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).
    • Think about how far this goes in thinking and actions: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/untothepure_bay_2017.html
  • 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.
  • Covetousness is: “avarice, i.e. (by implication) fraudulency, extortion: — covetous(-ness) practices, greediness. Greedy desire to have more” (Strong’s # 4124). We must put to death the unlawful desire to covet (Deuteronomy 5:21, Proverbs 15:27, Isaiah 56:10-12, Micah 2:1-3, Acts 20:33-35, Romans 13:8-10, Hebrews 13:5-6, and II Peter 2:1-3).
  • Covetousness is idolatry (Ephesians 5:5). Such is true as one ends up serving materialism over the Lord (Proverbs 11:28, Proverbs 30:8-9, Luke 12:13-21, Luke 18:18-25, I Timothy 6:6-19, and Revelation 3:14-22).

Colossians 3:6 –

  • Sin will bring the wrath of God upon the disobedient (Psalms 78:5-31, John 3:36, Romans 1:16-18, Ephesians 5:3-6, and II Thessalonians 1:7-9).
  • Consider what it means to be “children of disobedience” (Isaiah 57:4, Acts 13:7-11, Ephesians 2:1-3, and II Peter 2:13-14).
  • In contrast, we are to be the children of God (Galatians 3:26-29 and Ephesians 5:1); obedient children (I Peter 1:13-16).
  • You are either a child of God or of Satan (I John 3:8-10).
  • Think of the mindset of someone who just doesn’t want to do what is pleasing to God (Proverbs 1:8-33).

Colossians 3:7 –

  • Most Christians have a sinful past (Romans 6:21, I Corinthians 6:9-11, Colossians 1:21, Ephesians 2:1-10, and I Timothy 1:8-16).
  • Not sinful presently (John 8:1-11, Acts 26:18-20, Romans 6:1-6, II Corinthians 7:1, II Timothy 2:19, and I Peter 4:1-5).
  • This particular congregation had a problem with looking backwards (Colossians 2:4-23; cf. Luke 9:57-62).

Colossians 3:8 –
  • Also, put off [cast off; lay aside; put away] (Romans 13:12-14, Ephesians 4:22, Hebrews 12:1-3, James 1:21, and I Peter 2:1-2).
  • Anger (Proverbs 29:22 and Ephesians 4:31).
    • This same Greek term [ὀργή; Strong’s # 3709; violent passion; indignation] is often translated as wrath (Matthew 3:7, John 3:36, Romans 1:18, Romans 2:5, Romans 2:10, Ephesians 5:6, etc.).
    • This would show that this particular “anger” that we are to put off, is the kind of anger/wrath that carries with it the desire for vengeance. We cannot act this way. We know vengeance belongs to God (Romans 12:17-21). Such vengeance can also civil authorities (Romans 13:1-7).
    • This does not mean there is not a time for lawful anger (Jeremiah 15:17, Mark 3:1-6, and Ephesians 4:26) if it is rooted in righteous judgment (Romans 12:9).
    • Wrathful, carnal anger does not work the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).
  • Wrath [fierceness, indignation; passion, angry, heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again] (Psalms 37:8), that is in the sense of a work of the flesh (II Corinthians 12:20 and Galatians 5:20).
    • Consider how wrath was pointed toward Christ (Luke 4:24-30).
    • Consider how wrath moved people in Ephesus (Acts 19:20-41).
    • We see an anger that boils in the Lord to the point of a scary wrath (Exodus 32:10, Deuteronomy 11:17, and Revelation 19:11-16).
    • Think on this: “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly” (Proverbs 14:29).
  • Malice [wickedness; evil] (Acts 8:13-24, Romans 1:28-32, I Corinthians 5:1-8, I Corinthians 14:20, Titus 3:3, James 1:21, I Peter 2:1-2, and I Peter 2:16).
  • Blasphemy [vilification (especially against God): — blasphemy, evil speaking, railing; slander, detraction, speech injurious, to another's good name; impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty]. Against the Lord (Leviticus 24:10-16, Isaiah 65:1-7, Matthew 12:22-32, Matthew 15:18-20, Matthew 26:63-65, and John 10:30-33) is a type of accusation (Jude 1:8-10). It is translated “evil speaking” (Ephesians 4:31).
    • Why does someone’s name being spoken evil of matter (Proverbs 22:1 and Ecclesiastes 7:1)? As it relates to the Lord’s name (Leviticus 21:6).
    • A follower of the Lord’s erring conduct can lead to people blaspheming God and His word (II Samuel 11:1-12:14, I Timothy 6:1, and Titus 2:3-5).
    • Slanderous speech against a person’s good name (Matthew 5:10-12 and Romans 3:8).
    • False claims are blasphemous (Revelation 2:9).
    • Consider what Paul said (I Timothy 1:12-13).

