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Read Introduction to Colossians


“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”


We live in a society where nothing is right or wrong. It just depends on the context. Immorality is simply a matter of the genes. This is more to be pitied than censored. Nothing is clearly wrong or right with the possible exception of murder. Murder is not too bad if you have sufficient aggravation. We live in a crazy, mixed-up world that has developed a system for condoning sin.


“Uncleanness” is any substance that is filthy or dirty — filth, dirt, rubbish. This is the state of moral impurity, especially in relationship to sexual sin — impurity, immorality, filthiness.

But inside they are full of dead people’s bones and all kinds of filth” (Mt 23.27).

This word occurs 10 times in the New Testament:

“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves” (Ro 1:24).

This describes raw humanity who dabble in the raw spiritual sewage of society. They are foul, reeking with sin. This is the seamy side of life.

“Lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced” (2 Co 12:21). 

This is written to saints who fell into sin.

“Uncleanness” is an action; it can be committed; it is more than an attitude. Every form of impurity is involved here (Gal 5:19, Ep 4:19).

Just like a hog they dive into the muck and submerge themselves in the mud.

“But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints” (Ep 5:3).

“All” — whatever form of uncleanness may come our way. We expect this from the lost who are vulgar, profane and blasphemous. This is their atmosphere of operation.

“For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness” (1 Thes 4:7).


God wants us to deal decisively with uncleanness on the authority of the Word of God.


If we remove the Bible from society there is no standard by which to measure right and wrong. We cannot place confidence in a society that turns rapists and murderers back on society with very little time served in jail.

The Bible is the only book that speaks with authority on morality and immorality. Some of the most immoral people who have ever crawled on the face of the earth are in universities. A person can become a brilliant philosopher, surgeon, or engineer and remain immoral. Education in itself has no morals. It does not possess a moral standard. It is possible to be a brilliant physicist and a pervert who molests children.

The Bible does not say “wound” uncleanness in our lives. It does not say “cripple” uncleanness. God does not want us to compromise with uncleanness. There is no neutrality or peaceful co-existence with sin.