5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— 11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
Examine / Explain
When we look at the Greek, this passage starts off telling us to put to death the parts of us that are alive to “porneia”, impurity, lust, inordinate desire to do evil and covetousness. In our consideration, we are to view these areas of our lives lying on the altar and dead. Because a man with no control in these areas is not living in the Spirit and is willfully disobeying God. His wrath is coming. We all once walked in this lifestyle and these areas allowed us to have anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful/humiliating words come out of our mouths. And now, if we are in Christ and we do all these things, we are re-presenting falsely. We hide our old selves behind the new selves that God actually sees. If we are truly falsely re-presenting Christ we are to renew our mind and remember our place in Him. For we are all image bears of God. We all have the capability to re-present Christ. Not just the Jew. Believing and confessing Jesus as Lord graphs all of us to sons and daughters of God. The only distinction is believing and obeying vs not believing and disobeying.
How do I apply this to my life?
I need to understand my place in Christ. I know we all struggle with sin, but when does our propensity to sin turn of our sinful nature into willful disobedience? Where does the struggle turn from failure into a son of disobedience? Have I put to death the parts of me that lead me into idolatry? That is what the parts of me do that are not leading me to God. They lead me to worship creation instead of the creator. In our humanness, we are looking for something that God should fill; however, in our lack of guidance or just bad choices, we start filling that need with sexual immorality or wanting things that are not ours. And once we place those things as our greatest need, we have locked them in as our god. Doing whatever it takes to appease our god. We get angry and lash out when we can’t “worship” our god. We will steal, “kill”, and destroy whatever is in our way to reach our greatest need. We will shame those who stand between us and our god. We will humiliate anything that attempts to get in our way. On the flip side of that, living for Jesus, we will do anything to get away from those things. We have to ability to place boundaries in our lives that keep the dead things dead. Will we fail and pick them back up? Absolutely. I think what we do when we fail is the key. In our shame of failing again, we run from God and try to hide and falsely present the new self. The new self must not hide anything. The new self that is grounded in Christ takes renewal each time it fails. It’s going back to Christ over and over again. He doesn’t get tired of us. I think we impose our human tolerance on Jesus. We think at some point, He is just going to be done with us because we would do that to someone. Walking with Jesus is a lifelong progression to stand in His presence. I think the better question is, am I making progress in how I deal with sin and failure? Am I turning to God faster? Am I at least attempting to put better behavior modifiers in place until my heart can catch up? Do have the community to call me out when I don’t see I am failing because I am blinded to my sin? Do I have relational equity within my inner circle that would allow them to call me out?
What is my response?
Father, I want to run to You. When I fail I want to draw closer to You and not attempt to hide because of shame. I want to put to death the parts of me that lead my heart to death. It would be better to kill a part of me that separates me from You than lose my whole self. Am I going to struggle? Yes! My flesh always is at war with my spirit. The battle will rage until Jesus takes me home. Sometimes the battle is fought better than other times. When the enemy has me distracted with life, I take my eyes off You and place them on the things around me, and I start sinking. I am thinking about Peter walking on the water. He noticed the wind and waves and You had to rescue him. He went from being blind to his surroundings to being blind to You. When that happens, we sink and cry out. Can we truly walk in faith and never see the storm around us? Sounds supernatural but You are the God of miracles. I don’t want to put you in a box and say that I can’t ever notice the storm and won’t ever sink. But at the same time, what does my faith say? What do my actions say about what I believe? It is impossible to live outside our belief system. So, what do I believe about You?