This sermon from Isaiah 50-51 on December 2, 2012, deals with one problem, God’s solution, two responses, and three reasons. As we prepare our hearts for Christmas this Advent season, let us make room for Him in our hearts by confronting our sins, confessing them and repenting of them.
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!
Jerry Bridges has written a powerful new book of hope for all Christians, Respectable Sins.This book is for all sinners, especially evangelical Christians.It is a painful book to read because it forces us to be honest with our ugliness in all its forms, yet it is hopeful because he reminds us of 1 Peter 5:5, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”It is easy to read and consistent with much of his previous writings.In the first half of the book he provides an overview of the gospel and its effects upon our lives; in the second half he applies it practically in dealing with specific and “respectable” sins we tolerate in ourselves, such as discontent, pride, and unthankfulness.Jerry Bridges draws upon years of wisdom and experience in his book and is honest and personal in admitting his struggles and successes and weaknesses in his walk with the Lord.An optional study guide is available for purchase as well.This is an excellent book for spiritual formation and our progressive sanctification and deeper growth and commitment to the Lord.