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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
November 21, 2010
Mortifying the Flesh, Part 1 – Evil Deeds
This morning we resume our study of Colossians 3 in which Paul gives a series of practical encouragements and admonitions in directing believers on how to successfully live the Christian life. The Colossians were in danger of being led astray by the deceptive doctrine of the false teachers who variously advocated philosophy, legalism, mysticism, ritualism or asceticism as the means to produce a godly life. Paul summarized their teaching and practices in Colossians 2:23 saying, “These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, [but are] of no value against fleshly indulgence.” The teaching and practices of philosophy, legalism, mysticism, ritualism or asceticism seem to be wise from the human perspective, but ultimately they fail in making a person right with God and also in controlling fleshly desire. Why? Because sin is a problem of the mind and heart and not just outward behavior. Self-discipline can result in restricting a behavior, but it cannot change the sinful heart, so sinful thoughts continue and sinful behavior erupts in other areas.
Paul had demonstrated the superiority of Jesus in chapter 1 as the architect, maker, possessor and sustainer of Creation, (See: The Preeminence of Jesus Over Creation) and the head and origin of the church as well as the redeemer, and reconciler of all believers. (See: The Preeminence of Jesus Over the Church) Paul demonstrated the superiority of being in Christ and walking with Him in chapter 2. Because Jesus has a superior nature, position, work and victory, we have a superior circumcision, baptism and life in Him. In Jesus we are made spiritually alive and in His atonement we are forgiven all our transgressions against God. (See: The Superiority of Being in Christ) This allows our faith in Him to be firmly established being firmly rooted in Him and continuing to be built up so that we overflow with thanksgiving to Him (See: The Superiority of Walking in Christ)
Three weeks ago we began our study of Colossians 3. Paul begins the chapter by laying down the foundation for how to live a successful and fruitful life that is pleasing to the Lord. “If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4). Being raised up with Christ is far superior to the philosophy, legalism, mysticism, ritualism or asceticism advocated by the false teachers. The consequence of being raised up with Christ is that we seek what is above where He is, think about what is above; have our lives hidden with Him; and we will share in His future glory. (See: Consequences of Life in Christ)
In the rest of the chapter Paul continues with specific instructions on how believers should live as a consequence of their being raised with Christ including setting aside your old life (Colossians 3:5-11), living according to Christian virtues (vs 12-17) and having proper social relationships (3:18-4:1) This morning we begin our examination of Paul’s instructions concerning the setting aside of our old life in order to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord and pleasing to Him in all respects (Colossians 1:10).
Please follow along as I read verses 5-17 to set the context, and then we will come back to examine verses 5-7 in detail.
Colossians 3:5 (NASB) “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 on account of these things that the wrath of God will come, 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. 12 And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 And beyond all these things [put on] love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms [and] hymns [and] spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
Mortifying the Flesh – vs. 5
Verse 5 begins with the term “therefore” which immediately takes us back to what Paul said in the previous verses as the reason for what he is about to command. In those verses we found that the real key to living in godliness is Christ. In just those first four verses Paul makes five references to Jesus – four by title and once by a personal pronoun. We are raised up with Christ (vs. 1); seek where Christ is (vs. 1); have our life hidden in Christ (vs. 3); and will be revealed with Him (vs. 4) when Christ, who is our life, is revealed (vs. 4). It is our identification with Jesus’ death (vs. 3), resurrection (vs. 1), life (vs. 3 & 4) and glory (vs. 4) that is the basis for Paul’s command here to “consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”
The NASB translation of this as “consider the members of your earthly bodies as dead” is similar to what Paul said in Romans 6:11, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Paul had just explained the believer’s identification through baptism to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Paul makes it clear in Romans 6 that continuing to sin is contrary to the change that takes place in those who believe on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Paul asks rhetorically in verse 2, “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” In verse 3 he states we have been baptized into Jesus’ death. In verse 4 he explains, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Verses 6 & 7 explain that our identification with Jesus’ crucifixion frees us from our former slavery to sin, and verses 8-11 explains that our identification with Jesus’ resurrection is the basis of being alive to God in Christ Jesus. Because of those two factors, verse 13 explains, we are to no longer “go on presenting the members of your body to sin [as] instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness to God.”
