Posts Tagged ‘Sin


That Old Sinful Nature

You and I, we have a sinful nature. When given the opportunity to choose between what is right and what is wrong, we tend to choose the wrong thing. We occasionally will choose to do what is right, but more often than not, we’re going to go with what is most expedient or what feels good at the moment. We’ll blow our tops when things don’t go our way and throw a temper tantrum. We’ll throw someone under the bus if it will advance our careers. We’ll throw out a string of expletives when we stub our toes. We’ll lie if we feel like we’re in danger of getting into trouble. The apostle Paul said that these things have to go. He wrote in Colossians 3:8-9 (NLT):

But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.

The sinful nature rears its ugly head time and time again. We fight a battle against it every day. We sometimes win, but we often lose. We need two things if we are going to be victorious. First, we need the power of God’s Spirit to transform us. Second, we need God’s grace to forgive us when we fail. The good news is that we have both. Take a moment today to thank God for His power and His grace. Do your best today to surrender to the Spirit as you combat the sinful nature and trust God to make up the difference when you fall short.


Not Of This World

In Colossians 3:5, the apostle Paul listed some sins that Christians are to put to death. The list was not exhaustive, but contained some fairly common sins such as lust, sexual immorality, and greed. In verse 6, he said that the wrath and anger of God are coming because of the sins of humanity. In verse 7, Paul reminds us that we used to commit these sins. He wrote in Colossians 3:7 (NLT):

You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.

There are two important parts to this verse. First, he says that you used to do these things. In other words, you don’t do them any more. When you come to Christ for forgiveness, part of the expectation is repentance and transformation. We turn away from our sinful lives and allow God’s Holy Spirit to transform us. Second, we are not a part of this world. The sins we used to commit are a part of this world. Now, we no longer belong to the world and therefore should not conform to this world. Rather, we should be conformed to the image of Christ. We belong to Jesus now and not the world. Instead of looking like the world, we should look more like Christ.


Sin Is NOT Okay

Sometimes we’ll sweep sin under the rug and act like it is no big deal. According to God, it is a big deal. Sin kills. Sin destroys. Sin separates people from God, our Heavenly Father. Sin cost Jesus His life. Sin lies to you and tells you that everybody does it, so what’s the big deal? Sin lies to you and tells you that God is going to forgive you anyway, so live any way that you want. God says that sin is not okay. The apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 3:5 (NLT):

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

We all have a sinful nature that has to be put to death. Paul’s list of sins is not exhaustive. He could go on and on about the sins that lurk in our hearts. Lust and greed are just more of the common ones to humanity. If Jesus died so that we could be forgiven, then we need to take sin seriously and deal with it accordingly. Don’t listen to the lies of sin that tell you it is no big deal. God showed us how big of a deal it is when He sent His Son to die for sinners like us.


Sin Starts In The Heart

Legalistic rules don’t help. They don’t help us get any better because they don’t get to the heart of the problem. They don’t help us follow Jesus better because they imprison us in a cycle of guilt and shame. We try to follow these human made rules and when we do, we feel good about ourselves. When we fail to follow them, we feel bad about ourselves. These outward rules may look like they’re helpful, but in reality, they are not. The apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 2:22-23 (NLT):

Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

If we are going to conquer the sins in our lives, we have to start in the heart. The heart is where sin begins. Our evil desires are conceived in our sinful nature. Jesus is the cure. The Holy Spirit of God is the antidote. God’s love and His grace are the prescriptions for healing our brokenness. Even if we follow the rules outwardly, we still have a sin problem inwardly. Let Jesus perform heart surgery by surrendering your life to Him and submitting to His leadership today. Then you will know the true freedom that comes from following Him.


ALL Of Our Sins

When we are buried with Christ in baptism, God performs a spiritual surgery on our hearts. He cuts away all of our sins in a spiritual circumcision. We are not only buried with Christ, but we are raised to life with Him as well. When we trust Jesus for salvation and forgiveness, God forgives all of our sins. The apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 2:13 (NLT):

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.

God doesn’t forgive some of our sins. He forgives ALL of our sins. I believe that all means ALL. Our past sins we’ve committed are forgiven by God. Our current struggles with sin are forgiven by God. Our future sins that we will commit are forgiven by God. ALL of our sins are washed away in the blood of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past, God wants to forgive ALL of your sins. If you’re the most die-hard atheist, God will forgive your sins if you put your faith and trust in Jesus. If you’re the most pious saint who ever lived, God will forgive you just the same. When God says all, He means ALL.


Don’t Return To Your Past

Do you remember when you first came to Christ? Do you remember that feeling of freedom? You knew that the chains had been broken and that your past was forgiven. You had received the free gift of God’s grace and it was like a glass of cool water in the midst of a desert. You may have thought to yourself, “I’ll never go back there again!” Yet, gradually and over time, the past has called to you and has beckoned you to return to your former life. Don’t go back there! It’s not worth it. Here’s what Peter wrote in 2 Peter 2:20 (NLT):

And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before.

Don’t listen to the voices of the past who are calling you back into sin. Don’t believe those who say that sin is no big deal. It’s a big deal and sin is a slave master who is ready to enslave you again. Remember that Jesus set you free from sin and your past and you don’t have to go back there ever again.


What Controls You?

Jesus went to the cross to purchase our freedom from sin. The power of His resurrection is the same power that lives in believers. The Holy Spirit, who raised Christ from the dead, lives in every born again believer. This power is available to us at any time and yet we feel so powerless much of the time. We feel like we’re trapped in our sinfulness and shame.
The false teachers of Peter’s day promised freedom through their lies, but were enslaved by their own sin and greed. Peter says in 2 Peter 2:19 (NLT):

They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.

What controls you? Is it greed or lust? Is it anger or fear? Is it guilt and shame? Is it worry and anxiety? Is it the opinion of others? What has enslaved you?
You’ve got to realize that the power of Jesus’ resurrection can free you from these masters. Jesus can give us the power to say, “No!” to sin and “No more!” to fear and worry. We don’t have to live as slaves any longer. We have been set free. The chains are gone and the prison door is open wide. We just have to walk away from this spirit of slavery and live in the victory Jesus won.

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