Col 3_5_11 The New Life in Christ- Eliminating Sin
Text: Colossians 3:5-11
Title: New Life in Christ (Part 1) Eliminate sin from your life!
Theme of the book of Colossians: Jesus Christ: The preeminent and all-sufficient Savior
Theme of Text: Those that have been raised with Christ must eliminate sin and ungodliness from their life.
Proposition: KILL SIN BEFORE IT KILLS YOU!
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
In Colossians 3:1-4, Paul tells the believer that they have a new life in Christ. The person with a new life in Christ should be focused on the heavenly and eternal instead of the temporal. Paul goes on to talk about the new life in Christ. A Christian is characterized by a changed lifestyle. These verses, 3:5-11, talk about the need for eliminating sin from the Christians life. To have a godly Christian walk with Christ, you must eliminate sin from your life!
Putting something to death is never easy. Watching something die is not easy, especially if it is something or someone that we love dearly. When Hannah was in high school, her family had a dog. Ironically, the dog was named, “Sam,” (kind of humorous). J Anyways, Hannah always talks about their dog Sam. She used to go on walks in the woods with her dog, play games, and even talk and tell stories to that dog. Even when I’m around her family, they still love to talk about their beloved pet. Her whole family loved Sam. When Hannah was about 19, Sam became very ill; it was about 15 years old. He started to get sick and loose all ability to live and function properly. They had to make the decision to put the dog to sleep. This was the only compassionate thing to do. This was a very difficult task for her family to do, but they did take the dog to the vet and have Sam put to sleep. Her family still talks about the dog with fondness, but none of them enjoyed the fact that they had to put Sam to death. It was needed, so they did it.
(Illustration of killing Chickens- there is an intense struggle.)
In these verses here, we are commanded to kill or put to death sin. Sin is something that many humans love dearly. We spend our life fulfilling sinful desires until one day our life is changed by Christ. At that point, Christ changes our outlook on sin: we view sin as something terrible and ugly that will kill someone. Sin, the very thing that most of the world loves, is the very thing that is going to destroy them for eternity! As Christians, we must eliminate sin from our life!
1. The Present Command: Put sin to death v. 5
A person with a new life in Christ should be putting forth effort to kill and put to death the earthly parts of his life that cause sin. These verses are not commanding you to amputate one of your limbs so that you may stop sinning, but the verse is emphasizing a need for a radical elimination of sin! (Romans 6:11; Matt 5:29-30)
The language that is used here is graphic. Sin must be put to death! Death is not a pretty or painless experience. No one wants to die. Normal people do not enjoy death, nor do they look forward to death. So why should we think that putting to death the sins of the flesh will be easy. Killing sin is not easy, but it must be done. There will be an intense struggle with your flesh and with the enemy the Devil. Neither the flesh nor the Devil wants to be killed, but a person that is risen with Christ must make a total change.
We know what sin is, but sometimes we forget what sins are plaguing our life. Paul gives us two lists of sin to contemplate. The emphasis in verse five is towards sexual sins; the list in verses 8-9 are social sins. All sins listed in this passage are things that start in the mind and then can result in an actual, physical act of sin. If you remember what was taught about on Colossians 3:1-2, these sins can be avoided by winning the battle of the mind! Let’s briefly look at these sins.
This refers to any sort of sexual sin in general, but is especially pornography, immorality, and adultery. (Gal 5:19; 1 Thess 4:3) This is any sex or immorality outside of marriage! We know this is sin; therefore, it not be named among Christians.
This is can be translated impurity. It goes beyond sexual sin to include evil thoughts and intentions. It has the idea of “lustful impurity that is connected with luxury and loose living.” This also can be describing homosexuality. (Gal. 5:19)
c. Passion and Evil Desire
These two words are very closely related. They describes a state of mind that excites sexual impurity. It is a desire for immorality and impurity. (Romans 1:26)
d. Covetousness, (which is idolatry)
This could also be described as greed. It literally means an “unquenchable desire to have more.” It can be a desire towards anything that is materialistic, but it is specifically dealing with sexual desires. Consider this; the tenth commandment was “Do not covet your neighbor’s wife.” We should know that God hates covetousness! (Exodus 20:17; James 4:2; Eph 5:3-5)
This is considered idolatry. When a person is consumed with sexual sins or covetousness, it is the same as idol worship. Man begins to worship the creature or creation rather than the creator!
