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Defeating the Enemy Within, Part 2 (Colossians Sermon 12 of 21)

Defeating the Enemy Within, Part 2 (Colossians Sermon 12 of 21)

December 02, 2007 | Andrew Davis
War Against the Flesh, The Power of Sin, Indwelling Sin

Introduction

On October 31, 1517, history was changed forever when Martin Luther took the Ninety-Five Theses and nailed them to the door of the Wittenberg Castle. He saw a problem in the way the medieval Catholic church was addressing salvation. He was incensed by the preaching of a friar named Tetzel who was preaching indulgences and misleading people, concerning what it is that saves our souls from sins. He was moved by it, by zeal for the glory of God and by concern for souls. And so, being an academic, he wanted to debate about it. So he wrote out these Ninety-Five Theses and nailed them to the door of the Wittenberg Castle and thus began the Reformation.

Very important beginning, but I'm interested in how the Ninety-Five Theses themselves begin. The first thesis said this: “Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when he said ‘repent,’ he willed that the whole life of believers should be one of repentance.” What kind of revivals would come in this church or even in evangelical churches across America if we read and understood the import of those words? That you, as a child of God, should spend your whole life in repentance.

Now, the beginning of the Reformation was important, but even more important was the beginning of Jesus' preaching ministry. Jesus began his preaching ministry with the exact same conviction. Matthew 4:17, “From that time on, Jesus began to preach ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” He called on the people of God to repent from their sins. The very thing that John the Baptist had been doing, same message.

My yearning today is that this sermon would be a call from almighty God to you, the people of God, to repent. And me too. To repent earnestly, to turn away from sin, hating it as we have never hated it before. Motivated as never before to be conformed to the image of Christ, in purity and holiness. To fight against the influences of the devil and the world, as they call to our indwelling sin to commit acts of sin, to yield to temptation that we would fight as never before, and grow in holiness. I'm calling on you and on me, the Spirit is calling on us to repent from sin. To be serious about sin, to take it seriously and to mortify it, to put it to death. Now last time I began by looking at a parallel passage, Romans 7.

In Romans 7, these ideas that are in just seed form here in Colossians 3 are more fully developed. There Paul said, “I do not understand what I do, for what I want to do I do not do.” What does that mean? He wants to be holy, he wants to have a good quiet time, he wants to share his faith, he wants to say no to wickedness and ungodliness, he wants to be a Christlike, kind loving person in all circumstances, he wants to put a guard over his mouth, and never say anything that would defile his soul or hurt others. He wants all of this, he has great ambitions for holiness, but he says, “What I want to do, I do not do.” Conversely, what I hate, now that's what I do. I don't understand myself. The very thing I hate, I do. Why? Well he says, as it is, “It is no longer I who do it but it is sin living in me that does it.” So we began with this despicable enemy. This vile thing. How do we picture it within us? Sin living in me, in my body. How much do I yearn to have it out? “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” There's my hope. This is a hopeful sermon. We will be filled with righteousness if we're in Christ. But right now is a time of hungering and thirsting for that filling. Of yearning for it, and repentance.

Therefore, Paul calls on us in verse five, Colossians 3 to warfare. “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature,” put it to death. “Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry,” put it to death. “Anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language from your lips and lying,” put them to death, all of them, and all the others besides. Now the context here in Colossians 3 is the full flowering of what Christ has done for us. We have been made complete in Christ. We have been given gospel completeness. Jesus came. He who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. He came and entered the world, he took on a human body.

So therefore the physical universe is not evil as the Colossian heretics were teaching. It's not evil, or else Jesus would never have taken it on. He took on a human body. In human flesh, there was the fullness of deity. He suffered on a cross and died that we might have full freedom from sin but the Colossian heretics are saying that's not enough, that's not enough. You've got to have human philosophy. Gotta understand things, a kind of secret wisdom coming from man. You've gotta have that secret philosophy. And you've got to have Jewish legalism, coupled with that asceticism, the harsh treatment of the body. All the Jewish rules and regulations, leading to a harsh treatment of the body. And to kind of lift it up into the spiritual realms, you can have the worship of angels, mysticism, this concoction of heresy, is what was afflicting the Colossian church. Paul says these things lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence, they don't work, they don't sanctify us and they sure don't save us from our sins.

