Scripture: Read Colossians 3:5-17 and Ephesians 4:25-32.
Paul’s connecting word is “therefore” because he is connecting the who-you-are-now to the total separation from one’s past life (Col. 3:5). Because you have died with Christ, you have the power “in Him” to put to death the sexual sins that were standard lifestyles in pagan religions, just as they tend to be in our own culture.
This entire string of five things to put to death are probably all associated with sexual practices outside of marriage between one man and woman. Impurity, passion, and evil desire cover a host of adjacent sins such as common habits of lying, anger, and pornography. Covetousness has a logical connection because it involves the type of self-absorbed living that feeds its own desires far above God’s.
You cannot wean yourself off these sins. The only release from these practices is death: When you die, you cannot be tempted to lust or lie. But until we die, these passions and desires make slaves of us.
How does one put to death such strong feelings—this is the question. The clearest answer is found in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” I personally visualize any evil desire that I experience as being placed on Jesus Christ and me with Him. I believe it. I confess it. I take Christ’s atonement personally, and I experience His power releasing me from the power of sin.
Paul lines up another list of sins that also answer only to death: anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk, and lies. Look around and see the way that sin destroys the personality and relationships of people you know. God has placed you in a fellowship (the church) of those who follow Jesus and are becoming more free and more healthy.
1. What are some emotions you have experienced recently that pull you in the wrong direction?_____________________________________________________________________________
2. What do you do in order to go free when you experience “evil desires”? __________________________________________________________________________________________________
3. Have you memorized Galatians 2:20? _________ Would you be willing to memorize it? ______
• Invite Jesus into whatever you are feeling. (Make this a habit.)
• Bring any sin that is eating on you (such as unforgiveness) to Jesus.
• Confess that you have been crucified with Him and are dead to that sin.
• Thank Jesus for setting you free from any sin that has plagued you.