These must be eliminated! How do I do that?
Ill/Appl: What we desire usually determines what we do. If you create in your children an appetite for candy, then you must satisfy that appetite. If they become overweight and unhealthy, then you must change their appetites, and you must teach them how to enjoy foods other than sweets. “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Ps. 51:10) should be our prayer; it is out of the heart that these evil desires come (Mark 7:21–23).
Transition: These sins must be eliminated from your life! These sins are the description of your previous, unsaved condition as “sons of disobedience.”
2. The Future Punishment: God’s Wrath on disobedience v. 6
What is the problem with these sins listed? It is the fact that they are disobedience to God, so the sin brings punishment. More specifically, they bring the wrath of God upon men. Because of God’s holiness, He must punish all sin and wickedness. God’s wrath will not be quenched. God’s wrath will be unleashed upon all unrighteousness. However a Christian is no longer under this wrath; therefore, sinful practices should be eliminated from daily life! (John 3:36; Romans 1:18ff)
Appl:You may think, “If I don’t accept Christ as my savior from sin, then it is still ok- God loves everyone so he probably won’t really punish me.” That is incorrect thinking! If you don’t accept Christ as you Savior from your sin, death, and hell, then you will face the fierce, intense wrath of God - that is hell.
Transition: Before knowing Christ as Savior, everyone is in the same pitiful condition of a son of disobedience. Christian, you were once in that place, so don’t look down on unbeliever; instead, tell them about Christ’s power.
3. The Previous Condition: Once walked v. 7
A Christian is a person that has been changed from “sons of disobedience” to a “child of God.” This is both an exclamation of the great change that has taken place, but it is also an exhortation to the Christian to not live like you used to live. (Eph. 2:1-5; Titus 3:3-4) A Christian should not be described by their multitude of sins like the “sons of disobedience.” Instead, a Christian should described by their Christ-like characteristics. These found in verses 12-17.
Appl: Don’t just think to yourself, “I’ve avoided eternal punishment, so I’m pretty good.” You should think, “Praise the Lord for saving me from the consequences and penalty of my sin which was eternal death. Lord, I want devote my life to you since you are so good to me! Change me from my wicked ways!”
Transition: Now that you know that have been saved from the wrath of God, let’s look at some other sins might draw you away from serving Christ. These sins must be eliminated from your life!
4. The Present Command continued: Put off sin from your life v. 8-9
The command that was given in verse 5 is continued in verse 8 and 9. The command here is to “put off” or “take off” these sins. The word for “put off” is the Greek word for “taking off clothes.” It is like one that removes and discards his old, stinky, oil stained, dirty clothes after a long day of work. Believers must discard their garments of their old, sinful, wicked lives. (Romans 6)
So what are these clothes or sins that we need to change? Paul kindly lists them in verses 8-9.
Anger is a deep, smoldering bitterness. The same word is used of the “wrath of God” in verse 6. This describes a habitual attitude. God has a right to be angry at sin and to judge it, because He is holy and just. None of us has the right to be angry with others. (Eph 4:26; 31; James 1:19-20)
~Anger is being upset internally with another coworker since they received a raise and you did not.
Wrath is a sudden outburst of sinful anger; it usually flows out of an attitude of anger. This is like a huge bomb exploding or a volcano erupting; once it starts, no one can stop it! (Eph 4:31)
~This is erupting with anger towards that person that got a raise. You tell them “what you think of them.”
Malice is an attitude of ill will or hurt towards another person. This is the attitude that enjoys seeing another person get hurt, but hates seeing someone else have success.
~It is the thinking, “I hope that person loses their job, or I hope they get in big trouble.”
Blasphemy describes speech that slanders others and tears them down. This is somewhat connected the gossip. (1 Peter 2:1)
~It is the speech that is designed to destroy another person so they lose there job- usually this involves some lying.
e. Filthy Language
Filthy language is speech that is dirty and obscene. Filthy language enjoys hear and telling dirty jokes and saying dirty words. This type of speech is designed to hurt and cut a person. It is trying to cut someone down in another persons eyes.