Colossians 3:9 –
  • Lie not (I Kings 13:1-32, Psalms 119:29, Psalms 119:128, Psalms 119:163, Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 12:22, Proverbs 13:5, Proverbs 19:5, Proverbs 19:9, John 8:44, Acts 5:1-10, Romans 12:17, I John 2:3-6, Revelation 21:8, and Revelation 22:14-15).
  • Lying includes denial of truth (I John 2:22-23).
  • The specific of “one to another” carries some thoughts beyond the basic command (Ephesians 4:25).
  • You will not lie to one another because you have put off the old man (Romans 6:1-23, I Corinthians 6:9-11, and Ephesians 4:22) with his deeds (Acts 3:19, Acts 26:18-20, Titus 3:3-8, and I Peter 4:1-5).

Colossians 3:10 –

  • Christians have put on the new man (II Corinthians 5:15-17, Galatians 5:24, and Ephesians 4:23-24).
    • For a Christian, conversion has taken place (Matthew 18:3, Acts 3:19, and II Timothy 2:19).
    • This is the change from darkness to light (Acts 26:18-20 and Colossians 1:12-14).
    • If a Christian were to err, their process of repentance is also called conversion (James 5:19-20).
  • Renewed in knowledge (Romans 12:1-2).
  • After the image of Him that created us (Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 5:1-2, and I Peter 1:13-16).

Colossians 3:11 –
  • This had to be taught because divisions based upon one’s nationality was a huge problem in the first century for many whom had been added to the body of Christ (John 4:9, Acts 16:1-4, and Galatians 2:11-14).
  • Once converted, you are part of a spiritual family, a body of made up of the saved (Acts 2:47, I Corinthians 12:12-27, Ephesians 3:15, Colossians 3:15, and Hebrews 12:22-23).
  • A spiritual body that is truly united as one (Romans 12:4-5 and Ephesians 4:1-6).
  • In Christ, there must be no spiritual distinction of Jew, Gentile, slave, free, etc. (Acts 10:25-36, Romans 1:14-16, Romans 10:12-13, I Corinthians 7:19, I Corinthians 12:13, I Corinthians 12:25-27, Galatians 3:26-29, Galatians 5:6, Galatians 6:15, Ephesians 2:11-17, Ephesians 6:8, and Philippians 2:3).
  • If you don’t think this exists today, ask yourself why there are racial divided congregations throughout this U.S. (black, white, hispanic, etc.). God did not intend for such division among humanity within or without the body of Christ (Acts 17:26 and James 2:8-13).