What Paul is commanding here in Colossians 3:5 is certainly in keeping with what He said in Romans 6, however, the actual Greek here is stronger than to just“consider the members of your earthly bodies as dead.” Darby’s, Young’s, the RSV, the NKJV and even the NIV all translate this as “put to death” with the KJV using an older term and translating the phrase very literally, “mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth.” In other words, though the command here must certainly begin in the mind, since all purposeful actions begin with what we think and value, this is not just some intellectual position. This is not a mind game, but something that requires definite action. Sin is to be put to death.
However, this command is not be taken in any way as an advocation of ascetic practices as some have done. Paul just corrected the error of self-abasement and severe treatment of the body as being of no value (Colossians 20-23), he would not a few verses later reverse himself to advocate it. I pointed out a few weeks ago that some of these people sought to “put to death their earthly members – body parts” by self-castration, self flagellation, beatings and not just uncomfortable clothing, but painful garments that would actually poke, pierce and tear into their flesh. The term “members” in this verse is used as figure of speech called a metonymy and is referring to the sins listed at the end of the verse that are committed by your body physically, mentally and volitionally. We are to put to death sinful actions, thoughts and selfish will, not our various physical body parts.
This command is also in the aorist tense so it is something that is to be done in a point in time. We do not keep putting these things to death. We put them to death and leave them dead. Some people have never done this and others keep going back to graveyard to try and resurrect these things – immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed – from the dead.
To use the slave analogy from Romans 6:16-23, a Christian has a change of masters. We have been freed from slavery to sin and have become slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:18). Therefore, we are to stop serving sin and obeying its commands and instead serve righteousness and obey the Lord’s commands.
I hope you can see how strong Paul’s statement is here. We are tempted to sin by the devil, the world and the cravings of our own flesh. When we yield to the enticements each of these will bring to our own desires, the result will be sin (James 1:14). Paul’s call is for radical change. Your eyes may desire things, your physical body may crave things, and your pride has its own lust, but all these are to be put to death for they are not who you really are in Jesus Christ. You have died with Christ, so stop doing the sins you used to do. Sin is no longer your master, so quit obeying it. The purpose of your body changed when you were crucified with Christ, so leave it dead (Galatians 2:20). You have been raised up with Christ in newness of life to become a new creation in Him, so live a new way. As Paul said back in verses 1 & 2, “keep seeking the things that are above where Christ is,” and “set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
Paul lists five specific elements that are part of our earthly members that he states that we are to put to death. Since some of these are not physical, we know that these “members which are on the earth” also encompass your mind and will. Your old self or old man (Colossians 3:9) is more than just your physical body, but also includes your old way of thinking and what you desire, which is why our minds must be renewed (Romans 12:2). These five particular deeds and desires are only representative since Paul includes a second list in verses 8 and 9, and passages such as Galatians 5:19-21 list out many more specific sins. We also find that this list moves from physical actions to the motives that led to those actions – immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and finally, greed.
The Deeds & Desires of the Flesh – vs. 5
Immorality – porneiva / porneia – is the first sin in this list. It is also the first sin in the list of the deeds of the flesh in Galatians 5:19. This is a general term for sexual sin and would include anything in the list of sexual perversions and abominations listed in Leviticus 18 which includes fornication, adultery, consanguinity, all forms of homosexuality and bestiality. God’s design for the expression of human sexuality is only within the bonds of monogamous marriage between a man and his wife. God has pronounced anything outside of that as sin. God’s command concerning human sexuality is stated simply in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; [that is,] that you abstain from sexual immorality ; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God.”
Sins of immorality are a problem today just as they were in the ancient world and so the same admonitions and corrections apply. The Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 issued a warning that the Gentile believers avoid immorality. The attitude in Corinth was so bad that some of the believers there were still consorting with the temple prostitutes. Paul had to strongly correct them that in doing so they were joining Christ to a harlot, and so they needed to flee immorality and instead glorify God with their bodies (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).
We live in a society that is increasingly sexually perverse and open about it. Tragically, so many have fallen into this sin that fornication and adultery are considered normal with homosexuality not far behind in its acceptance. When Elliot Spitzer was forced from being NYS Governor, the issue was not his perversion, dishonesty or lying in breaking his marriage vows, but that he used public funds to pay for his dalliances with prostitutes. He is now a TV news commentator Too many professing believers have remained ignorant, immature and weak with the same casual attitude resulting in them succumbing to sexual temptations. That ought not to be. It is a sin against your own body and you are not your own anyway. You were bought with the price of Jesus’ blood and your body is now a temple of the Holy Spirit. Christians are to put to death the sin of immorality in their lives. If the temptation is presented to you, flee it as you would the stench of a dead, rotting corpse.