Instead, the work of Christ does, and he gives us a different vision of life in Colossians 3:1-17, a vision of a happy, healthy, fruitful Christian life. You wanna be happy, you wanna be healthy, you wanna be fruitful as a Christian, then immerse yourself in the practical wisdom of Colossians 3:1-17. It begins with a heavenly mindset, Colossians 3:1-4, “Set your minds on things above, set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things, for you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” And because of that, put sin to death. Because of where you're going. Because of how glorious it's gonna be, because of the fact there'll be no sin there. You'll be stripped of it forever and how delighted will you be at that time, because of that, because Christ is your life, because he's coming back to judge the earth, because of all of these things that put it to death, put sin to death, that's the context.

Vigorous Warfare Against Sin (vs. 5-9)

Steely-Eyed Killers of Sin

And so I said last time that you're to be a steely-eyed killer of sin, show it no pity, hunt it down and assassinate it, show it no mercy. And John Owen, in his classic On the Mortification, or the killing, of Sin, he said, “You need to be killing sin or sin will be killing you,” it's that simple. And I said last time that happiness and fruitfulness is impossible without warfare. You can't go to heaven on a flowery bed of ease, it's impossible. If you're on a flowery bed of ease right now you are deceived, you need to wake up and you need to fight sin. It's impossible to go to heaven that way, it's through much difficulty that we enter heaven.

Understanding the Enemy Outside the Walls

And this is part of the difficulty. Part of it is persecution through faithfulness and witness, the part of it is this internal battle that we must fight, a part of our salvation. And so I said we have to understand who we're fighting, we have to understand Satan, how clever he is, how relentless, how powerful, how vicious, and we have to understand the world system that he has crafted. A masterpiece of wickedness crafted to entice us and to lure us constantly, lure us toward sin. The pull, like a magnet, like an overpowering magnetic attraction pulled all the way, away from God, away from holiness, away from purity toward defiling things and wickedness, like a magnetic attraction.

Understanding the Body … and the Enemy Within the Walls

Well, you don't have to be a physicist, you don't have to be an engineer, to know magnets don't attract wood, they attract iron, they attract something and there's something inside us that is attracted to all that. Isn't that disgusting? There's something in me that likes it, that's attracted to it. So I've likened it to having like chunks of iron or iron filings that I kind of eat and take into myself, and then the pull gets stronger and it's harder to resist, and they come out, like one at a time with a tweezer. And so, it's so important that we not immerse ourselves in evil things, the enemy outside calls to the enemy within and the two of them do business at moments of temptation and we sin, and that's the battle.

And therefore we have to understand our body, our body created originally in the image of God, nothing wrong with any biological function, sexual, digestive, any of the functions God created, these things are good. God made them that way, there's nothing wrong with that, there's nothing wrong with the human body, per se. But there's something wrong with the body of sin. There's something wrong with the body of death, and that's what these bodies are called: body of sin, body of death. That's what we have and why? Because of history.

First of all, Adam's history. He sinned for us and we got from him a position before God and a nature. We were born with a nature of bent towards sin and as soon as we understand the law, we sin. As soon as we understand it, it happens. You parents know what I'm talking about, you've seen it happen. You were there at that moment, you were there twice because it happened to you when you were a child. And we understand sin, and look at verse 7, Colossians 3:7, “In these sins, sexual immorality, lusts, impurity, evil desires, greed. In these things you used to walk in the life you once lived.” That's how you used to live, you have a history with this. You programmed your body how to sin, you programmed your brain.

Understanding Salvation

So we have to understand this, we have to understand the body, and I said we also have to understand salvation. If you don't understand salvation, you won't know where mortification or putting sin to death fits in, you'll get it wrong, you'll make a mistake.

