“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.” (Colossians 3:5-6)
This is certainly one of the most important lessons we have learned from our Colossians Bible Study video series. Satan smiles as we neglect this command. In Day 8 of the study, we examined these strong words from the apostle Paul. These words come right off of the heals of him telling us to no longer live like the world because we have died to the world in Christ. Paul pushes us away from religion and towards a relationship with Jesus. He then commands us, “Put your sin to death.”
In a world where sinful things are used in marketing campaigns, it is uncommon to find people passionately putting their sin to death. Our flesh craves earthliness and our culture has no problem delivering it to us. However, we have died to the world. “Why do you continue to act like the world?” Paul asks us. We need to strongly consider this question.
Let’s first begin to think about our sin and struggles. What are the things in your life that you continue to live with that don’t line up with God’s Word? Do you take those things serious? Do you continually struggle with sexual sin? Do you have a coveting problem, always wanting more? Are you struggling with lying? How about anger? Take a moment and target the problem areas in your life. This is important because a lot of times we become numb or blind to our own junk. The apostle John would tell us that if we think we have no sin in us, the Word of God is not in us (1 John 1:10).
Next, let’s grow our seriousness for this issue. Paul told us that on account of the evil inside of us, the wrath of God is coming. If that flew over your head then you should read it again. Are you more afraid of looking different to the world than you are of God’s wrath? Your answer to that question is extremely important. Killing sin will look silly at times to the world, but it is worth it. Sin will ultimately kill us if we do not kill it. Of course, God’s wrath has been satisfied on the cross for those who are in Christ. However, Paul would question a conversion if there is no seriousness against sin.
Lastly, let’s discuss how we can put our sin to death. There are many ways to rid yourself of worldliness, but I want to highlight two of them. Our fight against sin must start with Jesus.
1.) Live at the cross
God’s grace at the cross, and ultimately your relationship with Jesus, is your strongest power against sin. If we are constantly at the cross, pursuing Jesus, our sin will start to fade. His desires become our desires. God changes us as we continually feel His love and forgiveness over us. His grace becomes an empowerment against sin instead of an excuse for our sin. Grace is not a cover up. Grace changes everything about us! Pursue Jesus more than anything else and watch your desires change and your sin become choked out. This is power!
2.) Safeguard your life
This step is rare. We must be willing to do whatever it takes to keep ourselves from our sin. Think back to your own specific struggles and sins. Now, what are some steps you can take to keep yourself from those struggles and sins? Are you willing to look silly if that’s what it takes? Again, people pleasing should not be a bigger concern than the wrath of God. What would happen if there were multiple safeguards in place to keep you pure from your struggles? You would stay more pure, honor the Lord, and be a powerful example to the world. That’s a life that I want to live!
Colossians 3:5-6 were written with a serious tone and we should receive them that way. Paul’s tone, however, was not meant to be a burden to us. His command to kill our earthliness is loving and it pushes us towards greater life. The Christian life is not meant to look like the world. We are not meant to be okay with living in sin. If we have died with Christ, according to Paul, we are then empowered by grace to live a much different life. Live at the cross. Safeguard your life. Be a mighty example to a lost world around you.