Kill Whatever Kills Your Love for God

Sin will accept no peace treaty.

Though we have been freed from sin’s slavery, our sinful flesh still seeks opportunities to indulge in evil. Slaying sin is the only safe way to deal with our abiding sin. God commands us, “Put to death what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). Sin refuses to be caged or coddled; it must be killed.

 

A tragic headline surfaces in the news every so often. It reads something like “Unsuspecting Owner Killed by Pet Anaconda.” The story goes on to describe how a naive owner purchased a pet snake. Everything is fine until the snake escapes, slithers into the owner’s or his children’s room, and consumes a sleeping victim.

Some of us treat sin the same way. We know it can be dangerous, but assume we can domesticate and control it. Maybe our sin plays along for a little while, appearing subdued, but it will always seek an opportunity to strike.

Though we have been freed from sin’s slavery, our sinful flesh still seeks opportunities to indulge in evil. Slaying sin is the only safe way to deal with our abiding sin. God commands us, “Put to death what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). Sin refuses to be caged or coddled; it must be killed. It will accept no peace treaty. This is why John Owen rightly warned, “Be killing sin, or it will be killing you.”

The steps we take in the battle with sin are a matter of life and death — “if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13). The stakes are high. Sin has no desire to cohabitate. It intends to dominate.

The apostle Peter pleads with us to “abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11). As long as we are in this world, sin will seek to sap our love for God and stoke our love for every other god. We must do whatever it takes to put it to death. Love for God and sin cannot coexist. Kill your love for sin, or sin will kill your love for God.

Why We Don’t Kill Our Sin

But some of us are hesitant to kill our sin. We do not slay the predator who prowls with sinister intent (1 Peter 5:8). We ignore the sin that crouches with desire for us (Genesis 4:7). We don’t install the accountability software or get rid of our smartphone that leads to repeated sinning. We don’t delete the contact of that former lover. We keep that secret bank account out of sight. We confess some of our sin, but leave the darkest parts hidden.

What keeps you from slaying your sin? Why are you hesitant to kill the prowling predator who seeks to destroy you? While each of our hearts are deceitful in their own way, I’m going to suggest that we don’t kill our sin for a combination of the following reasons.

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