Death to… Part 2
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5Greetings everyone,
So now we continue with the rest of the verse. We’ve already defined and provided examples of the words fornication and uncleanness. If you’d like to check these out go to Death to… part 1.
Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve read so far in Colossians 3:1-4: The apostle Paul is reminding us that since we are now of Jesus, we are supposed to be setting our hearts and minds on all things good or as Paul said “the things above” where Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father. With this is in mind, let’s continue.
So the rest of the things God calls us to get away/stay away from are:
Passion and evil desire
These are described by John MacArthur as “Similar terms that refer to sexual lust. “Passion” is the physical side of that vice, and “evil desire” is the mental side”.
Passion in Greek could either be good or bad according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary. So in this sense, we know it’s not good passion as Paul is telling us to put passion to death. Evil desire is the strong feeling of wanting something that is bad or not good but evil.
What is an example of this? Right off the top of my head, I’d say pornography. Why pornography? Because it has to do with sexual lust. Stay away from it. Believe me, you do not want to even view one image. All it takes is one image to get you hooked, and it may become the thorn in your side that will never go away.
Remember Paul wrote about the thorn he had in his flesh? He kept asking the Lord to remove it? It may have been a physical thorn or it may have been a thorn or bad habit he kept succumbing to. The Lord told Him, though, that His grace was sufficient enough for Him. So it seems that Paul had to live with this thorn for the rest of his life.
It’s tough when you keep succumbing to the same bad habit or sin over and over. Many men suffer from this because of the issue of pornography. Even men who are married. So I’ll mention it again, stay away from it. You won’t regret it.
Ok, with all that said, I’d better mention that God’s grace befell on you when you accepted Him as Lord and Saviour. Because of that, if you do mess up, call on Him and ask for forgiveness. If you fall again, keep calling on Him. If again, call again. It’s when you don’t call on Him and repent, then things begin to get crazy. You begin to lose connection with the Lord. Something to remember, because you are a Christian doesn’t mean you are going to be sinless, but instead, you will begin to sin less and less as you get stronger in Christ.
So moving on to the final two not good things to do:
and covetousness, which is idolatry
So what is covetousness which is also idolatry? John MacArthur states that the word covetousness is “Also rendered “greed,” lit. it means “to have more.” It is the insatiable desire to gain more, especially of things that are forbidden”.
Pretty radical and pretty basic, but one might ask why can’t I have more, more, more? It’s because greed is not a good thing. Greed is self centeredness. This is the total opposite of what the Bible teaches we are to be. We are to be others centered not me centered. Jesus was others centered, and we are to mimic Him.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia says “Covetousness is a very grave sin; indeed, so heinous is it that the Scriptures class it among the very gravest and grossest crimes”. Then they reference Ephesians 5:3 which says “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints”. Pretty serious business here.
So can we ever desire to have something? Of course. But when that desire overtakes us and we become greedy, then it is wrong. Or, when that desire is in regards to something that is forbidden, then it is wrong.
Idolatry as described by the Easton’s Bible dictionary is “image-worship or divine honour paid to any created object.” It can also mean worship or divine honour paid to anything that takes away from you getting close to and establishing a good relationship with the Lord.
So let’s say, for example, I spend twenty hours on the computer and two minutes reading my Bible and another two minutes praying. I would say I idolize my computer. Of course it’s not only computers that are idolized. It could be a hobby, a sport, even your job. Anything that keeps you away from Jesus and detracts you from doing the things which are aligned with Him, is an idol.
Since idolatry is used side by side with covetousness here, then we can say that this type of idolatry is the worship of oneself. Yes, you yourself become the focal point, to you. Remember, greed is self centeredness. The opposite of this is Christ centeredness.
Quick summary and some exhortation.
Fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry are things of this earth that we should stay away from. And, who we should be focused on is Jesus who is seated at the right hand of God.
Easy to say, hard to do. If it is hard for you, then call on the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His power and guidance and that His living water would cleanse you, but don’t do this once a year. Do it every day, every minute if you have to. In time, it will become easier to submit and serve the Lord. You’ll be amazed.
God bless y’all. I hope and pray that you are encouraged.