Women's Bible Study Class (Col 3:5-9) Lesson 9: Old Self Dying
One of the most difficult things when we become Christians is to learn how to deal with sin. On the one hand, we do not want to tolerate sin and treat it as if is part of us now that we are in Christ. However, on the other, we continue to sin. This constant struggle has had many people baffled over the nature of sin when it comes to the Christian. And, this is something to which probably most of us may relate with. There are things we want to stop doing, and yet, there are times in which we fall back again into the same sins.
How do we deal with sin? What categories do we need to have to overcome the remaining sin in our lives? How does our theology help when it comes to practice?
Well, as we come to this next section on Colossians chapter 3 it might be good to have a brief summary of where have we been and where we are going.
So, just by way of reminder:
Paul writes this letter to encourage the church at Colossae to remain in the gospel and prevail against the ways and pressures of the world.
Paul begins his argument by showing the supremacy of Jesus, and how he shares in the Divine nature, in other words, Jesus is the one and only God.
This Jesus, who is preeminent over all, is at the same time in us, his presence is with us, and we are united to Him. Our life is a reflection of His resurrected life, and our nature will become fully revealed when his nature becomes fully revealed (3:4)
This set of truths will have several consequences in the Christian life. They will explain what our relationship to sin now is, and how this will play out in the context of family, etcetera.
So, today, I want to explain from the next portion how does our new life in Christ affects our relationship with sin. I want to do this in three very short segments:
Our awareness of it, and the way we deal with it.
Disclosure: Today’s lecture is going to be a bitter medicine for many of us. I cannot think of any other less exciting topic for Christians than that of sin. And yet, this is extremely important and necessary. First, knowing about our sin is necessary to learn how to deal with it. Second, It is only when we understand the gravity of sin than we can begin to enjoy the beauty of Christ’s grace.
Be aware of it’s nature:
Name your sin: V. 5; V. 8 lists, not exhaustive, but exemplary.
The point is not to say “oh, well my specific sin is not here, so I guess we’re good.”
But to show that one of the first steps toward dealing with our sin is to recognize the specific nature of it.
What do you struggle with, the most? Anger, anxiety? Lack of patience? This lists are helpful in that way; they lead us toward being clear and straightforward with our sin.
Remember that we are on Spiritual Warfare here, we ought to know our enemy to fight it effectively.
Don’t forget sin’s consequences.
As Christians, we are often quick to remember God’s grace and mercy.
We remember the blessings of heaven and the riches of God’s love.
All that is good and biblical.
However, we ought not to forget the consequences of sin as well.
Scripture is full of warning passages about those who knowingly go on sinning. To this people, Paul writes: On account of these things, these sins of yours, the wrath of God is coming.
If we are ignoring God’s wrath and presuming upon God’s mercy to keep on sinning, we ought to be extremely careful.
Thomas Brooks once wrote: “There is nothing in the world that renders a man more unlike to a saint, and more like to Satan - than to argue from God's mercy to sinful liberty; from divine goodness to licentiousness.”
Don’t forget its methods. V.7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.
Paul reveals the way sin acts in verse 7. He reminds the Colossian church that they used to live in sin.
This is something really important to remember when fighting sin.
Sin will often present itself as a harmless once in your life opportunity.
I’ll do it once more. I’ll be selfish just one more time. I’ll have a wrong response just once again.
Without notice, soon enough, we are again walking in wayward ways.
This is because sin, by nature, is a path you walk, is a life you live, it’s not a one-day activity, but a continual practice.
When sin’s temptation comes as an “only-once-more” kind of thing, you need to be aware that sin will seek to make you walk again in its way continually.
Now that you are aware of sin’s nature, you are more prepared to deal with it. How is Paul, and thus, God, who inspired him, instructing us to deal with our sin? Paul mentions three things: Put to death, Put aside, Putting off Old Self.
Deal with It:
Put to Death
First imperative in this section. First Command.
Immediate action is expected. Do this, now. What? Kill your sin, before it kills you.
Notice how sin is spoken off as a “living organism”. Sin can be put to death.