Four Steps to Killing Sin

10 Aug

Desiring God has posted this very helpful article by Sinclair Ferguson on how to mortify (i.e. kill) sin in our lives.

This is especially helpful and necessary considering the fact that we live in an “alien world,” as Francis Schaeffer puts it in True Spirituality – a world which is desperate to put itself at the center of the universe, both philosophically and practically.

And if we’re to be honest, there remains even in justified Christians – because of the reality of indwelling sin – “a smoldering cinder of evil, from which desires continually leap forth to allure and spur him to commit sin” (Calvin).

In other words, there remains a desire to continue to be a citizen of this “alien world” and live lives centered around our desires rather than that of God’s or neighbor’s. Again, according to Shaeffer, this is evidenced most clearly by the fact that: (1) we grumble at God, not giving thanks for “all things” (the good and the bad) and (2) we covet our neighbors.

In light of this, Sinclair Ferguson’s article is very helpful, indeed. Here’s a summary that DG put up:

1. Learn to admit sin for what it really is.

Call a spade a spade — call it ‘sexual immorality,’ not ‘I’m being tempted a little’; call it ‘impurity,’ not ‘I’m struggling with my thought life’; call it ‘evil desire, which is idolatry,’ not ‘I think I need to order my priorities a bit better.’

2. See sin for what your sin really is in God’s presence.

‘On account of these the wrath of God is coming’ (Col. 3:6). The masters of the spiritual life spoke of dragging our lusts (kicking and screaming, though they be) to the cross, to a wrath-bearing Christ.

3. Recognize the inconsistency of your sin.

You put off the ‘old man,’ and have put on the ‘new man’ (Col. 3:9–10). You are no longer the ‘old man.’ The identity you had ‘in Adam’ is gone.

4. Put sin to death (Col. 3:5).

It is as ‘simple’ as that. Refuse it, starve it, and reject it. You cannot ‘mortify’ sin without the pain of the kill. There is no other way!

Again, click here to read Ferguson’s entire article.

[HT: DG]

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