Killing your Sin 2

Regarding the subject of killing your sin, Colossians 3:5-17 says, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:5-17, ESV). 

Put to death. It is a command from God that literally means to cease completely from an activity with the implication of the subject taking extreme measures to guarantee such a cessation. 

What is it that Paul says the Christian is to put to death? Whatever is earthly. Whatever is of the nature of an earthly existence and in contrast to heaven. This may compare to John’s statement of what is worldly in I John 2:15-17 which says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17 ESV).

The Apostle Paul then gives the reader a brief list of what constitutes sins that are to be put to death. They include:

  • Sexual immorality. Πορνεία; illicit sexual immorality of any kind.

  • Impurity. Ἀκαθαρσία; physical, religious and moral uncleanliness. 

  • Passion. Πάθος; pathos; lust. The emphasis is on desire. To possess strong physical desires of any kind, not just sexual. 

  • Evil desire. Ἐπιθυμία κακός; a strong desire to get what somebody else has and to anything in order to get it. Evil refers to that which is bad. 

  • And covetousness, which is idolatry. Πλεονεξία; a strong desire to acquire more and more material possessions or to possess more things than other people have, all irrespective of need—‘greed, avarice, covetousness.’ This is idolatry. 

  • Idolatry. Εἰδωλολατρία; the worship of false gods; the worship of anything or anyone other than God. 

Paul says that because of these sins, and many others like them, God’s wrath is coming.