Impurity – ajkaqarsiva / akatharsia – is the second in Paul’s list here and in the list of the deeds of the flesh in Galatians 5:19. The word literally means “not clean,” and it is a broader category than immorality for it refers to anything that is not morally clean.
The concept of being clean was very important in Mosaic Judaism since there were many things that could defile you and make you ceremonially unclean and therefore not be able to participate in the congregational worship at either the tabernacle or later at the Temple. The term is used to describe what is acceptable to God and what is not. Fallen angels, demons, are often referred to as “unclean spirits” (Matthew 10:1) since they are no longer acceptable to God. In 2 Corinthians 6:17 Paul uses the term in explaining the necessity of the Christian to be separate from people and practices that are unclean before God including lawlessness, the demonic and false religion. In Ephesians 5:3-4 Paul includes filthiness, silly talk and coarse jesting as practices which are unclean and then adds in the next verse that those who are impure do not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Immorality and impurity are often tied together as they are here in Colossians 3:5 since impurity leads to immorality. There are a lot of impure actions that take place before acts of sexual immorality occur. The expressions and display of inordinate affections and desires pave the way for fornication, adultery and other sexual perversions. If there was no impurity, there would also be no immorality. “God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:7), so put all unclean actions to death.
Acts 10 records that Peter had a hard time understanding that God can cleanse and make acceptable to Himself what had previously been unclean. Yet, that is what God has done for believers in Jesus Christ. Our hope as believers is that though we once were unclean, we were washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Passion – pavqoV / pathos – is the next word in the list. The word is only used three times in the New Testament and is variously translated as passion, vile passions, inordinate affection, and lust. The word is joined with an adjective in Romans 1:26 to describe the moral nature of this passion as degrading, dishonorable, shameful, vile.
In Romans 1:26 this is the second step in God’s wrath against man in giving them over to their sinful quests. In this step, man has exchanged the worship of God for the worship of other things and serving the creature rather than the creator. “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
In 1 Thessalonians 4:5 this passion is part of the sexual immorality and impurity of the Gentiles and contrasted with the sanctification and honor that believers are to show to spouses.
From these verses we then understand that this “passion,” “affection,” “lust” is a broader category out of which impure actions and sexual immorality flow. Since the word is used alongside the word for desire and lust both here and in 1 Thessalonians 4:5, it is not a synonym for that idea. This usage may be more akin to the Stoic sense of describing someone who is dominated by their emotions. A person who loses control to their emotions is very vulnerable to following those emotions into impure actions and sexual immorality. Such overwhelming emotions are to be put to death. This is not an advocation of stoicism, but rather the virtue of being in control of oneself so that you can properly take full advantage of your emotions being able to enjoy the positive ones while taking warning from the negative ones.
Evil desire – ejpiqumivn kakhvn / epithumin kak n – is the fourth phrase in Paul’s list. The word for strong desire or lust is modified here by an adjective describing the moral character of that desire as evil. Strong desires in themselves can be fine and good. This same word is used in 1 Timothy 3:1 to describe the lust a church overseer or bishop should have toward the work he is to do. That may sound a little strange, but the point is that the moral character of a strong desire or lust must be determined by the object of that lust.
A strong desire is the coupling of the mind and will toward something that is greatly wanted. Here in Colossians 3:5 what the person thinks about and what they have set their will to obtain is evil. It is from out of the mind and the will that emotions are generated which in turn lead to impure actions and produce sexual immorality. Jesus tied lust and sexual immorality together in Matthew 5:28 when He said that “everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” He has not committed the physical act, but the only thing preventing that is the opportunity and fear of the consequences. He is already guilty before God who knows the mind and heart.
I think it is easy to understand then that if you kill the evil desire, you also prevent the passion, impurity and immorality from occurring. How do you kill evil desire? By recognizing it for the sin that it is, repenting of it and then setting your mind and will on that which is good. That is why there are so many verses that warn about thinking about the wrong things and encourage us to think about what is right before God. Paul already said a few verses earlier that we are to “keep seeking the things above” and “set our mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” In Philippians 4:8 he tells us to have our minds dwell on what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, praiseworthy and virtuous. When you can say along with Asaph in Psalm 73:25, “Whom have I in heaven [but Thee]? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth,” you will have put to death all evil desire.