~This is language that is used on the job that makes you fit in or feel like “one of the guys.” It is language that tears another person down so that they want to leave the job.
Lying must be eliminated from the Christians life. A lie is something that is distorting the truth, deceiving someone, or exaggerating the truth. This must be eliminated Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)
~This is what you use to get that persons job that you made leave. You lie about your abilities and job qualifications.
These are all areas that are spoken with the mouth, but can be controlled by the mind. James says that the tongue is dangerous because it cannot be tamed! Control your tongue and attitudes!
James 3:9-10 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
Illustration: Have you ever done some kind of intense labor outside in the hot Taiwan sun, or have you played a long sports game on a hot day in Taiwan? Did you take a shower and put on clean clothes? Imagine working in the hot Taiwan sun or playing basketball in the heat of the day for 7 days straight. Imagine that you don’t get to take a shower or change clothes. You simply stay in those same sweaty, stinky, dirty clothes without a change! Would you want a shower and a change of clothes? I would! Just thinking of that makes me feel terrible. That is exactly what we do if we accept Christ as our Savior but do not change our sinful habits. We remain content in our dirty, smelly, disgusting sins.
This type of language must be eliminated from your life! Change the way you speak and talk! These sins should not describe a Christian. Let God control your tongue and heart.
Transition: Sin should be eliminated from your life since you are a new man in Christ! Christians have a new life and renewing nature that should dominate their life.
5. The Present Condition: The renewed man v. 10
The new, regenerated man is the replacement to the old man that was present before salvation. A person that has accepted Christ as their savior is being renewed into the image of their creator. This amazing process takes place on earth even though we still live in fleshly, sinful bodies. (Ephesians 4:17; 5:1; Romans 6:6 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 5:17)
The image of God in man has been marred by sin. Ill: Even worse than a child taking a colored marker to a million dollar painting of Leonardo Di Vinci, sin has marred the image of God in man. God created Adam and Eve in a perfect, innocent image of himself, but because of the ugliness of sin, that beautiful image must be restored. Jesus Christ alone can restore the beautiful sinless image!
Appl: Has Christ changed your life from sins ugliness to the renewing knowledge of God, or are you still living under the oppression of sin? If you are still living under the oppression of sin, then ask Christ to change you today! If you have been changed, are you still living like the old sinful man, or can you see a renewing process happening in your life. You need to be renewed day by day.
Transition: Because all Christians are being renewed into the image of God by eliminating sin through the power of Christ, Christians are all on equal level. There is a parallel status that does not promote one person over the other.
6. The Parallel Status: Equal in Christ v. 11
Christ has broken the social, national, and cultural barriers that have always divided man. In Christ, all saved people are equal. There are no national, social, or cultural differences or barriers. Because of the new change that Christ has brought, there should not be pride among the church. “Christ is all and in all!” Because Jesus Christ is the Savior of all believers, He is equally the all-sufficient Lord of them all. (Gal. 3:28)
The fact that one is poor or rich, old or young, Taiwanese or Filipino, president or criminal, billionaire or street bum does not matter with Christ. All are equally sinners that are saved by Christ. Don’t look down upon someone else because of their status or situation, look up to Christ and help point them in the same direction.
Those that have been raised with Christ must eliminate sin and ungodliness from their life. Kill sin before it kills you!
How can we be victorious in our struggle with sin? First, by starving it. Do not feed anger or resentment. Do not cater to sexual lust or covetousness. Second, by crowding it out with positive characteristics found in God’s Word: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things” (Phil. 4:8). Third, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you” (Col. 3:16).
Have you been killing sin lately?
What kind of spiritual clothes are you wearing?
Put off these sins and start putting on the Christian characteristics described in the following verses of this chapter.
It is never easy to watch something die, and it will not be easy for us to kill sin! We must commit in our hearts to conquer and kill the sins that beset our life.
KILL SIN BEFORE IT KILLS YOU!