Book of Colossians, part three

As I continued moving through Colossians I came across these next two verses that really drive home the totality of our salvation in Jesus.

Colossians 2:13-14 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Notice what happened to our sin debt that we owed. Through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, that debt was canceled. God didn’t drop it in a drawer, it’s not on hold until a later time. That debt of sin is canceled completely, God’s done away with it. And yet, how often do we let our pasts drag us down? This happens to me sometimes, I’ll have a day where I’m just not feeling it and I’ll start to think about sinful things I used to do. And the more I think about them, the worse I feel, and I’ll feel unworthy of God’s love, it’s a whole slippery slope. I know I’m not the only one who does this. The past can haunt anyone. Once you’re redeemed through Christ and become a new person, thinking about who you used to be can be painful and can bring up feelings of guilt and sadness. But read verses 13 and 14 again. That old sin that can cause us so much pain and guilt doesn’t exist anymore. God didn’t put it in a memory vault where He can sometimes recall how bad we used to be. According to Him, that debt isn’t just settled, it’s been canceled. So what good does it do me to call my creditor and lament over a debt that has long since been canceled? They won’t even have a record of the debt! That record is nailed to the cross, there to stay.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Moving into chapter 3 of Colossians we find a verse that lays out something we all know but something we don’t always practice.

Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Man, we play with sin, don’t we? The Bible doesn’t just tell us to do cut back on these things, to do our best to avoid them, to only do them once a month, it says we need to PUT THESE THINGS TO DEATH. Take these sinful behaviors and feelings out in the back yard and shoot them in the head. I know that’s a graphic statement, but I think this verse makes it clear that we’re not supposed to be messing around with this stuff. Sometimes swift, graphic action is necessary, and if you’re struggling with habitual sin or a sinful behavior that seems to plague you, this is one of those situations. It’s not a game. It’s not a situation where I need to be sexually pure for six days of the week but on Friday night I’m free to sleep with anyone I want. We are to put these things to death, and for good reason. Here’s the above verse and those following it.

Colossians 3:5-10 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

As believers, we aren’t just God’s people, we’re His children. You could even say that we bear His name, as we are CHRISTians. Just like it does with our earthly family, the things we do and say reflect onto our heavenly Father. If someone knows I’m a christian, yet sees me cussing, sleeping around, lying, fighting, full of hatred, what does that tell them about my Father God? Does that show them the soul saving, life changing, love of my God? Or does it reaffirm long held thoughts and feelings they hold that says Christianity is another name for hypocrites? We put to death sinfulness in ourselves for many reasons. To be more like Jesus, to honor Him and his holiness, to show His love and right ways to those around us, and also, to bring a good name to the family of God. I want my behavior and my nature as a person to make a person say “I want what he has!” and not to make them say “I don’t want anything to do with that guy and whatever god he says he follows.” We are God’s ambassadors to the world, and I promise you, the lost people around us are watching our behavior, they’re listening to our conversations, they’re reading what we put on social media. They’re looking for a reason to discredit you in their mind so they don’t have to actually consider your beliefs. So not only for our own sake, but for their sake, for the sake of the unsaved, we need to take very seriously the Bible’s words on this subject. Put to death sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, covetousness, anger, wrath, malice, slander, lies, and obscene talk.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, today I ask that you give us the strength and wisdom to follow through on what we read here in Colossians.  Don’t just let my sinful nature be something that I try to suppress or ignore, Lord, put it to death.  Help me do what it takes to rid myself completely of any behavior that doesn’t bring glory to your name.  Help me do it for myself, Lord, so that I may be more like you every day, so that my life can be a thing of delight to you at all times.  But also, I ask that you help me do it for those around me.  I know the power of example, Father, you’ve worked mightily through it in my life.  I know what a true commitment to you can do to those who see it, who start to realize the power and joy that comes from that commitment.  Give me more.  I know I’m not perfect, but Father, I’m asking that you help me try for it.  Maybe that’s arrogant, maybe there’s a better way I could word it, but you know my heart on this matter.  I want to be like you, Jesus, and you were a sinless man.  How close to that can I get?  I don’t know, but I want to see.  But I can’t do it alone.  There is so much weakness in me, so much room for error.  I hate to think of someone that’s overheard me make an inappropriate joke or comment, because they heard something obscene instead of something holy.  It could’ve been a moment where their curiosity about you was sparked, but instead they heard jokes.  For the sake of those around me, I ask your assistance in putting to death anything in my life that’s not of you.  And I pray right now for this to be the cry of all the believers I know, that they too will want to be such a bright and shining example of your love to the world.  Lord, let me speak love wherever I go.  When I talk, I just want you to come out and minister to those around me.  I want you to be glorified through my life and my actions and my thoughts and my words.  I want your heart, God, the heart of a loving father who cares so deeply for all people.  May I never be done seeking after that, may a day never come that I don’t desire to do a little better, to be a little more like you.  Give me wisdom, Lord.  Give me the wisdom to model my life more after the life of you, Jesus.  And I just thank you so much for loving me and guiding me.  What a comfort your guidance is to me.  You are my everything Lord, and I know the path of my life is known to you.  Let it be a path that pleases you!  And let me share your love along the path to all those who need to hear it.  I pray all these things in the precious name of Jesus, amen.

Well, another Monday is underway.  I hope the week is off to a great start for all of you.  If anyone out there needs prayer for anything please feel free to contact me via any method.  I love you guys and it would be my honor to lift up any needs you have to the Lord.  He loves us so much.  Sometimes it’s hard to even think about the enormity of His love, to fathom that the creator of the universe cares so much about little ol’ me.  But man, He does!

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