or part of the body” (Strong’s # 3196). The definition is consistent with how the word is used (i.e. Romans 7:5, Romans 7:23, I Corinthians 12:12, and James 3:5-6).
  • The point is, put to death the unlawful (which the rest of the verse points out) desires of the physical body (Romans 6:6-13, Romans 8:13, Galatians 5:17-24, and Titus 2:11-14).
  • Putting to death fornication. Fornication is: “harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry: — fornication. Illicit sexual intercourse; adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc. Sexual intercourse with close relatives; Sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; metaph. the worship of idols; of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols” (Strong’s # 4202).
    • The Scriptures certainly teach us NOT to fornicate as it relates to unlawful sex (Matthew 5:27-32, Acts 15:20, Acts 15:27-29, I Corinthians 5:1-13, I Corinthians 6:13-7:5, Ephesians 5:3, and I Thessalonians 4:3-4).
    • Additionally, we are taught not to fornicate against the Lord through the practice of idolatry or other forms of spiritual adultery (II Chronicles 21:10-20, Jeremiah 3:1-15, Ezekiel 16:26-42, I Corinthians 10:6-8, James 4:4, and Revelation 2:18-23).
  • Put to death uncleanness. The word means: “impurity (the quality), physically or morally: — uncleanness” (Strong’s # 167). You can find it in various Scriptures throughout the New Testament (Matthew 23:27, Romans 1:24, Romans 6:19, II Corinthians 12:21, Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 4:19, Ephesians 5:3, I Thessalonians 2:3, and I Thessalonians 4:7).
    • Faithful children of God are people that are holy, pure (II Corinthians 6:14-7:1, Ephesians 4:24, Ephesians 5:25-27, Hebrews 12:14, James 4:6-10, and I Peter 1:13-16).
    • Being able to bring our thinking around to what is right (II Corinthians 10:5).
  • Put to death the desire for inordinate affection (Romans 1:26-27). The Greek word “πάθος” means: “a passion (especially concupiscence):— (inordinate) affection, lust” (Strong’s # 3806). The idea is shown as translated “vile affections” in Romans 1:26.
    • Any kind of “lusts; sinful desires” need to be set aside (Romans 13:8-14).
    • Think on this… Proverbs 5:1-7:27
  • Put to death evil concupiscence [“a longing; craving; lust for what is forbidden” (Strong’s # 1939)].
    • The idea is “lusts” (Mark 4:19 and John 8:44) particularly lusts of the flesh (Ephesians 2:1-3). Times past teach against such (I Corinthians 10:1-12).
    • The word can also be translated in a way to indicate a good desire (Luke 22:15 and Philippians 1:23), but obviously we are not wanting to put to death good desires.
    • While we have already covered much of this subject matter, consider the following in addition to what we have already covered: Romans 13:13-14, James 1:13-16, and I Peter 4:1-5.

Updated 3/19/2019.

**These notes will be updated weekly, as each class progresses. If you check back late Tuesday evenings or normally by Wednesday morning; these notes will be updated. If there is no update, the class was changed for some necessary reason. Check back the next week. As those who attend the class know, these notes only touch the surface of what we actually studied and discussed. Attendance in this class is the only way to fully benefit from the study.