The Supremacy of Christ: A Reflection on Colossians 3

The book of Colossians, written by Apostle Paul, embodies a potent spiritual message. In its third chapter, Colossians 3, Paul offers a powerful discourse on Christian conduct and the supremacy of Christ in all aspects of life. This scripture passage brims with timeless wisdom, offering guidance for believers navigating their faith journey.

Colossians 3 is a call to transformation—a call to shift from our old, sinful nature to a new life in Christ. As we delve into this profound passage, we will uncover insights into Paul’s teachings on personal transformation, Christ-centered relationships, and our ultimate purpose as believers. Let’s journey together through this treasure-trove of spiritual wisdom, allowing its truths to shape our walk with Christ.

Key Takeaways from This Article:

  1. An in-depth understanding of Colossians 3 and its place in the Christian faith.
  2. Insights into the principles of personal transformation according to Paul.
  3. A fresh perspective on nurturing Christ-centered relationships.
  4. A better grasp of our divine purpose as believers.

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The Supremacy of Christ: A Reflection on Colossians 3

Raising Our Gaze: The Call to Seek Things Above

The opening verses of Colossians 3 present a clear call: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2, NKJV). These verses challenge us to shift our focus from earthly concerns to heavenly pursuits, highlighting the believer’s new identity in Christ.

In the Christian faith, being “raised with Christ” symbolizes our spiritual rebirth—a transformation ignited by our faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. This spiritual rebirth invites us to realign our priorities, desires, and thoughts, to reflect our new identity in Christ.

Paul’s exhortation to “seek those things which are above” is not an invitation to abandon earthly responsibilities. Instead, it is a call to see our earthly lives through a heavenly lens, understanding that our ultimate citizenship is in heaven. This heavenly focus enables us to navigate earthly challenges with divine wisdom and strength.

Finally, “setting our minds on things above” encourages us to cultivate a mindset focused on God’s kingdom. This involves nurturing our spiritual growth, embodying love, kindness, forgiveness, and pursuing peace—all attributes of the Kingdom of God. It’s a continual journey, a daily decision to let Christ’s teachings shape our thoughts and actions.

Dying to Self: Putting off the Old Nature

Paul continues his discourse by highlighting the need for believers to ‘die’ to their old self. He writes, “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5, NKJV). This instruction confronts us with the reality of our old sinful nature and the urgency to rid ourselves of it.

“Dying to self” is a metaphorical expression of the radical transformation required in our lives when we accept Christ. This involves abandoning our old sinful ways, characterized by immoral and destructive behaviors such as sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed.

Paul warns that such behaviors are forms of idolatry, displacing God from the center of our lives. These old habits and attitudes are incompatible with our new identity in Christ. As believers, we must actively resist and eliminate these practices from our lives.

This call to “put to death” our sinful nature emphasizes the seriousness and the intentional effort required in this transformation process. It is not merely about reformation or moral improvement; it’s about a total and radical transformation—a metamorphosis, akin to a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. We are called to put off the old, to make way for the new nature in Christ.

The New Self: Embracing Our Identity in Christ

In contrast to the old nature, Paul encourages believers to embrace their new identity in Christ. He writes, “And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:10, NKJV). This verse illuminates the essence of our new self and the spiritual transformation it encompasses.

The “new man” symbolizes our renewed identity in Christ, a transformation ignited by our knowledge of Christ and shaped by His image. This new identity is not static; it continually evolves as we grow in our understanding of Christ and His teachings.

To “put on the new man” involves embodying the virtues of Christ—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These attributes reflect the image of Christ, serving as visible markers of our transformed identity.

This new identity transcends cultural, social, or racial divisions. In Christ, these earthly distinctions lose their significance; we all share a common identity in Christ. This unity in Christ forms the foundation of our shared faith, fostering harmony and mutual respect among believers.

Clothed in Virtue: The Wardrobe of a Believer

Continuing the theme of the believer’s new identity, Paul provides a detailed description of the spiritual wardrobe that should adorn every believer. He writes, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:12-13, NKJV). These verses depict the virtues that should characterize our new life in Christ.

