Mortify Therefore Your Members

Colossians 3:5-7 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 you also walked some time, when you lived in them. 

‘Mortify’ [Greek: nekroo] put to death (3:5); be dead (Rom. 4:19; Heb. 11:12). The same in meaning as thanatoo, mortify (Rom. 8:13); kill (Rom. 8:36; 2Cor. 6:9); put to death (Matt. 26:59; 27:1; Mark 14:55; 1Pet. 3:18); cause to be put to death (Matt. 10:21; Mark 13:12; Luke 21:16); and become dead (Rom. 7:4).

Five things to put to death: [1] Fornication, all manner of unlawful sexual relationships (Matt. 5:32). [2] Uncleanness, homosexuality and all other forms of sexual perversion. [3] Inordinate affection, unnatural, unrestrained, excessive, and out-of-bounds passion and lust (Rom. 1:26). [4] Evil concupiscence, evil, wicked, and depraved desire, lust, passion or appetite. The Greek word for “evil” is kakos, translated “evil” 38 times (3:5; Mark 7:21); “ill” (Rom. 13:10); “harm” (Acts 16:28; 28:5); “evil things” (Luke 16:25; Rom. 1:30; 2Cor. 10:6); “bad” (2Cor. 5:10); “noisome” (Rev. 16:2); and “wicked” (Matt. 21:41). The Greek word for “concupiscence” is epithumia and means any strong or vehement desire. It is used for good desires a few times, but mainly for evil and depraved lusts. It is translated “desire” (Luke 2:15; Php. 1:23; 1Thess. 2:17); “concupiscence” (Rom. 7:8; Col. 3:5; 1Thess. 4:5); and “lust” 31 times (John 8:44; Rom. 1:24; Eph. 2:3). [5] Covetousness [Greek: pleonexia] It is translated “covetousness” (Mark 7:22; Luke 12:15; Rom. 1:29; 2Cor. 9:5; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1Thess. 2:5; 2Pet. 2:3); “covetous practice” (2Pet. 2:14); and “greediness” (Eph. 4:19). Here it is equated with idolatry because the thing coveted becomes an idol. That this sin is also mainly a sexual sin seems clear from the fact that it is listed with four other sex sins in this passage.

‘The children of disobedience.’ Fivefold state of sinners: They walk according to the world system (Eph. 2:2). The word “course” refers to the evils that run like a stream through the whole world. According to the will of satan (Eph. 2:2). In the lusts of the flesh (Eph. 2:3; Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:5-10; Rom. 1:19-32). In the lusts of the mind or spirit (Eph. 2:3; 2Cor. 7:1; 1Jn. 2:15-17). By nature as children of wrath (Eph. 2:3; Ps. 51:5; John 8:44; Rom. 5:12-21).

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