Put sin to death? How??
5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Last night, my small group discussed Col 3:5 and putting sin to death. We understand the concept, but a lot of us were looking for practical ways – a step by step process, if you will. We know it’s not cut and dry and that it’s a daily (or even hourly) process…. but I think we’re looking for practical ways our brains can wrap around the huge concept of putting sin to death.
Over the past few years, I’ve read a lot of Elisabeth Elliot and one thing that always helped me was the idea of submitting sin/desires/temptations as a sacrifice to God rather than praying for them to be taken out of your life. I’ve known a lot of girls (myself included) who, when deep in infatuation for a guy, prayed “God, if this isn’t what you want for me, take him out of my life.” Sometimes God *does* answer a prayer in that way – I have a friend who prayed that prayer and the guy mysteriously left town to take care of some family issues! That was a very obvious answered prayer… but more often than not, the object of our affection is not gonna “Houdini” away. So, instead of praying for God to remove a situation, I have tried to submit it as a sacrifice in an act of obedience. It helped me keep in perspective that ALL things are God’s and that this situation really does belong to him, no matter how tight my grip on it is and how hard I work to control it. Submitting it, for me, was a way of putting it to death.
Another friend talked about having a funeral for her sins and insecurities and the lies she was beginning to believe. I’m not sure if that representation would work for me…. but I’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can follow Colossians 3:5 and put sin to death!