You may be asking why are we are looking at such a large portion of Scripture? Is he in a hurry to get done? Nope! This passage the last major section of Colossians that deals with Paul’s teaching. He follows a typical format by giving rich theological truth first and then follows that up with the practical implications. Each statement could be treated as a timeless maxim, or as substantive comments for an overall teaching. I take it as the later, and point out that there are two major points Paul demonstrates here.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 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; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
(4:1) Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Put off and put on
Paul starts by talking about mortification of our old nature (the person we were before Christ). Mortification is to subdue the flesh and put its death. Paul says this is what happens at salvation (Romans 6) and is symbolized by baptism. The problem most believers have, is they try to carry that dead body around. Paul’s first practical teaching principle is that we should “put off” or “lay down” the old dead body and “put on” or “pick up” the new man (life). Paul is talking about a change in our lifestyle, thinking, and nature. When we come to Christ, there should be a change in the way we do things.
Do everything as to the Lord
The second practical implication of Paul’s theology is that we should do all “in the name of the Lord” and whatever we do, do it with a full heart “as to the Lord.” If Christ is over all, then he is our Lord and Master. We should then recognize that everything we do is under his watchful care and guidance. By practicing the presence of God, we will try to do things in a more pleasing manner before God.
So, put off the old man, put on the new, and live and do life to the fullest for God.