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26/02/2021 / Test All Things

A Short Study of Colossians 3:2

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2)

Naturally we have no affection for anything else.

There is no such thing as a spiritual desire or a heavenly affection in our soul, when we are in a state of unregeneracy. So fallen are we that we love, and cannot but love the world, and the things of the world. We have no heart for anything but the things of time and sense. No, rather, as our carnal mind is enmity against God, we hate everything which is spiritual, heavenly, and holy.

One main part, therefore, of the work of God upon the soul, is to take off our affections from these earthly things–and to fix them upon Jesus where He sits enthroned above–that we may love and hate those same things which He loves and hates.

Our affections are not to be set upon things on the earth. Business, worldly cares, the interests of our family, the things of time and sense–in whatever form they come, whatever shape they may assume, must not so entwine themselves around our affections as to bind them down to the earth.

We may use them for the support and sustentation of our life–but we must not abuse them. We are not to set our affections on them!


All these earthly things we are not to set our affections on–so that they become idols. Thus any lovely object may be foul–because turned to an idol.

It may be but a flower–and yet be an idol.

It may be a darling child whom everybody admires for its beauty and attractiveness–yet it may be a defiling idol.

A cherished project may be an idol.

A crop of wheat
A flock of sheep
A good farm
A thriving business
The respect of the world

May all be defiling idols–for all these things, when eagerly pursued and loved, draw the soul away from God, and by drawing it insensibly from Him, bring pollution and guilt into the conscience.

Now we are, or by grace in due time shall be, weaned and divorced from earth with all its charms and pleasures and all its polluting idols.

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1st John 5:21)

“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and yea shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.” (Ezekiel 36:25)

J.C. Philpot


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