It might be asked, Why should Christians pursue this respectable and dignified life? Surely God's people should turn from sin; but what warrant is there for endorsing such a mundane form of respectability? Actually, it is not mundane at all, if it is properly understood. It is a part of God's plan. This is what Paul meant to prove in this passage.
The language of this text, especially verses 11-14, is majestic and somewhat allusive. Content, tone and form suggest the passage was probably originally constructed for a baptismal service. Its use of terms that were widely popular made it applicable in this context in which Paul seeks contact with the outsider. But despite these points of contact, the theological basis for the new life that Paul establishes places this life into an entirely different category.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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