Jul 18, 2011
Sinclair Ferguson writes a helpful article on “Killing Sin” at this link. He examines Colossians 3:1-17 and makes 4 practical points of application:
1. Learn to admit sin for what it really is. Call a spade a spade — call it “sexual immorality,” not “I’m being tempted a little”; call it “impurity,” not “I’m struggling with my thought life”; call it “evil desire, which is idolatry,” not “I think I need to order my priorities a bit better.” This pattern runs right through this whole section. How powerfully this unmasks self-deceit — and helps us to unmask sin lurking in the hidden corners of
2. See sin for what your sin really is in God’s presence. “On account of these the wrath of God is coming” (3:6). The masters of the spiritual life spoke of dragging our lusts (kicking and screaming, though they be) to the cross, to a wrath-bearing Christ. My sin leads to — not lasting pleasure — but holy divine displeasure. See the true nature of your sin in the light of its punishment. Too easily do we think that sin is less serious in Christians than it is in non-believers: “It’s forgiven, isn’t it?” Not if we continue in it (1 John 3:9)! Take a heaven’s-eye view of sin and feel the shame of that in which you once walked (Col. 3:7; see also Rom. 6:21).
3. Recognize the inconsistency of your sin. You put off the “old man,” and have put on the “new man” (3:9–10). You are no longer the “old man.” The identity you had “in Adam” is gone. The old man was “crucified with him [Christ] in order that the body of sin [probably “life in the body dominated by sin”] might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Rom. 6:6). New men live new lives. Anything less than this is a contradiction of who I am “in Christ.”
4. Put sin to death (Col. 3:5). It is as “simple” as that. Refuse it, starve it, and reject it. You cannot “mortify” sin without the pain of the kill. There is no other way!
Apr 20, 2010
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In Ezekiel 13 and 14, God deals with His people, “a rebellious house”. He takes up the issues of false prophets and idolatrous leaders, and it speaks directly to us today as well.
Nov 17, 2009
I don’t suffer nearly as much as others do. Perhaps what I go through does not deserve to be called suffering. Yet, the hard things I experience are real for me and what I can feel as “suffering.” Many events have come to a head this past week which leads me to new ideas and fresh dealings with my “sufferings”. In many ways I already know this information in my head but as life is lived, God speaks in new ways and shows new insights and applications. He also continues to mold and shape me and is gracious to me despite my thick-headedness.
My discontent and grumblings and complaints about my suffering is sin. Dwelling on how “bad” and “unfair” things are denies God’s goodness and grace and says to Him, “You made a mistake, you are not in control, you don’t know what you’re doing.” This all is displeasing to Him and doesn’t play out well in my life.
How could Paul rejoice and have hope in prison? I’m sure he must have had some hard days, but he found God’s glory and His grace in those hard events. Can’t I do this? Can’t the same Holy Spirit work this in my life?
I have complained and grumbled and not asked God or sought Him out in these sufferings. Sufferings and “deserts” we go through are designed to draw us closer to Him and lean on Him and see Him show up. It has become a regular prayer of mine now to ask Him to “incline my heart” and “please let me see your glory in these events.” I have to confess that my heart these past 2 or 3 days has been softened and my attitude improving. I pray and ask for daily filling through all these difficulties.
Jun 30, 2009
I’ve been reading through 1 Kings and looking at Solomon’s life. He had great wisdom from the Lord and was very dedicated to serve Him. God blessed Him with wisdom and riches and the highest point of the kingdom of Israel. God warned Solomon to obey and walk in His ways and keep the commandments. By 1 Kings 11, Solomon had gone astray and intermarried with a “zillion” foreign wives and concubines, and he began building worshipping places for them and their gods. This was “the beginning of the end” for the kingdom, and in future chapters the kingdom splits and wars break out and the people are eventually captured and deported – it’s a low point for the people of God.
How important is obedience? Obedience not for the sake of “checking a box” or scoring points but obedience out of love for God – love for God is directly tied to our obedience to Him. It is part (it must be part) of our growth in Christ to obey more and more, and this is His work He does in each of His children. This reminds me back in Deuteronomy where God warned (through Moses) to obey and be blessed or disobey and face setbacks and failure.
To be more like Christ, to be more filled with His love and power and strength, to be more obedient!
Feb 22, 2009
“The Fall of Saul,” in which we learn about King Saul’s disobedience, and how we can be saved from our disobedience.
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