Who Was Paul Writing To And What Was He Saying?

Q. I was reading Colossians 3:5-10 and I came across verse 6 where Paul seems to suggest that doing the things mentioned in verse 5 will bring the wrath of God upon that person. I suppose Paul was writing to believers here, with that in mind and understanding that when you are a believer you are sealed with the Holy Spirit and you will be redeemed from the coming wrath. I then want to know which wrath is Paul referring to here in Col.3, and which people (believers or none believers) is he addressing?

A. Paul was writing to the church, and therefore to believers. You’re correct in saying he was not threatening us with God’s wrath, because being born again exempts us from His wrath (1 Thes. 1:10). But in Colossians 3:5-10 you’re only looking at the beginning of Paul’s thoughts on this subject, which run to the 6th verse of chapter 4.

He began by using examples of sinful behavior that will eventually bring the wrath of God upon the Earth. Before we became believers we didn’t think there was anything wrong with doing these things. But now that we’re born again we should understand that God does not like this behavior and therefore we shouldn’t conduct ourselves in this manner. Beginning in Colossians 3: 12 and continuing to Colossians 4:6 Paul described the kind of behavior that pleases God. This is the kind of behavior to which we should aspire.

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