“Putting Sinful Habits to Death”

Jesus Christ not only died for us (Rom. 5:8), we died with Him (Rom.6:8).  Christ died for us in that He died for our sins (1Cor. 15:3), and when we died with Him, we died to sin (Rom.6:2).  Sin or the sin nature was our master, but since we died with Christ to sin, we are no longer under obligation to obey sin as our master.  We were slaves of sin (Rom.6:6-7), but now having died to sin and having been raised to new life with Christ, we are slaves of God or righteousness (Rom.6:18, 22).  Our slavery to sin has ended, and we must no longer live in it (Rom.6:2).

The Lord has made this gracious provision for every believer in Christ, and we must now fully apply that provision to our lives (Rom.6:11-13).  In Colossians 3:5-7, Paul is urging us to live out in our lives the reality of our union with Christ.  We died with Christ, and now as verse 5 says, we must put to death in a practical sense the members or faculties of our bodies with which we commit sin.  We are to stop sinning!  We will never be sinless in this life, but we are to sin less and less.  We cannot stop sinning in our own power, but in the power of the Holy Spirit as we depend on Him to apply our death and resurrection with Christ to our everyday experience.  Because we once lived in sin (3:7), many of these sinful ways of thinking and living have become entrenched habits.  They must be put to death!  Paul adds a motivation to do this in verse 6 when he writes, “Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.”  As Christians, we must not be involved in the things God hates – the things for which the judgment of God is coming on those who commit such things!

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors — not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live (Romans 8:12-13).