And so there are three main parts to salvation: Justification, sanctification, glorification. Justification, at that moment by simple faith in Christ, by looking to Jesus crucified for you, His blood shed on the cross for you, trusting in that as your only righteousness. The exchange there: he taking your defilement on himself and suffering under the wrath of God, and him giving to you a gift, an immeasurable gift, an infinite gift of perfect righteousness, that is justification. And if you're a Christian today, that's already happened for you and nothing can reverse it. And God sees you today holy and blameless in Christ, perfect in position, nothing can change that. Nothing can move you from your secure position in justification, but that's not the end of the story now, is it?

What you are in position, you need to become in practice, you need to start acting like Jesus more and more and more, and he was perfect. And you must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. You must be like Jesus in every area. And the battle is a cooperative effort between the believer and the Holy Spirit. You work together. “If you,” Romans 8:13, “by the Spirit put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” You have to do it by the Spirit. Cooperation. And in that lies a struggle because some of you aren't cooperating very well. And neither am I from time to time. And this is a call on us to step up and put sin to death. It's our responsibility as justified Christians to be sanctified and to grow. Progressively grow more and more to be like Jesus. 

Then the third step: glorification. God takes over again. Just as he did in justification, he'll do it again in glorification. And instantaneously, all sin will be removed from you. Completely. And you will end up holy and blameless. Physically, mentally, morally, emotionally, spiritually, your body and your soul, or your heart, will be pure as Christ. And you will dwell in that state forever. That's the whole salvation plan. By the way, we are calling “Come, Oh, Come Emmanuel.” That's what he came to do. And he will not stop until it's done for all of his children.

Naming the Battlefields

Now, we have to get specific. Last time, we named the battlefield sins of perverted love, lust, sexual immorality. Sins of broken relationships, anger, rage, malice, slander. We talked about those in detail last time. This is what's besetting us. And friends, this is an immensely truncated list. There's far more sins than just these. They're just suggestive of the kind of things we fight.

What Is at Stake

And what's at stake? Colossians 3:6, “Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming.” The wrath of God. I heard a sermon this past week. Don Whitney preached an incredible sermon, wrote a book on spiritual disciplines, and I heard him preach on hell. Very few of us actually hear sermons, expositions, on hell. And it left me so grateful, so grateful for Jesus that I had been rescued from what I deserved. He focused on one verse, Matthew 25:41, what the judge of all the earth will say to the goats, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” One verse tells you what you need to know about hell. I'm tempted to just preach that sermon because it was so good.

Terrifying Warning

But hell is real. Hell is terrifying. It's eternal. It's powerful. And Jesus warned us, more than any person in history, Jesus warned us from hell. No other prophet or apostle spoke as much about hell as Jesus did. But Jesus rescues us from the coming wrath. Praise God. Praise God. 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “Jesus rescues us from the coming wrath.” He is doing it right now through this sermon. He is rescuing you from the coming wrath. And he'll keep on rescuing you until he will finally rescue you on the Day of Judgment from the coming wrath. The rescue is present and the wrath is future. And the rescue is going on right now, and it will continue until the day you die. And then He will finally rescue you, and there'll be no more threat. Forever. That's what's at stake.

Practical Guidelines for Killing Sin

How do we do it? This is where we get practical. And here I just lean on a brother in Christ who's been dead for centuries. His name is John Owen. And he wrote a book called Mortification of Sin. And you may have noticed, when you came in, these books. God wants you, I think, to have this book and to read it. And so I've made 200 of them available for free. The price is right, okay? They're at the entrance, or I guess, now exits of the sanctuary. Back there, side tables, inside there's 200 of them. There's more than 200 people here. So there's a little psychology going on here. A little competition, alright? But I'll say this. If you want one at the end of this day, and didn't get one, I'll see to it you get one, alright? So I bought 200 of them. They're available.

Along with that is a paper I wrote when I was in seminary. Now, I'm not saying this is any great thing, but this is like the CliffsNotes version, okay. To this, it's basically a summary of his arguments. Don't do this instead of this, okay. Do this to help you with this. But you can get all these pages down, and you can skip if you want to all the introductory stuff about Owen, the history and all that, and just go to the summary of what he wrote. And from this, I got what you're about to hear in my sermon. So this is a thin stream of this, and this is a thin extract of this.

