When I plant seeds in my garden, there’s still much old life in the soil. Weed seeds abound. Quickly, the old life manifests itself and competes with the new.
Sin overcomes us so regularly because we haven’t removed the welcome mat to the old life. We treat it like a pet golden retriever. It’s a cobra. Like weeding a garden, pulling the weeds of the old nature is a continuing task.
Almost all the sins verse 5 lists deal with sexual vice. Sexual immorality is sexual intercourse outside God’s established boundaries. Impurity suggests sexual perversion. Lust is uncontrolled desire which leads to sexual excesses or perversion. Evil desires are strong desires for the wrong things. Pornographic materials introduce perverted images. They pollute the thought life and motivate deviant behavior. They’re to your mind what pancreatic cancer is to your body.
Greed is disregard for others’ rights. It’s linked with idolatry. Lust for wealth and forbidden sex put things in God’s place. Material things and sex are the gods of this age.
Why must we persistently pull the weeds of the old nature? Because of these very things described in verse 5, the wrath of God comes on unbelievers. Jesus died to deliver you from that wrath. He gave His life to lift you out of the reeking cesspool of sin. It’s totally unfitting to return to and wallow in that cesspool.
Put away all destructive speech. When I worked one summer at an orchard as a teenager, I occasionally harvested potatoes. I finished the day covered with dirt. I wasn’t appropriately dressed to visit someone in the hospital. The holy Lord of the universe lives inside you. The filthy garments of evil speech are totally inappropriate for His company.
“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” (Colossians 3:8, NIV). Anger is a settled feeling of hostility. Rage is the sudden and passionate outburst of that feeling. Malice, which includes gossip, motivates injuring others. Slander is defaming someone’s character by insulting talk. Filthy language covers obscenity, innuendos, and suggestive expressions which reveal underlying impurity. Let it all be put out with the trash of the old way of life.
Put all lying behind you. Deliberate untruths, half-truths (which convey a wrong impression), and exaggeration that distorts the facts all spring from the old nature. They breed suspicion and distrust.
Take off the old self. Put on the new self. Put on Jesus Christ. Seek to know Him better. Trust Him more. Recognize His will more readily. Obey Him more consistently.
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