Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:5-11
Having died with Christ (Col 2:12; 3:3), Christians are called on in this paragraph to "put to death . . . what is earthly" (Col 3:5). So what we see here is that something has died and something still has to die. Having "put off the old self" (Col 3:9) and having "put on the new self" (Col 3:10), Christians must still struggle to put sins to death (Col 3:5) and put on holiness (Col 3:12-14).
In this section of Colossians Paul is saying, "Christian, this is who you are in Christ. When you were united with Him, something within you died with Him in His death. The result of that death is that sin is no longer your ultimate ruler. Therefore do not let sin rule."
In calling us to holiness, Paul catalogs sins that still corrupt Christians and reasons with his readers. "For it is because of these things [sins listed] that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience" (Col 3:6 - NASB). Why should we casually allow sins in our lives when unbelievers are suffering in hell for these very sins?
This passage is a call to regular, ongoing, heartfelt repentance. How else can we "put to death what is earthly" in us? It is God who has changed our affections from loving the darkness of our sin to loving the beauty of His holiness. It is God to whom we must go if our hatred for our sins is to deepen and our love for divine holiness is to intensify.