So I would just urge you to go to this, and be convicted, and to be strengthened. Get it. You're all gonna be out of here quickly, and go grab them. But as I said, if you don't, if you want one and didn't get one, let me know. Call the office. Talk to me. Well, don't talk to me at the end, I won't remember. I won't know what you said to me. But email or whatever, and say, “I wanted to get one, didn't get one.” We'll order some more. But it would be a tragedy for this book to sit in stacks on the table as you guys are walking by it. That makes no sense. Even if you have a copy at home, take another one so you can give it to somebody who might need it.

Come to Christ

Practical advice. First step. This is where I ended last time. Come to Christ. Come to Christ. You have no business fighting sin if you're not a Christian. You know why? You can't put sin to death because sin's already put you to death. You're dead spiritually. Dead in your transgressions and sins, Ephesians 2, in which you used to live. So you can't fight it. You're already killed. And only Jesus can give you life. Come to Christ. And he will give you life. And part of that life will be mortification.

So if you're here today, and you don't know whether you're saved, you have never trusted in Christ, then the rest you can get to by and by, but you come and look to Jesus. Look to him dead on the cross. His blood shed for you. Think, “He is my righteousness. He's my only hope for escape from hell. I must have Christ,” and look to him and then the mortification can begin. Come to Christ. We talked about that last time. 

Determine to Fight this Vicious Battle Every Day

Secondly, to you Christians, determine to fight this vicious battle every day. Make it your business every day to get up and mortify the deeds of the flesh. John Owen put it this way, “There's not a day but sin foils or is foiled, prevails or is prevailed upon and it will be whilst we live in this world.”

In another place he likened it, as I've said many times, to a wrestling match with a poisonous viper. Imagine you've got this snake by the head and it's hissing and it's strong and all that. And it's a battle to the death. You can't get halfway through and just, “I'm tired,” just put it down and try to walk away. It's not gonna let you go. You don't take a poisonous viper to bed with you. You don't coddle it like a pet. You don't feed it. You kill it. Be killing sin or sin will be killing you. You gotta get up every day and determine to fight this vicious battle. You don't get any days off. Sin's not gonna take any days off. By the way, the day you think you're taking a day off from sin, sin's winning. It's already deceived you.

Rely on the Holy Spirit, Not on Fleshly Means

Next, rely on the Holy Spirit, not on fleshly means. We already saw in Colossians 2 that harsh treatment of the body and all kinds of stuff lacks any value in restraining sensual indulgence. That will not work. And all of our steps in mortification, all they do is set the stage for the Spirit to kill the sin. He has the power to do it.

And so all of these things are somewhat like Elijah in his battle with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. And they're up there and all of the sacrifice, all is ready, but the fire's gotta fall from heaven and so it is with mortification. Get everything ready and the Spirit will put the sin to death when you have done all the things he's commanded you to do. “If you, by the Spirit, put to death the misdeeds of the body.” So the Spirit acts somewhat like a weapon there. If you, by the Spirit, kill. And that's how it works. You must fight by the Holy Spirit. 

Be Cross-Centered

Next, you must be cross-centered. Isaac Watts said, “When I survey the wondrous cross.” Every Sunday I look up at this big wooden cross up here over my head. I just look at it. I remind myself that Jesus died there. I think about it. I think about Jesus bleeding to death. Really that practically, that his blood was falling out of the wounds of his body, he was bleeding to death on the cross. I think about that.

And I say to you that Christ's blood shed on the cross has sin-killing power in the minds and hearts of believers. Galatians 6:14, very important verse, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” You come to the cross and the world's allure and temptations and enticements look to be the filthy things they are. It was those things that put Jesus to death. So be cross-centered, be much in meditation on Christ's death on the cross and sin will shrivel as the nasty thing that it is.

There's another sense in being cross-centered, and that is that you must crucify sin. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, sin is not going to die while you live, it isn't. Sins can die. But sin is gonna be with you until the Lord glorifies you. And so the image I have is lust up on the cross, slowly bleeding to death, and begging me to take it down off the cross every day. And woe to me if I get those tongs and pull the nails out and let lust down and feed it and give it a break and give it some... So it regains its strength a little, give it a little water and wipe it... That's lust! It wants to kill me. So I have to put it on the cross. I have to crucify it. It's a slow lingering death. Remember how Pilate was surprised that Jesus had died so quickly. It's not a quick death, it's a slow one. So be cross-centered.

