8.10 Colossians -- Christian Conduct
The foundation of the Christian life is not works, but living in Christ (Col 2:6). This has two consequences for moral living:
a. There is a positive determination of the believer to direct himself to the things of God:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Col 3:1-2).
This theme is expanded in Col 3:12-16. "Clothe yourselves with compassion," "bear with each other," "over all these virtues put on love," "let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...and be thankful." These are not rules in the familiar Jewish sense -- but motivation, spirit, a heart attitude. He then sums up the Pauline moral code:
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Col 3:17).
b. In addition to positive attitudes are acts to avoid: these behaviors are holdovers from life BC (Before Christ).
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry (Col 3:5).
Christians have power to "take off the old self" and live by the new self, which was given them by God. This teaching is restated elsewhere:
For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live (Ro 8:13).