“Put to death what is earthly in you: Sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” – Colossians 3:5
Anytime you talk with anyone about personal holiness, or a pursuit of righteousness, there seems to be a head-hanging, discouraged response. The reason for that is none of us is righteous, none of us are who we should be, none of us can boast in our ability to kill our sin. Yet, we should all rejoice that through Christ, and the power of the Spirit we can attack what is earthly in us. We are commanded by God to do so. Don’t be discouraged saint, lift your head, call upon the name of your Lord, and wage war.
When a war is waged, it isn’t won in one swift motion. There isn’t one attack that generally gains victory. There is little battle, upon little battle. So it is with the war on our sin. We resist sin, by the Spirit’s power, and slowly gain ground against it’s bondage. Weaken sin daily, or it will weaken you. There is no taking a day off from this. The sin in us will cease any opportunity to grab our will, and move in for the kill. We need the Word, we need the Spirit’s power, because this war isn’t won by our own will-power, but by the Spirit’s victorious, glorious, power.
For those that are in Christ Jesus there is no more condemnation for our sin, but those who are truly in Christ Jesus show evidence of truly being in Him by our warfare with our sin. Since the condemnation is gone, are we to continue in sin? Ask the Apostle Paul. Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
We are not talking of sinless perfection, you will not, on this side of heaven, achieve sinless perfection. You will sin, you will fall, but evidence that you are truly in Christ is that you stand, and continue to fight until the very end.
Since the lusts of the flesh oppose the things of God, we must actively deploy the things of God against the lusts of the flesh. Neutrality in this equals death. Do not stand still, move into battle. I want to give us four major sins, and four ways to overcome them:
- Pride: We all deal with pride, and we all need to wage war on it. You will weaken your pride, as you grow in humility. Humility is a right-view of yourself. Who are we really? And when we view ourselves properly, our pride seems to weaken. Growing in humility, weakens our pride.
- Lust: We all deal with lust, and we need to wage war on it. You will weaken your pleasure in lust, by enjoying God. The happiness you receive from lust, will weaken as you experience true joy in God through prayer, through fellowship with His Spirit. We are not talking about joy through the things of God, but God Himself. We do not have joy in the stream, but in the fountain. Growing in the joy of the Lord, weakens the happiness of lust.
- Worldliness: We all deal with worldliness, and we all need to wage war on it. You will weaken the worldliness within you, through heavenly-mindedness. Setting your mind on the reality of heaven. When your mind is set on eternal joy, temporal happiness grows strangely dim. Growing in heavenly-mindedness, weakens worldliness.
- The love of money: We all wrestle with a love of money, and we all need to wage war on it. The love of money weakens, as we grow in contentment. When you are satisfied in God, and what He’s provided you, your desire to disregard God’s will, and love that which does not satisfy weakens. Growing in contentment, weakens the love of money.
None of us are who we should be, but thank God we are not who we were. Praise be to the Lord that He leads His children to wage war on those things that are earthly in us, and praise be to the Lord that we are not alone in this fight.
I’ll leave you with a quote that will spur us on in this fight:
“Be killing sin, or it will be killing you.” – John Owen