Understand what Mortification Is Not and What  It Is

Next, understand what mortification is not and what it is. I've already touched on this briefly, but first of all, it is not to kill any particular sin completely for that cannot be in this life. There are other schools of thought on sanctification that say you can have that sin removed from you like a bad tooth. And so if you could find a pastor who'll do that kind of dental work on you and remove that bad tooth of lust or covetousness or anger or unforgiveness, you could just have all those bad teeth removed one after the other. It's not like that. And the reason you know is, can you imagine, what would you think if you met a man or a woman who said, “You know, I used to struggle with such and such. But I never need to worry about that again.” What would you say to that person? “If any man or woman thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.” It's not over yet.

So it's not killing one particular sin completely for that cannot be. Nor is it to allow sin to conceal itself and then to appear in a different costume. Oh, sin is tricky! You think you got lust down, but it's popping up in other areas. You don't do that anymore, but you do this instead. That's what it does.

Nor is it to develop a quiet, thoughtful, peace-loving nature. Kind of like a monk in meditation. That's not mortification. And nor is it to divert a particularly annoying and troubling sin so that that sin pattern isn't so prevalent anymore. That's not it. Non-Christians can stop drinking, for example. They go to AA, they can stop drinking. They can divert certain things, but that's not mortification.

And nor is it to conquer certain sins occasionally. Like, what's your batting average? That's not mortification. How are you doing? Three-quarters of the time, it used to be just two-thirds of the time, I say, no, but now I'm up to three quarters. Well, good brother, keep it going. That's not mortification.

Well, what is it? It is a habitual weakening of sin's root as how a victim dies on the cross. Gradually, slowly losing power and influence over your soul. It is a constant fighting and contending against all indwelling sin, on all fronts. It involves both attack and defense. You go out after sin and cut off the things that it feeds on. You make no equipment or provision for providing for the lusts of the flesh. You don't have the equipment of it, it's out. You just go on attack, you go on a commando raid and get rid of things in your life. They're out.

And also it's defensive. You're ready, you're ready, you're ready for the attack. Ready. It's coming. You know you're ready and your stand is both offensive and defensive. And it results in consistent success over individual temptations. Now, temptations you can kill. Individual occasions, you can kill. It comes to you, you see it, you know what's going on and you can say, “No! I won't. Not today. I will not do this.” You can do that.

Resolve to Fight Sin on All Fronts

It is a resolve to fight sin on all fronts. You're not gonna put the white flag up over any sin in your life. You're not gonna surrender, never, on any front. You're gonna fight all sin everywhere that it's found. Now, I say to you the Holy Spirit hasn't shown you everything. You can't handle the truth. It's not possible. Imagine if your eyes were open, you were to see how far you are from Jesus. It's overwhelming. You'd wanna die immediately. But if he has revealed some things to you, you must fight them on all fronts. Sin is evil, it is wicked. And God's work consists in universal obedience not just partial. Some people say, “I know this isn't right, but I'm really working on this right now.” It doesn't work. That's not mortification.

Study the Lusts that Are Attacking You

Next, study the lusts that are attacking you. Owen does a great job here on when a lust is particularly dangerous. And I can't go into the details but, basically, if it's survived lots of work on your part, lots of conviction, lots of occasion, times of weeping, people praying for you and all that and it's still around, be afraid. Be very afraid, it's a serious lust problem for you, whatever it may be. Serious habit. Take it seriously.

Study also what the sin does to defeat you. I think too often, we just quickly confess and - No, no, no, break it down. What happened? You had a conflict with your spouse. You said you didn't wanna do that anymore, but here you did it again. Now, what happened? You walked in, he said this, she said that, this happened. What happened? What were you feeling? What was your motive? Where did pride creep in? Look for pride 'cause it's there. And just try to find out how sin got you. Study it. Don't just go on too quickly.

