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Summary: This message talks about the destruction of sin and how to avoid it...

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I enjoy watching a good football game. Yesterday, I must admit that I watched several... One of my favorite parts of a football game is when there’s a game changing play - a long pass - or a huge run - that is so fun to watch! BUT one of my least favorite parts of the game is what happens when you see that yellow flag fall... The long pass is negated, the huge run and yardage is null and void.

This morning we are going to talk about that very thing... This morning we are talking about spiritual penalties and how we can avoid them.

Penalties are interesting - when a flag goes up it doesn’t mean you’ve lost the game! It just means you’ve had a set back... Likewise, as believers we are in Christ. We are his. Our eternal destination has been decided. We have ultimate victory over sin - but if we are not careful even though its not going to end our game - Sin can still cause us setbacks!

By the way - I think we underestimate what sin does to us... We don’t really like to think that there’s an enemy called Satan and he is after us... We’d prefer not to think about him, but I hope you understand that Satan wants very much to distract you. he wants to discourage you. he wants there to be so many yellow flags in your life that you feel like you are always going backward! Imagine, you just have a huge victory, the long pass was caught, but then there’s that other stuff in your life...and that victory is forgotten.

Let’s look at scripture together. (Read Colossians 3:5-11)

In this passage of scripture Paul has just finished talking about how we are Christ’s. We’ve given our lives to him. We’ve switched teams. We are on the good side and now our identity has changed from sinner separated from God to Christ Follower, saved believer.

But Paul gets a little personal. He starts getting practical and he says, okay now that you are saved, its time to start killing off the bad stuff.

What bad stuff? Well Paul breaks it down into two groups of sins - One group we call perversions of love - the other group we call sins of a social nature.

Lets look at that first group. Perversions of love... The highest most greatest thing is love right? Jesus said the whole world would know we are his - by our LOVE right? Then Paul says, there are things in you that are perversions of love - sexual immorality, and impurity, and lust, and evil desires. You see satan wants to take something good - love - and corrupt it - the root sin here is greed.

What does greed have to do with love? ...well greed is an insatiable desire for more... and its the root for all these other things. Because we are greedy, we begin to love other things more than we love God. God can’t fill us up if we are always wanting more of something else!

Paul also talks about another group of sins - sins more of a social nature. Anger and rage and malicious behavior, and slander, and gossip (Okay - that ones really not there, but I felt like we should probably add it!) and bad language - These sins have at their root lying... Satan remember is called the father of lies.

Paul not only names the sins - he gives us two great reasons to stop doing them:

Sin brings wrath into our lives rather than blessing - Nothing good will come from you nurturing and developing sin habits in your life. they won’t bring you fulfillment. Sin may be pleasurable for a season - but it brings long term pain...

That is the OLD you! You are not that person anymore! You are a child of the king... Its time to quit fooling around - God has more for you that you can imagine - so its time to stop... Its time to change!

Paul also in this passage addresses how...

Kill it - stop it - bury it...

Paul gives us this great illustration at the end of this passage. He says take off the old self, and put on the new self... Most of us have some favorite, old clothes. maybe its a certain sweater or a favorite hat - we have something right? And its old... Paul gives us this great image. God has given us a new set of clothes. But chances are, what we are trying to do is wear the new over the old... Or we just take off the old and stick it in the back of the closet, and when no one is looking, we pull out that old clothing and wear it because it feels so good...

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