Friday, 4 January 2013

Killing Sin

John Owen once said, "Be killing sin or it will be killing you." One of the battles at the heart of the Christian life is the battle to put sin to death. Sinclair Ferguson has written a very helpful little article, where he focuses on Colossians 3:1-17 and draws out a number of lessons on how we ought to go about mortifying sin (that is, how we put sin to death).

One of the points he makes is that, in the fight against sin, dying to sin does not happen in isolation to living to righteousness. That is, we do not simply stop doing sinful things. No, we must instead replace sinful attitudes and behaviours with Christ-like attitudes and behaviours. Ferguson says:
The negative task of putting sin to death will not be accomplished in isolation from the positive call of the Gospel to “put on” the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 3:14. Paul spells this out in Colossians 3:12-17. Sweeping the house clean simply leaves us open to a further invasion of sin. But when we understand the “glorious exchange” principle of the Gospel of grace, then we will begin to make some real advance in holiness. As sinful desires and habits are not only rejected, but exchanged for Christ-like graces (3:12) and actions (3:13); as we are clothed in Christ’s character and His graces are held together by love (v. 14), not only in our private life but also in the church fellowship (vv. 12–16), Christ’s name and glory are manifested and exalted in and among us (3:17).
The whole article is well worth reading, you can read it by clicking here.