Labor on Your Heart

Labor on your heart next. What do I mean by this? Work on yourself to feel what you ought to feel about sin. Seriously, I think we go on too quickly. You've heard of easy believism? I think there's easy confessionalism. “Oh Lord, I confess in Jesus' name, amen. Thank You, Lord. I'm forgiven.” Don't do that. You've gotta slow down. James says, “Grieve, mourn, and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.” That is not a heaven verse is it? 'Cause there will be no more mourning in Heaven. That's a here and now verse.

Why do you need to change your laughter to mourning? Because of sin. And so when you are convicted of sin take the time to mourn over it. Take the time to feel what the Holy Spirit felt when He was grieved over what you did. We go on too quickly.

Labor on your heart and get a constant yearning and breathing after righteousness. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” If you don't hunger for it enough, then stimulate your hunger. Say, “Oh God, I yearn to be free in this area. I want it, oh Lord. Please.” And just turn up the knobs on it. It's like, “Woah, we're getting serious.” It is serious. It is very serious. And you just get hungry and thirsty for righteousness and God will give it to you. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”

Crush Sin Early in the Battle

Labor on your heart and crush sin early in the battle. You talk about the camel getting its nose in the tent. Pretty soon you have the whole camel family with you inside the tent. How did that happen?  Well, you didn't get it early. You know, you talk about the root of bitterness that can defile a whole community, we didn't get it early, didn't nip it in the root before it had a chance to develop and now broken relationships. There's unforgiveness, there's all kinds of stuff going on. You've gotta get it early.

So it is also with lust. Get it early in the battle. I think often of that classic movie, The Longest Day, and it begins with a quote by the German commander of the beaches there in Normandy, General Field Marshal Rommel. And what Rommel said is, “The world will be won or lost on the beaches.” Once the allies get a beachhead established in Normandy, they would break out and sweep across France and the world would be lost. And he said this, “The first 24 hours will be critical for both the allies and us. It will be the longest day.”

Well, we've been in the longest day since we were justified. We're still fighting. And I think the principle is true, get it on the beaches before it has a chance to establish a beachhead. You know why? Beause sin doesn't establish boundaries. It doesn't stay put and once it comes into your life it just grows and grows and grows. It doubles and doubles again. It just keeps metastasizing. That's what it does.

Deal Thoroughly with Sin in Confession and Repentance

Deal thoroughly with sin and confession and repentance. Yes, 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and he will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” But don't go too quickly. Don't go too quickly. Confess your sin and deal thoroughly with it.

Be Filled with the Spirit and All of His Graces

And be filled with the Spirit and all of His graces. The best way to not eat illicit food is to be filled with legal and good food, alright? Fill yourselves with the Spirit. Fill yourselves with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. Fill yourself with Christ, and sin will lose its power over you. Be filled with the Spirit. Later in this same section we're gonna learn how to do that through the word of God. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, but just be filled with Christ.

Be Optimistic in Christ

And finally, be optimistic. Be optimistic. Romans 16, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” Isn't that sweet? There will come a day when all of your lusts and all of your angers and all of your malice and all the filthy language and the lying and all of the complaining and all of that sin will drop away from you forever. And therefore, any effort you make now will be effective through the Spirit. I love what John Owens says, “Christ's blood is the great sovereign remedy for sin-sick souls. Live in this and you will die a conqueror; yes, you will through the good providence of God live to see your lust dead at your feet.” 

A Call to Repentance

Now I have given you practical advice on how to kill sin. I'm going to end where I began. I'm gonna call on you to repent. Because I don't sense that I or anyone I know in this church is doing this kind of stuff like they should, taking it seriously, fighting sin at this level.

Now you might say, “Well, how would you know?” I don't know for sure, and I praise God for brothers and sisters that are, do it all the more. 'Cause those that are doing it, know they need to do it all the more anyway.

But for all of us, let's repent. Let's get serious. Let's look at that list: Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, lying. That's just suggestive. Find the other lists and say, “Lord, am I doing these things? And if so, I'm ashamed. These are the very things that put you, Lord Jesus, on the cross. I hate them and I want them to be dead in my life too.” Repent and you will know the forgiveness and the joy and the freedom that comes through Christ.

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