We begin today where we left off last Friday: setting our hearts on things above, where Christ is! We have read about the importance of submitting to Christ so that our insides can be clean. Our outward lives are the overflow of our inward lives, so when we are clean on the inside, we will be clean on the outside too.
Verse 3 reminds us that our old lives died with Christ, and now we live again with him. Sometimes we say that a person “lives for his work” or “lives for his family”. We know what this means – that they are totally focused on that thing which is more important than anything else to them. We are called to be people who live for Christ, totally focused on him, valuing him above all else.
In the next verses, Paul gives us some more specific, practical examples. God’s word is not just theory; it also helps us to apply Godly principles to our everyday lives. Since we have died with Christ, it is time for us to walk away from the habits and lifestyles of our old lives. Our old life is dead. These habits should be put to death too or they will get in the way of our new life.
There are some pretty unpleasant things on this list. The Message translation of the Bible puts it like this: “sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like, whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by feelings instead of by God. . . . make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.”
Perhaps you haven’t struggled with all the things on this list, but the chances are that at least some of them will have been problems for you. Maybe they still are. But Paul does not give us this list to make us feel bad, or ashamed of ourselves.
This is the Good News of the Gospel, that through his death on the cross, Jesus Christ has won the victory over sin and death. None of us can live a perfect life by our own efforts, however hard we try, and however many rules we try to stick to. Only through Jesus can we receive freedom from sin. Come to him today, confess your sin struggles and commit to putting them to death with his help. Old habits die hard, but Christ makes it possible!