I was asked after the sermon a few weeks ago from Colossians 3:5-10, “How Do I Kill My Sin?” The inquirer said, “You gave me the ‘what’ and the ‘why,’ but how pastor, do I begin to put it to death, rather than simply manage it?”
To answer this question, I’ll start with why I didn’t give a “how.” The danger in telling people what to do after they are confronted with the gospel and all of its implications on their lives is that we—all of us—have a tendency to take those things and make them into law. Then they turn into a means to modify our behavior, but never really deal with what is at the heart of why we are sinning. The reason we sin is because some part of us has ceased to trust Jesus, not only as Savior, but also as Lord. But, if I say at the end of a message, “Now here is how you kill sin,” it doesn’t build our trust in Him, it just gives us a way to not do something that displeases Him.