Bible Reading: Colossians 3:5-15
Colossians 3:5, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry…”
Every year, our family used to go camping at a place called Whistler’s Bend Campground, along the banks of the beautiful N. Umpqua River. Such a beautiful place. But our oldest daughter, in her early teens at the time, expressed her fear to me that there might be rattlesnakes there. “Don’t worry,” I assured her, “I’ve never seen or heard of a rattlesnake in all the many years we’ve come to this place. Unconvinced, I took her to the nearby public library where we found a book with a map of the range of western rattlesnakes. The map showed our location to be on the edge of the range of such snakes, so neither of us could truly prove our point. I went fishing the next morning. When I returned, my kids ran to tell me the news—a rattlesnake showed up in camp, and some lady decided to run over it with her car! Later, the campground hosts discovered an entire den of snakes on the hill behind the campground. I hate snakes. And if you come across one like that lady, it makes good sense to kill the thing.
If only we treated sin like that!
Why kill sin? Because you are to put into practice what is already true of you positionally. Colossians 3:3 says, “You have died.” Colossians 3:5 says, “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead.” Romans 6 says the same thing, “You died to sin” (Romans 6:2) and are therefore to “consider yourselves to be dead to sin” (Romans 6:11). The term translated “consider” is the Greek “logizomai.” It is translated “reckon” in the KJV. It is related to our word “logical” and means to “deem, suppose, or judge.” The word deals with reality. It would do us no good to reckon something to be other than it is. If there is a reality, or truth to reckon it so, is to accept the truth and respond according to it.
Why kill sin? Because God hates it! It is because of sin “the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5). We are “accepted in the beloved” and positionally righteous before God. Yet God still disciplines His children. There are still consequences for sin. We will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to “receive what is due for what (we) have done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10). How can we love that which God hates? Because of sin God’s wrath was poured out upon His only begotten Son. Because of sin His wrath will come upon mankind. We ought not to love that which God hates!
Why kill sin? Because sin has no place in your future. Heaven is a place where there will be no more sin. 2 Peter 3:13, “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” See it there! There will be no sin in heaven. We use the expression “you can’t take it with you when you go.” That’s true about money and possessions and is equally true of sin. Whatever sin you might now befriend, will be soon left behind. “The world is passing away and also its lusts” (1 John 2:17).
The fiery evangelist and ex-baseball player, Billy Sunday, vigorously spoke out against evil from the Gay Nineties through the Great Depression. He preached Christ as the only answer to man’s needs. “I’m against sin,” he once said, “I’ll kick it as long as I’ve got a foot, and I’ll fight it as long as I’ve got a fist. I’ll butt it as long as I’ve got a head. I’ll bite it as long as I’ve got a tooth. When I’m old and fistless and toothless, I’ll gum it home to glory and it goes home to perdition!” He also said, “One reason sin flourishes is that it is treated like a cream puff instead of a rattlesnake.” God wants you and me to treat it like a rattlesnake.
SEARCH ME, O GOD
Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from ev’ry sin and set me free.
I praise thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill thy Word, and make me pure within.
Fill me with fire where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify thy name.
Lord, take my life and make it wholly thine;
Fill my poor heart with thy great love divine.
Take all my will, my passion, self, and pride;
I now surrender; Lord, in me abide.