Greed – pleonexiva / pleonexia – also translated as covetousness, is the final word in this list and it is the foundation out of which arises the other four. Coveting is the sin of the mind from which all sins of action arise. If you steal an object, it is because you coveted the object first. If you commit sexual sin, it is because you coveted that other person for yourself first. If you are arrogant and haughty it is because you coveted power and fame first. If you lie, it is because you coveted whatever you thought you could gain or avoid first. Money is not the root of all evil, but the love of it, the quest for it, the coveting of it (1 Timothy 6:10).
Paul also equates greed here with idolatry. He does the same thing in Ephesians 5:3-5 linking immorality, impurity and greed together with idolatry. At its core coveting is viewing life from selfishness so that it is all about you and what you want. Your actions are done for your own best interest instead of that of others (Philippians 2:3-4) or God. Essentially, you worship yourself instead of God, and that is idolatry.
If you put greed to death, you also kill along with it evil desire, passion, impurity and immorality. How do you kill greed? By repenting of a selfish heart to understand your life from God’s perspective and live accordingly for His glory and purposes instead of your own. Every time you surrender your will to do God’s will instead, you put greed to death. The idea of surrendering your will completely to another is repugnant to the unsaved, but perfectly logical and greatly desired for the saved. Paul’s statements in verses 6 & 7 bring this out.
The Reason for God’s Wrath – vs. 6
6 For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come, Since Paul makes it clear in 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9 that God has not destined the believer for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, we know that this verse is not even a remote suggestion that a Christian will be subject to God’s wrath in the future. Certainly the Christian that stumbles into sin and refuses to repent will be subject to God’s chastening (Hebrews 12:6f), but not His wrath which is reserved for unbelievers.
The wrath of God is presently “revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18) in his progressive moving away His protecting hand so that they experience a greater degree of the consequences of their own sin (Romans 1:18-32). The unrighteous are also storing up God’s wrath upon themselves which will come upon them when God judges them (Romans 2:5; Revelation 6:17; 19:15; 20:12-15).
Paul is simply stating here that sins such as immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed are the reasons that God will judge in the future. It is simply illogical and inconsistent with the believer’s new nature to continue to do those things which bring about His wrath. Or to put it another way, the children of light should not be doing the sinful deeds of the children of darkness (Ephesians 5:8).
A Past Life – vs. 7
7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.
This last verse is both humbling and encouraging. Every true Christian was previously “a child of wrath” that was dead in trespasses and sins, walking according to the course of this world, living in the lusts of the flesh and indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind (Ephesians 2:1-3). We did not save ourselves by any sort of righteous deeds which we have done, since they are all as filthy rags before our Holy God (Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6). Instead, it was God’s love demonstrated to us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8) that extended His mercy and grace to save us by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) and justifying us before Him on the basis of faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ in His atonement for our sin (Romans 3:28; 5:9). The result of salvation in Jesus Christ is that we become new creations in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17) who have been bought with the price of Jesus’ blood so that we are not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19,20; Ephesians 1:7). We have been adopted in the God’s family so that we can call Him “abba” (John 1:12; Romans 8:15), yet the reality is that we have also been bought so that we are God’s bondservants – actually, slaves (1 Peter 2:16).
When we fully come to grip with these facts, it is not so difficult to yield ourselves to God’s will. Galatians 5:24 states, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” We are to put to death our sin – immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires and greed. And since slaves do not seek for themselves but rather to do the master’s will, doing this is reasonable, logical, and possible. The more you understand and set the purpose of your life is to serve the Lord, the more you will have put to death the selfishness that drives greed and with it you also kill evil desires, passions, impurity and immorality.
Paul’s command here is strong, yet very reasonable. The Christian is to put to death the sin that dwells in the members of our earthly body and minds including immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed. How do we do this? It actually all boils down what Paul said in verse 1 & 2. You have been raised up with Christ, so set your will to seek the things above and set your mind on the things of heaven instead of the things of earth. Remember the purpose for which God created you and redeemed you from your sin and then live accordingly for His glory according to His will instead of according to your own will to fulfill your own desires. If you do that, you will also be fulfilling this command – and enjoying its benefits in your walk with the Lord.
