Last week we ended with a serious command from Paul to put to death those things which are worldly in us. This week he continues to show us what some of those things are and what we are to replace them with.
God takes this stuff very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that we are to kill ungodly attitudes and actions in our lives. The word “kill” or “put to death” is very strong and violent language and something we should not read over lightly.
We are called to wage a major war against those things and everything else that is ungodly in us. But how is this possible?
The New You
Every believer is a new creation (2 Cor 5:17, Cor. 3:3). Paul says it this way in our passage: you have to put on the new self, and put off the old self. And the new you is being continually renewed by the grace of God. Because of this reality – you are now something new: you can wage this war!
Killing our Corruption
“put away anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self…”
Do you ever feel anger? Does your temper get the better of your? Does it lead to you saying hasty and unkind things? Are you filled with rage even though you don’t show it on the outside? What about malice? Do you ever hold a grudge or nurse bitterness in your heart against another person, wishing someone harm or reveling in their unfortunate circumstances? Do you lie? You can lie by not saying a word, by pretending everything is fine where really it is not. Do you lie to your children in order to get them to do what you want?
But this is only one part of overcoming our sin. We must replace our sins with grace-given virtues.
Growing in Grace
“Put on… compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love ..”
Paul lists a few for us : “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other.”
How are we doing with these? Do we show kindness to our children when they are pushing our buttons? Do we respond with patience to our husband at the end of a long day? Do we display true compassion towards others that leads us to act?
Our Secret Weapon
These objectives of “putting off” and “putting on” are important, but to carry out these war plans we need a secret weapon. Our secret weapon is the gospel.
This work of putting off and putting on can only happen as we look to the life and death of Jesus. we must look to Jesus’ life because there we see the God-man love, play and life perfectly so he could give that righteous life to us as a gift. We look to his death was killed for our sins so we never have to worry about being judged by God and
We have been made new and have experienced the forgiveness of God, therefore we can and should live differently. We are to live in a way that is fitting for a child of a king and a creature of God.
The Heidelberg catechism states this so beautifully.
Question: What is thy only comfort in life and death?
Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.
Continuing the Battle
As we move forward in this violent spiritual work it’s important to remember what Paul said in Ephesians. We need to wear the armor of God for this war (Eph. 6) otherwise we will fail. And let me encourage you specifically with one piece of the armor. We must use the sword of truth which is God’s word to eradicate and annihilate the sin that seems to grow faster than weeds. We must fill our minds with what is right and good and honorable (Phil 4) through meditation, memorization, good conversation and lots of prayer.
Your sins are real, but they have lost the power to defeat you. They will try, but as you follow Jesus they will fail and you will come out as “more than a conqueror.”
Looking to Jesus,