This week's post comes from my reading in Colossians. This epistle was written by Paul, proclaiming the sovereignty of Christ and how he is greater than all things. But there were a few verses that really stuck out to me in this reading, which is what I want to study now.
The first verse is Colossians 3:5, "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry." I particularly like the wording of the first command, "put to death." We are being commanded not to simply abandon our sins, not to hide them or cover them up, but to put them to death. We are to brutally murder our sin, make it unrecognizable, no longer what it used to be. And what sin used to be was our own death. Satan is a thief who has come only to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), but this verse tells us that we have the power to kill the sin in our lives. We can kill death itself.
So we know that sin is bad, that God hates sin. He hates sin so much that he gave his own son to die on the cross for our ransom, so that we may receive the Holy Spirit and be strong enough to overcome the sin in our lives. But Christ Jesus was and will be the only man to live a perfectly sinless life; we all sin and by our own power we can not stop.
Even the apostle Paul, who wrote a good majority of the New Testament and dedicated his life to proclaiming the good news across all Asia, in 1 Timothy 1:15, calls himself the worst of sinners. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and rightfully, the punishment for our sin is death. But we do not have to be a slave to our sin. Rather, when we are reborn in Christ, we make sin our slave. Sin no longer holds authority over us, and we are free to live the life that God designed for us.
But how do we do this? Being told that we must just believe that God will deliver us from sin, and that we are dead to sin are all very vague. Well to start, 1 Peter 1 gives us some kind of start: 1:8-9 "Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." and 1:15-16 "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. For it is written, 'Be holy, because I am holy.' " So how do we put our sin to death? We must first put all our faith in the Lord. We need to fill ourselves to overflowing with the power of the Holy Spirit, inviting God to help us with everything we do. When we pray, look to God for the words to pray. When we are tempted, look to God to deliver us from temptation rather than fall to sin. And when we fall to sin, look to God for forgiveness immediately; God does not want you to wait, he is there waiting for you to run to him the moment you sin, because he loves you. And the easy way to remember to keep God at the front of all you do is to remember 1 Peter 1:15-16, which quotes Leviticus 11:45. Just live a holy life, worthy of the glory of God. Do not try to live like Jesus, live like Jesus. Put your sin to death.