(Colossians Chapter 3:1-9)
Colossians 3:8-9 – “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”
“If ye then be risen with Christ,” – if we are saved, we should be living like we are. We have been made free from the penalty of sin. Because of this, should we not walk as closely to God as we can? We need to have a heavenly mindset. We need to change our way of thinking to a Godly frame of mind. Christ sits at the right hand of God. He has secured our eternal happiness in Him. We need to believe the Lord has something better planned for our lives than we do. We need to be seeking out what God has for our lives. We need to “seek those things which are above.” We should not dwell on our present state or on our present circumstances – instead we need to get our eyes off of self and start seeking out the things of God. In the seeking though, the Lord gives us some things to stop or to “put off.”
WE HAVE SOMETHING TO STOP
Colossians 3:8 – “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”
First we need to stop the known and obvious wrong that we are doing. We need to listen closely to the Holy Spirit as He draws things to our mind for us to stop doing. The Bible lists some specific sins for us to stop. Paul says here for us to “put off all these; anger, wrath…” We need to learn to control our anger. Please pray to the Lord about this – if this is an issue. He will help you to overcome this sin.
Jesus gives us four ways to help us resolve our anger in Luke 6:27 -28 – “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”
- “Love your enemies” – Following this command of our Lord can be challenging at times, but it is the right thing to do and the thing that will help us not to harbor anger and let it turn into bitterness.
- “Do good to them which hate you” – again, also another commandment from our Lord which could be challenging to implement. Our old sin nature just wants to get even with those we are angry at – but Jesus tells us to “do good to them”. (Romans 12:20 – Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.)
- “Bless them which curse you” – we are to bless them which curse us. Is that a natural reaction to bless someone who curses you? – No, it is not. We have to suppress our old sin nature to do this – but we need to make every effort to obey our Lord’ command.
- “Pray for them which despitefully use you” – Have you ever been used by someone? Or at least felt like you were used? Did you pray for that person afterwards? We are told by Christ we are supposed to pray for them.
Forgiveness is How We Get Rid of the Anger
Forgiveness is to occur every time an offense happens. (Luke 17:3-4 – Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.) As a Christian you must forgive because you have been forgiven. (Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.) God will forgive Christians as we forgive others. (Mathew 6:14-15 – For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.) Someone once said “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Be a strong Christian, the Lord will give you this strength that you need, and choose to forgive that person and then move on from that past event.
How Can I Learn to Control My Anger?
Proverbs 29:11 – “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”
Everyone has a “right” to an opinion as long as it lines up with God’s opinion on the subject. Everyone has a “right” be treated with dignity and respect. But remember if Jesus had demanded “His rights” He would not have died on the cross for you and I and we would be condemned to an eternity in Hell. So be careful with this. What you say may be “right”, but the attitude and spirit of anger will make it wrong. Do not interpret everything as a personal offense. Because it in all likelihood is not. It might not even be directed at you. We need to learn to slow up your responses and control the speed at which we get angry. (Proverbs 14:17 – He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.) We should make our attitude and our responses in situations a serious matter of prayer. Remember it may be you with the wrong attitude. Ask God to give you insight to determine the right behavior in situations that can cause you to get angry. (Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.)
WE NEED TO REALIZE CHRISTIANS MUST COPE WITH TWO NATURES
We must learn the “Put off – Put on” principle found in Ephesians 4:22-24 – That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
- “Put off” – your old self, your old reactions to situations, your old attitude, your old angry spirit, your old desires for revenge, put off the bitterness toward others. (Jude 16 – These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; )
- “Put on” – the new self. We were created in the image of God. We are in the family of God. Let us act like His children. Put on forgiveness, put on patience, put on respect for others, put on respect for those in authority over us, put on love for the brethren. (Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. The Apostle Paul tells us here to stop our blasphemy. Stop twisting the Lords words. Stop using His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7 – Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.)
“THE POWER OF THE TONGUE”
Solomon wrote about the power of the tongue in Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
“The power of the tongue” to do Good.
The tongue has the ability to dispense good council and wisdom from trusted Godly leaders when we need it. (Proverbs 10:20 – The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.) The tongue has the power of encouragement. The right word at the right time can do wonders to encourage someone with a heavy heart. (Proverbs 12:25 – Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. The tongue has the power to stop anger before it has a chance to boil over. (Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.) Using our words in a Godly uplifting way can bring great joy. The tongue can be the source of many good fruitful works in our life. (Proverbs 15:23 – A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!)
“The power of the tongue” to do Evil.
In the list of seven abominations in the sight of God, Solomon mentions lying lips and those that sow discord among the brethren. (Proverbs 6:17,19 – A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.) – Notice in the same sentence that God condemns murder; He mentions and condemns lying as well. To tell a lie, especially about another Christian, is a serious sin. (Colossians 3:9 – Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.) The Bible tells us a person who does not control his tongue will bring destruction to himself (Proverbs 13:3 – He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth verswide his lips shall have destruction). A person with a perverse tongue will fall into mischief. (Proverbs 17:20 – He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.)
Gossip will cause deep and lasting wounds. (Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.) A lying tongue afflicts people, and flattering lips cause ruin. (Proverbs 26:28 – A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.) Notice what the “abomination” is in this passage. It is one who uses his or her tongue to sow discord among the brethren or among saved people. One can “sow discord” numerous ways. By gossiping, by lying, by loosing your anger and then not making amends.
Your tongue has a lot of potential. Potential to do good and potential to do evil. What are you using your tongue for? Are you building up the brethren, your friends and people you know or are you tearing them down behind their back? Are you spreading lies about someone? Are you gossiping about someone? Are you openly ridiculing them or criticizing them? Are you using the power of your tongue for good or for evil?
WRONG COMMUNICATION AFFECTS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR LORD
I John 1:5-6 – “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.”
Our fellowship with God is maintained as we walk in light. How can we have a proper relationship with God if our communication is perverse, dark and sinful? “God is light” this is describing an attribute of God. Light is purity, it brings clearness, it shows beauty. As light is necessary for life, our communication needs to reflect God’s light instead of reflecting the perverse darkness of the Devil. If we walk in obedience to our Lords commands concerning our communication, we will be able to have great fellowship with Him. (I Samuel 15:22 – And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…)
Fires don’t start out big and destructive. Fires start out small, but have tremendous potential for destruction. So too are the words we say with our tongues, and the tone in which we say them. The tongue is a small part of our body but it can cause tremendous havoc and problems for us and for the innocent people around us. (James 3:5-6 – Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.) We need to “Know what is acceptable.” Are we speaking what is acceptable? Are we messaging, or texting, or Facebooking what is good or what it is evil? We learned that our “corrupt communication” will affect our relationship with God. Because we cannot be living in the darkness of “corrupt communication” and having fellowship with God at the same time. We need to learn to control our reactions to false accusations and sinful hurtful communications. We need to follow our Lords example and to go by His words he gave us in Matthew 5:39 – “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”