Colossians 3:12 –
  • After putting to death, putting off carnality (Ephesians 4:22, Colossians 3:8-9, and James 1:21); it was time to redress properly.
  • Since some were apparently stuck in thinking of themselves and others as Greeks, Jews, etc.; it was time they put on who they needed to be rather than who they were (Romans 13:12-14, Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:24, and Ephesians 6:10-11).
  • As the elect of God (I Thessalonians 1:1-10, I Peter 1:1-2 and II Peter 1:1-12). Meaning, the chosen (Matthew 20:16, Matthew 22:14, and I Peter 2:9).
  • Saints are holy (II Corinthians 7:1, I Peter 1:13-16, and I John 3:1-3).
  • Saints are beloved (John 14:21-23 and Ephesians 2:1-17).
  • Put on bowels [inward affection] of mercies (Matthew 5:7, Luke 6:36, Philippians 2:1-5, and James 2:13).
  • Put on kindness [goodness] (Galatians 5:22 and Ephesians 4:32) as we see in our God (Titus 3:4). Goodness doesn’t exclude other attributes (Romans 11:22).
  • Put on humbleness of mind (Acts 20:19, Philippians 2:3, and I Peter 5:5-6).
  • Put on meekness (Matthew 5:5, I Corinthians 4:18-21, Galatians 5:23, Galatians 6:1, II Timothy 2:24-26, and Titus 3:2). Jesus was known to be meek (II Corinthians 10:1), but that does not exclude appropriate aggression, etc. (John 2:13-17).
Colossians 3:12 –
  • After putting to death, putting off carnality (Ephesians 4:22, Colossians 3:8-9, and James 1:21); it was time to redress properly.
  • Since some were apparently stuck in thinking of themselves and others as Greeks, Jews, etc.; it was time they put on who they needed to be rather than who they were (Romans 13:12-14, Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:24, and Ephesians 6:10-11).
  • As the elect of God (I Thessalonians 1:1-10, I Peter 1:1-2 and II Peter 1:1-12). Meaning, the chosen (Matthew 20:16, Matthew 22:14, and I Peter 2:9).
  • Saints are holy (II Corinthians 7:1, I Peter 1:13-16, and I John 3:1-3).
  • Saints are beloved (John 14:21-23 and Ephesians 2:1-17).
  • Put on bowels [inward affection] of mercies (Matthew 5:7, Luke 6:36, Philippians 2:1-5, and James 2:13).
  • Put on kindness [goodness] (Galatians 5:22 and Ephesians 4:32) as we see in our God (Titus 3:4). Goodness doesn’t exclude other attributes (Romans 11:22).
  • Put on humbleness of mind (Acts 20:19, Philippians 2:3, and I Peter 5:5-6).
  • Put on meekness (Matthew 5:5, I Corinthians 4:18-21, Galatians 5:23, Galatians 6:1, II Timothy 2:24-26, and Titus 3:2). Jesus was known to be meek (II Corinthians 10:1), but that does not exclude appropriate aggression, etc. (John 2:13-17).
  • Put on longsuffering (Galatians 5:22, II Timothy 3:10, II Timothy 4:2, and II Peter 3:15).
  • Regarding being longsuffering, there are certainly those with whom we cannot be longsuffering (Romans 16:17-18, Galatians 1:6-9, II Corinthians 11:3-4, Galatians 2:1-5, II Timothy 2:23, Titus 3:9-11, and Revelation 2:14-16).
  • Remember, if you have transgressed, the things you’ve done in your past. Remember that you were purged from sins (II Peter 1:10). Remember, if this applies, that you haven’t always “gotten it” (Titus 3:3).

Colossians 3:13 –

  • Forbearing one another (Ephesians 4:1-3).
    • The Greek term here [“ἀνέχω”; Strong’s # 430] is also translated “bear” (Acts 18:14 and II Corinthians 11:1) and “endure” (II Thessalonians 1:4).
    • Point is, there are times wherein we must put up with our brethren when they present situations that are not necessarily to our liking (Romans 14:1-15:7 and Philemon 1:1-25).
    • This does not, nor never has, meant we compromise the truth for a moment at any point (Ephesians 5:6-11, Colossians 2:4-8, and II John 1:9-11).
  • If you could not forbear and longsuffering failed, action began, if this person wants to repent will you be able to forgive them?
  • Forgiving one another(Matthew 6:14-15 and Luke 17:3-4). *A qualifier is made in the next point.
  • Forgiving a quarrel [fault], something between you and that person, as Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32). This is NOT standing in the place of the Lord to forgive sin in the place of God.
    • We are forgiven if we are converted back to the truth, including repentance with fruit to prove such (Matthew 3:8, Luke 13:1-5, Acts 3:19, Acts 26:18-20, and I John 1:9).
    • Jesus taught to forgive, again with contextual qualifiers (i.e. not unconditionally), because you have been forgiven (Matthew 18:15-35).
    • We cannot twist this Scripture into thinking that we can bring someone out of sin by just forgiving them ourselves (James 5:19-20).

Updated 6/25/2019.
**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.