Therefore put to death what is earthly in you which is idolatry

by Mike Ratliff

13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13 (NKJV) 

Compromise is the order of the day. When God’s Word is forsaken and replaced with the subjectivity of Man’s wisdom then what do you expect? When a so-called “Evangelical leaders” can ignore what Sacred Scripture says very clearly about Homosexuality being a sin just like murder and that no practicing homosexual will inherit the Kingdom of God and still call what they teach “Christianity” well then what we must understand is that what we are dealing with are people who want to be included as practicing Christians while remaining unrepentant of their sins. No matter how much Scripture twisting these false teachers try to do, they cannot change what the Apostle Paul wrote and taught about repentance being an integral part of our salvation. If we compare what Paul taught here with what our Lord Jesus clearly taught we see no difference. That part about if we want to come after Jesus we must deny ourselves, take up our Crosses, and follow Him costing us everything, that is a life of repentance my brethren. I wonder how many professing Christians in our time really understand that… 

I have used the passage (Colossians 3:1-11) we will study in several posts before. I want to focus on one phrase in v5, “put to death.” Here is the entire passage from the NKJV. The bold part is v5.

1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. Colossians 3:1-11 (NKJV)

Paul begins the passage with a rhetorical question. He asks, “if you are really a Christian, if you have been raised with Christ, then…” I find this refreshing. So many today go out of their way to not offend. Paul didn’t mess around. If you are really a Christian then this is what you MUST do. What is it? We must seek the things that are above where Christ is. We do this by setting our minds on things of God rather than the things of man or the things of this world. I challenge you to look at the focus of so much of the stuff in the “missional” movement or the “purpose driven” paradigm or the church growth nonsense or the “having your best life now” or the “Pentecostal/prosperity gospel” groups to find any thing that is of God. No, those things are all about man and this world.

Why are we to set our minds on the things of God rather than the things of this world? We have died, and our lives are hidden with Christ in God and when Christ, who is our life appears, then we will also appear with Him in glory. When that happens, what of all this stuff that we have been wasting so much time on here in this life that is not of God? So, what are we to do?

5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5 (NKJV) 

5 Νεκρώσατε οὖν τὰ μέλη τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, πορνείαν ἀκαθαρσίαν πάθος ἐπιθυμίαν κακήν, καὶ τὴν πλεονεξίαν, ἥτις ἐστὶν εἰδωλολατρία, Colossians 3:5 (NA28)

5 Put to death, therefore, what is in you that is of the world: sexual immorality, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and the greediness, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

The words “Put to death” translates the word νεκρώσατε the Aorist, Imperative, Active form of νεκρόω or nekroō which the KJV renders as “mortify.” This command refers to a conscious effort to put to death the remaining sin in our flesh. Because real Christians have died with Christ, they can get rid of sinful practices. However, we must not kid ourselves. The language Paul used here makes it clear that we have to take severe measure to conquer sin. Watchfulness and prayerfulness against it will be the first steps. However, make no mistake, avoiding contact with the temptation that entices us into those sins is a major part of mortifying them. That is why we set our minds on the things above where God is instead of on the things of man.

I can hear the protests now that this is unfair. There are practicing homosexuals who are also good Christians brothers, et cetera. Not according to the Bible there is not. If a person claims to be in Christ, but refuses to repent of any of the sins listed here then they have not submitted to Christ as Lord. The language and imagery Paul uses here is clear. Christians are no different than anyone else. They once were in the world and sinned just like everyone else, but now they are new creations who must put all of that old self away by putting on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Those so-called “Christian leaders” attempting to widen the narrow gate wider than Christ set it are doing a disservice to those they are misleading. They do not control whom Christ allows through the Narrow Gate. Man has no control over this at all. This is in the hands of our Sovereign Lord. That is the disconnect my brethren.

Soli Deo Gloria!

8 thoughts on “Therefore put to death what is earthly in you which is idolatry

  1. Pingback: Therefore put to death what is earthly in you which is idolatry — Possessing the Treasure | By the Mighty Mumford

  2. Hello Mike,

    Facebook was keeping Me from seeing your posts regularly, so I have fixed that. I really enjoy your commentary and am convicted by it.

    When you say leaders are “doing a disservice” when they try to make the gate wider, I would be stronger than that. Did not the apostle Paul say that those who preach a false gospel are eternally damned? Even more strongly, he did say “may they be eternally damned”. That’s about as strong as you can get!

    Otherwise, it is becoming, dare I say, very hard to find excellent expository preaching these days. It’s very sad. ☹️

    May the Lord continue to richly bless you, and thank you for your commentaries!


  3. So if 2 homosexual men got “married” before they got salvation, they can remain in their marriage? Same with a person who is divorced and remarried?


  4. No, that’s not marriage and you know it Mary. Read Paul’s declaration again about who will inherit eternal life and who won’t. Those who walk in repentance will, those who don’t won’t. In your example no repetance, that is, no evidence of regeneration, of any kind…


  5. Well said. I agree with you. But is the same for 2 people who are living in a perpetual state of adultery. Divorced people who are remarried are living in adultery. Where’s the repentance?


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