Summary: The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ, part 15 Killing Sin Before It Kills You Colossians 3:1-11 David Taylor August 16, 2015 Be Confident That God is Changing you (vs. 9-10)
The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ, part 15
Killing Sin Before It Kills You
Under normal circumstances, life will fight for its survival, it is called the will to survive. You can find great examples that are inspiring. One is Aaron Ralston, who survived a canyoneering accident in southern Utah in 2003, in which he amputated his own right forearm with a dull pocketknife in order to extricate himself from a dislodged boulder, which had trapped him for five days, 7 hours. After he freed himself, he had to make his way through the remainder of the canyon, then rappel down a 65 foot sheer cliff to reach safety. In the same way, the sin in our lives will do everything it can to survive and thrive in our own lives. God tells us how to deal with our sin our passage today, Colossians 3:1-11.
First, he tells us to be Be Ruthless Toward Our Sin (vs. 5). In verses one through four, Paul describes Christ followers as having died and rose with Christ and promises us future glory with Christ. Then he draws an inference, therefore, 'put to death what is earthly in you.' You and I are spiritually alive but we still have sin in our hearts that needs to be put to death. It is called indwelling sin or the flesh. That stuff is not ok and is not your friend. It must be put to death, which is often hard and painful; sometimes violent and bloody. Sin does not want to die but will fight to overcome your resistance in a spiritual war that is within each of us. Sin is like a cancer, sapping the spiritual life from you. It is like an abusive relationship in which the woman finally recognizes as such and breaks it off. But the man woos her until she caves in and goes back to him to her own demise. Sin is like the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood disguised as a grandmother seeking to eat the granddaughter. Sin is like a parasite that attaches itself to it's host, drawing its life away. You must be ruthless toward it and kill it. Paul then gives a motive, 'on account of these (sins) the wrath of God is coming.' Notice the contrast with verse four, Christ coming in glory and Christ coming in wrath. Wrath means that God will come to judge his enemies. God's wrath is his righteous vengeance toward all that violates his character and will. Then he adds, in these (sins) you once walked, pointing to your former life. He is making a statement about what has happened to you when God made you alive – there has been a decisive break with the past. Remember last week, walk means a way of life. Salvation makes a decisive and definitive break with our sin, it no longer rules over us or is the controlling principle in our lives.
Then Paul gives us a list of specific sins that we are to be ruthless toward (vs.5, 8-9). The first list is made up of sexual sins. The list includes both desires and actions, reminding us that sin is more than just actions but includes the desires that gives rise to sinful actions. Sexual sin and sexual perversions are becoming more and more culturally acceptable and even applauded. Bruce Jenner is applauded for his sex change because our culture believes that one's feelings and desires define who we are irrespective of reality. I think that everyone of us here has been influenced by our culture perspective on human sexuality. I also think that all of us are on a journey. Any sexual contact or stimulation outside of marriage is sin.
The second list deals with anger related sins. There is a good form of anger that come from love. We get angry when someone speeds down the street and jeopardizes the safety of our children or when we hear that some terrorist group is killing Christians. But most of our anger does not come from this kind of love but comes from a warped love. We get angry at things that should not bother us much or at all. Karen will offer help or make a suggestion and I will get irritated at her or she will talk to me when I am working in the yard or garden and it will irritate me because my love for self is warped. Or when someone says something about you that is not true and you get angry, maybe ten times more angry than some other injustice in the world. Your love for self is warped so you see these offenses, even if illegitimate, more important.
The last sin addressed is lying. We lie for many reasons but I will give three. First, we do not trust the truth will get us what we want. The truth costs us more than the lie. Another reason is power, we lie to gain power or advantage over others that we would not get if we told the truth. The third reason we lie is pride. We seek to protect ourselves from embarrassment or humiliation so we lie to appear different to others.