Sin & the Body of Christ

Colossians 3:8 says: “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.” It is interesting that in the Greek text, the word “mouth” is singular, but the word “your” is plural. It appears that the point is it that there is ONE mouth he is referring to here (that of the church) that we should put these things away from, and not merely their individual mouths. It would certainly challenge us to a different level of application of this verse, and to a wider picture of our sin:

It would teach us that we are not to put away anger, wrath, etc. merely from our own mouth personally, but that we are to keep them from the CHURCH’S mouth! We are to put “wrath, anger, badness, blasphemies, and obscene speech” from us because it should not be heard in the CHURCH corporately! The church is the body of Jesus Christ on earth, and there is certainly no place for those kinds of words in His body.

We are such an “individualized” society, and we tend to see sin from an individual perspective: “I have sinned; I need to repent”, etc. — and we also see its consequences that way. But according to this verse (and others in the New Testament) we need to be more corporate in our view of sin: we are part of a BODY, and when we sin, the whole body is implicated, and is affected. We need to sense that responsibility, and the necessity for purity, not merely for ourselves, but for its effect on the whole body of Christ! So Paul commands here that we are to put away the unwholesome words he references here, not just from own personal body — which we are to do — but that we are to see the bigger picture, and keep our words from contaminating the Body of Christ!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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