Sermon Notes – 12/05/2010
Philosophy, legalism, mysticism, ritualism or asceticism _________ produce a godly life (Colossians 2:23)
Sin is a problem of the mind and ___________ and not just outward behavior
Jesus is pre-eminent over Creation and the Church – _______________
It is superior to be in Jesus and walk with Him – __________________
Colossians 3:1-4 – the foundation for living a _______________ and fruitful life pleasing to the Lord
Colossians 3 – specific instructions on ______________ as a consequence of being raised up with Jesus
Mortifying the Flesh – vs. 5
“________________” takes us back to what Paul said in verses 1-4. The key to godliness is Jesus Christ
Our identification with Jesus’ death, resurrection, life and glory is the basis of Paul’s __________in vs. 5
The command is similar to Paul’s arguments in __________________
Our identification with Jesus’ crucifixion frees us from our former ______________ to sin
Our identification with Jesus’ ___________________ is the basis of being alive to God in Christ Jesus
Colossians 3:5 is stronger – put to death, ____________therefore your members which are upon the earth
This command is not an advocation of __________practices in any sense. Paul corrected that in chapter 2
We are to put these things to death and leave them _______- don’t go to the graveyard to resurrect them!
You are freed from slavery to ________ , so stop serving it – Romans 6:18
You are ________________ with Christ in newness of life, so live a new way.
The “members” encompass your ___________ and will as well as the cravings of your body.
The five things listed are representative and move from physical actions to personal ________________
The Deeds & Desires of the Flesh – vs. 5
Immorality (porneiva / porneia) a general term for sexual sin – _________________
God’s design for expressing human sexuality is only within a man and wife in a monogamous _________
1 Thessalonians ____________
Ignorant, immature and weak believes easily succumb to sexual temptation – _________ immorality
Impurity – ajkaqarsiva / akatharsia – __________ . A broad category for anything not morally clean
The term is used to describe to what is ________________ to God and what is not.
Immorality and impurity are often linked since impure actions _____________ sexual immorality
Our _______is that God has washed, sanctified and justified us from our previous impurity (1 Cor. 6:11)
Passion – pavqo” / _________ – a broad category out of which impure actions and immorality flow
Romans 1:26 – the second step down in God’s ____________upon the unregenerate – degrading passions
1 Thessalonians 4:5 – _____________ is included with the impurity and immorality of the Gentiles
Passion – in the sense of being overwhelmed and controlled by ______________
Evil desire – ejpiqumivn kakhvn / epithumin kak n – strong desire / _________ of an evil nature
Matthew 5:28 – ____________ ties lust and sexual immorality together
Evil desire is killed by ___________and setting your mind and will on what is good – Phil. 4:8; Ps. 73:25
Greed – pleonexiva / pleonexia – _____________. A sin of the mind which gives rise to all sins of action
It is tied with idolatry because at its core, coveting is __________, making yourself the object of worship
If ____________ is put to death, so is evil desire, passion, impurity and immorality
Greed is put to death by surrendering _________________ to do God’s will instead of your own.
The Reason for God’s Wrath – vs. 6
This is not talking about a believer’s future – we are _________ destined for wrath – 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9
The sinful actions that bring God’s wrath are illogical and inconsistent with a believer’s _____________
A Past Life – vs. 7
Every Christian _____________ a “child of wrath” indulging the desires of the flesh & mind (Eph. 3:1-3)
We are saved by the actions of God’s mercy and ________in the redemption that comes by faith in Jesus
Christians are new creations because we have been ___________by Jesus’ blood and now belong to Him
Galatians 5:24 – our position in _______enables us to live for God and put to death our sinful selfishness
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times sin is mentioned. Talk with your parents about how you can overcome sin in your life.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why can’t philosophy, legalism, mysticism, ritualism or asceticism produce a godly life? How is Jesus superior to and over Creation and the church? Why is it superior to be in Jesus and walk with Him than all other religions? How does being raised up with Christ lay the foundation for a successful and fruitful life that pleases the Lord? What is the believer to seek and what should he think about? Explain the importance of the believer’s identification with Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, life and glory to living a godly life? Why should the believer consider themself to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus – Romans 6:11? What does it mean to “put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth” – Col. 1:5? What is immorality and how can the believer put it to death in his life? What are God’s commands concerning human sexuality? What is impurity and how can a believer put it to death? What is the relationship between impurity and immorality? What is the passion in Col. 3:5? How does the believer put it to death? Are all strong desires / lusts evil? Why or why not? How are evil desires put to death? What is greed? What is its relationship to sins of action? Why is greed equated with idolatry? How is greed put to death? What is the position and state of an unbeliever before God? How is an individual saved from sin and its consequences? What is the result of putting to death selfish greed? How are you doing at putting to death these sinful deeds and desires?
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