Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips (Col. 3: 5-8).

This is where the rubber meets the road!

This is the place where religion and faith in Jesus Christ come to the parting of the ways. Every religious philosophy offers some sort of goal in the afterlife to which their teaching points – Nirvana, Utopia, 70 virgins, heaven, whatever, but there is no proof of the truth of what they teach because no one has ever returned from the dead to verify their aspirations.

One person did – Jesus Christ! He not only proved by His resurrection that everything He taught is the truth; He also made it possible, through His death and resurrection, to begin the process of restoration in this life! No other religious belief empowers a fallen human being to overcome sin and live a completely new life. Many thousands, many millions of people have been transformed from losers to brand new people through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Apostle Paul, in fact, who experienced it for himself and was able to write with conviction, said:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Cor. 5:17).

The proof that a person has surrendered the ownership of his life to Christ, is that he is a changed person. The old passions and desires to live for and serve self and sin have given way to a new love. Where there was once enmity against God, the fear of punishment and the uncontrolled appetites of the sinful nature which acted like slave drivers, the peace of Christ now rules.

The sin nature is still there but it is no longer the driving force of our lives. Apostle Peter put it even more clearly:

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these, He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Pet. 1: 3-4).

The potential for us to live a godly life is there but we still have choices to make that activate that potential, making it actual as we choose, thought by thought and action by action, to nurture the divine nature within us and put to death the appetites that indulge our old fleshly passions and lusts.

Obeying rules can never kill our sinful nature. Christ’s death and resurrection has done away with the guilt and shame of our past sinful lives, and set us free to pursue a life of trust in Him and obedience to His ways. Making the choice to obey Him rather than our fleshly desires is the first step towards activating the power of the Holy Spirit who is in us to do what we have chosen to do.

Where once, even when we said ‘No’ to our sinful desires, our lusts drove us to do what we did not want to do, now we can say ‘No’ with the assurance that ‘No’ really means ‘No’! Paul said we are to put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature. God has set boundaries around our physical appetites within which it we may satisfy them. Food is to sustain the body; sex is to be enjoyed within the confines of marriage; money and possessions are to be our servants, not our masters.

There are legitimate desires which are part of life and illegitimate passions which are detrimental to life and relationships. The destructive desires and emotions are the things we must identify and put to death – because, in Christ, we have already died to everything that drives this world system, and upon which the wrath of God will fall.

What a relief to know that we need no longer be driven by unruly passions but led by the Spirit when we submit to Him!

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Luella Campbell

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