5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
I’ve found that putting on new clothes generally works best if I take the old ones off first.
Putting to death these nasty sinful things lurking within me is an essential part of stepping into the wonderful, eternal life God gives me. Stripping off the old nature is a necessary part of putting on the new one.
I think it’s significant that these things describe my heart more than my actions. Of course the harmful, hurtful actions inevitably come from these things in my heart. But it’s a lot easier to change my actions than my heart. My heart can be very stubborn.
So how do I change the very nature of my heart? As always, God achieves what I can’t. I’m becoming a new creation. My old nature died when Jesus died, and when I received him I received my liberation too. But God doesn’t do this against my will. I must willingly and consciously put it to death too. We do it together.
And the best way to avoid the old nature coming back is to put on the new nature. The best way to avoid those sinful earthly things worming their way back into my heart is to fill it with the Holy Spirit, to fill it with the good things he describes in the following verses. Fighting sin in my heart is hard. Filling my life with Him makes it much easier.
Father, I want that new nature to be my nature. Every day I want to take off that old one and put on the new. Renew me. Fill my heart. I want no room in my heart for that harmful, hurtful sin.
Written by David Cornell