As “the elect of God,” chosen and beloved, we are called to exhibit virtues that reflect our divine status. These include compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. These virtues are not just moral additives; they are essential components of our spiritual wardrobe, signifying our new identity in Christ.

“Bearing with one another and forgiving one another” underscores the importance of maintaining unity and harmony within the Christian community. As recipients of Christ’s forgiveness, we are to extend the same forgiveness to others. This attitude fosters an environment of grace, where relationships are restored, and unity is preserved.

The final touch to our spiritual wardrobe is love, which Paul describes as the “bond of perfection” (Colossians 3:14, NKJV). Love is the virtue that binds all the other virtues together, reflecting the fullness of our new identity in Christ.

The Reign of Christ’s Peace: Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

In the following verses, Paul outlines the centrality of Christ’s peace and thankfulness in our lives. He exhorts, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15, NKJV). This command underscores the importance of Christ’s peace and an attitude of gratitude in our Christian walk.

The peace of God is not merely the absence of conflict; it represents the wholeness, stability, and tranquility that flow from being in right relationship with God. As believers, we are encouraged to let this peace govern our hearts, guiding our decisions and responses to life’s challenges.

Belonging to “one body” highlights the unity and interconnectedness among believers. Christ’s peace is vital in preserving this unity, fostering a spirit of mutual respect and understanding.

Moreover, Paul’s call to “be thankful” emphasizes the importance of gratitude. Gratitude is a natural response to God’s grace, acknowledging His goodness and mercy in our lives. A thankful heart cultivates an attitude of contentment, enhances our relationship with God, and offers a positive outlook on life.

Living in Christ’s Word: The Guiding Light of Scripture

As we progress in our journey through Colossians 3, we encounter Paul’s advice on the role of Christ’s word in our lives. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16, NKJV). This instruction highlights the importance of Scripture as our spiritual compass and a source of communal enrichment.

“Letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly” suggests immersing ourselves in the teachings of Christ, allowing them to permeate every aspect of our lives. This involves consistent study and meditation on the Word, leading to a deeper understanding and practical application of its truths.

Furthermore, the teaching and admonishing “one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” emphasizes the communal aspect of our faith. Through shared worship and instruction, we can encourage and uplift each other, promoting spiritual growth within the Christian community.

“Singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” alludes to the joy and gratitude that should accompany our worship. This expression of joyful worship is a reflection of our grateful hearts, acknowledging God’s goodness and mercy.

The Supremacy of Christ: In All Things and at All Times

In concluding his teaching in Colossians 3, Paul encapsulates his central message in one powerful command: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17, NKJV). This verse reinforces the supremacy of Christ in all areas of our lives.

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” means that our words and actions should reflect the character of Jesus. Whether in our personal life, work, relationships, or service, Christ’s influence should be evident, testifying to His lordship over our lives.

“Giving thanks to God the Father through Him” reminds us of the importance of gratitude in our Christian walk. Our words and actions should be accompanied by a heart of thankfulness, acknowledging God’s grace and goodness.


As we journey through the profound teachings of Colossians 3, we encounter a transformative message – a call to live a life that reflects our new identity in Christ. From shifting our focus to heavenly things, putting off our old nature, embracing our new self, clothing ourselves with virtues, letting Christ’s peace reign in our hearts, to allowing His Word to dwell in us, every verse challenges us to embody Christ in all we do.

In Colossians 3, we are reminded of the beauty of our transformation in Christ – a transformation that influences our character, relationships, and purpose. As we embrace these teachings, we grow in our understanding and expression of our faith, reflecting the light of Christ in our world.

Indeed, Colossians 3 provides us with a rich tapestry of spiritual wisdom and practical guidance. Its teachings remain as relevant and powerful today as they were in the early Christian era. As we apply these truths to our lives, we become more effective witnesses of Christ’s love, grace, and transformative power.

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