Summary: Letting our new nature shine involves the negative and the positive. We must put off sinful behaviors, and put on righteous behaviors.
Dealing With Our Earthly Nature
1. Wouldn’t it be great if merely throwing out scripture references could stop us from sinning?
2. An elderly woman had just returned to her home from an evening of church services when she was startled by an intruder. She caught the man in the act of robbing her home of its valuables and yelled, "Stop! Acts 2:38!"
(Repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven.)
The burglar stopped in his tracks. The woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done. As the officer cuffed the man to take him in, he asked the burglar, "Why did you just stand there? All the old lady did was yell a scripture to you." "Scripture?" replied the burglar. "She said she had an ax and two 38's!"
3. But it is not that easy. Like epoxy glue, there are two approaches that must combine together to be effective; the Bible calls this “putting off” and “putting on.”
Main Idea: Letting our new nature shine involves the negative and the positive. We must put off sinful behaviors, and put on righteous behaviors. Today, we will look at the first half of this — putting off sinful behaviors. Next time, we’ll begin looking at putting on positive behaviors.
I. Putting Off EARTHLY Sins (5-7)
Not all sins are alike, and sin is never far from us
“According to the rabbis there are as many commandments and restraints in the law as the body has members and the ‘Evil Impulse’ is said to be king over 248 members…and the two great passions which the ‘Evil Inclination’ plays the most upon are the passions of idolatry and adultery (s. S. Schechter, Some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology, 250)…” quoted from, Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament by Fritz Rienecker and Cleon Rogers.
• By saying, “put off,” Paul is implicating that we have responsibility for our behavior
• By saying, “put off,” he is suggesting that we have the ability to do so
• Despite those realities, it can be quite the struggle
• We cannot understand how some people struggle with things we do not struggle with, and they cannot understand why we struggle with what we do
A. Sexual Sins: Sexual Involvement APART from Marriage
1. John calls these, “the desires of the flesh…”
2. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. (I John 2:16)
3. The positive angle on this is sexual harmony in marriage; it is hard to let God’s plan be vindicated when Christians themselves do not experience God’s good intention for regular sexual relations. This needs to become a conviction for every Christian couple. (see I Corinthians 7 for details)
B. COVETOUSNESS, which is IDOLATRY
John calls this “the desires of the eyes”
Great heroes of the faith have fallen into all kinds of sin; David, into adultery; Abraham, into lying; Jonah, into running from God’s will. But no good man in Scripture has ever been called covetous.
C. These sins ATTRACT God’s wrath
1. Sodom and Gomorrah “As it was in the days of Lot” (Luke 17:28)
2. The world of the Flood “As it was in the days of Noah” (Luke 17:26)
2 Peter 2:4-10, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.”
3. If we do not destroy them, they could well destroy us.
D. These were the sins that the Greek popular culture ADVOCATED
How do we “put them off?”
A lot like gardening and weeding; the garden is your mind.
1. constant battle, like pulling weeds; no one-time cure; constant MONITORING
2. there are things we can do to reduce weeds… black plastic, mulch; so we can avoid inappropriate movies, music, or friends that take us in that direction