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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.”


The third area the Christian is to put to death is “passion.”


The Greek for “passion” is pathos, from which we get the English “passion.” “Passion” is uncontrollable desire, a compulsive desire. It conveys the idea to suffer and primarily denotes whatever one suffers or experiences in any way; hence, an affection of the mind, a passionate desire. The New Testament uses this word primarily for evil desire (Ro 1:26). This word denotes a strong desire of any kind, the various kinds frequently specified by some adjective. The Bible uses “passion” for a good desire in Luke 22:15; Philippians 1:23, and 1 Thessalonians 2:17 only. Everywhere else, the New Testament uses it in a bad sense.

In Romans 6:12, “passions” refers to those evil desires that are ready to express themselves in bodily activity. These lusts are natural tendencies towards things evil. They are not necessarily base, but they are always inconsistent with the will of God (Ro. 13:14; Gal. 5:16, 24; Eph. 2:3; 2 Pet. 2:18; 1 John 2:16).

Romans 1:26 uses this word of sexual deviation or sexual perversion. First Thessalonians 4:5 uses it in the sense of immorality.


Some people are ruled by their desires and make no attempt to rule them.


When sexual perversion seeps into the church, it becomes a scandal. The flesh is just as foul in the Christian as in the non-Christian, even more so. If a Christian is unaware of this deadly tendency to sin, he may get caught off guard. Someone in whom he places his confidence might snare him.

People who sin often say, “Well, I could not help myself.” J. Vernon McGee tells the story of a little boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar. When his mother asked him what he was doing, he said, “I am fighting temptation.” Committing sin is not the place to fight temptation!

God assumes that we can conquer compulsive sins. He expects us to execute them.