Colossians: Take No Prisoners

We are called to "Put to Death" remaining sin within us.  Paul begins to get uncomfortably specific and urges us "Take No Prisoners.” Continuing in our series, we focus on Colossians 3:5-7 and turning to 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

Paul is saying that, since we are to have a “heavenly mind-set”, we should be eager to get rid of behavior that does not reflect that mind-set. There is also undoubtedly a particular connection with “you died”…and…”therefore put to death”. Or, to use the language often applied to this general theological concept: “become what you are.” We who have died to “the elements of the world” (Col. 3:3;2:20) and to the power of sin (Rom. 6:1-6) because of our union with Christ are to “become” dead to sin in the realities of everyday life. But this “putting to death of sin” is not only demanded by our incorporation into Christ; it is also empowered and effected by it. Union with Christ, because it puts us in a new relationship to sin and brings us into the sphere of the Spirit’s power, will impact the way we live. Ultimately, then, the imperative “put to death” in this verse must be viewed as a call to respond to, and cooperate with, the transformative power that is already operative within us.
— Douglas Moo, Commentary on Colossians, p.255

Sermon Discussion Questions:

  • What does the phrases "the Presence of the Future" and "the Already/Not Yet" refer to? 

  • What does it mean "to put to death" in this passage? 

  • How does "Take no prisoners" fit in?

  • What sins does Paul begin with? 

  • Why are these dangerous? 

  • How should we put them to death?