"Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them." - Colossians 3:5-7 NASB
This is apparently a hard passage to translate. I used the version that seemed to best convey the meaning in context and did not lose the literal imagery. The word that caught my eye was member (melos - Strong's G3196) and it seems to mean body part. It is also used here is these places...
"If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell." - Matthew 5:29 ESV
"...so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification." - Romans 6:19b ESV
"...but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members." - Romans 7:23 ESV
"And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell." - James 3:6 ESV
The same word is also used to describe our new position in Christ. We 'have' earthly members but we 'are' a Heavenly part of God's body.
"Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!" - 1 Corinthians 6:15 ESV
"If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it." - 1 Corinthians 12:26-27 ESV
"Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another." - Ephesians 4:25 ESV
"...because we are members of his body." - Ephesians 5:30 ESV
Perhaps this is not imagery we are used to.
We can look at our hand and see five fingers but then we can look at a music band that has five members and the writer is drawing a parallel.
We look back and forth. Earthly body. Heavenly body. Earthly. Heavenly. The earthly has gotten us in trouble. Now we are part of something bigger.
Back to chapter two...
"...and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God." - Colossians 2:19 ESV
The natural teacher misses this. A group of believers is the body of Christ each having a mystical life that is decoded and revealed when Jesus is glorified and revealed as He Is. We have been brought into something bigger than ourselves and there is accountability to our actions because what we do affects the group now.
This passage is so loaded with amazing insight but perhaps this is a good thought to focus on. Do we have perspective? Do we see that we have a place and that what we do matters?
God help us. Open our eyes to see what You see. Thank You for the Bible. You have given us Your mind using a Book. It is miraculous. Thank You God.