North Side Daily Devotional

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Defined By Christ

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.  But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices…  Colossians 3:5-9

 Defined By Christ

When we become Christians, we start down a new path in life. Most of the time when we start something new, we have to get rid of at least some of the old stuff. Starting a new life in Christ will change your life ethically. There will be things that you used to partake in, that now cannot be a part of your life if you want to start a new life and grow in Christ. Anything you used to do that is against God’s word and desire for our lives should automatically be out.

Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, 
impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry…

We are to consider ourselves dead to immorality such as impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed – which is all idolatry. The core of all sin is idolatry because we are putting these before God and anything that we replace God with is an idol. God deserves first place in our lives, and He cannot share the throne of our lives with anything or anyone if we are to have a right relationship with Him.

But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices…

The list above was primarily sins that we commit outside our body – or physically. This list is more about our heart: anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech, and lying. All prejudice, racism, and slander are gone when a new heart is in control. When we give our heart to Jesus and the Holy Spirit takes us residence in our hearts, He controls our heart, our motives, our speech, etc. as long as we let Him. It is when the “old man” comes, and we give him control that we have problems. 

One other thing that we must let go of so we can thrive in our new life in Christ is shame over where we have been. If we cannot let that go, it will hinder us from growing or moving forward in our new life. Shame is powerful. It is hard for us to think that God loves us despite what we have done. In fact, He loved us when we were doing it and He knew we would do it before we even did it. He forgives us but we have a harder time forgetting and forgiving ourselves and accepting His grace. 

We must shift our thinking from finding our identity in who we were to finding our identity in who we are in Christ. If we carry shame with us, we find our identity in our shame. A shame-based identity is Satan whispering in our ear constantly while we try to pretend he is not. It is the underlying thought that we are not worthy because of what we have done. We can’t stop shaming ourselves because of bad decisions and wrong choices we have made in the past. We may not even realize that it is shame, because to us, it is truth. But the real truth is that in Christ we are new creatures, with new identities. In this new identity we are ready to grow in Him and to be used by Him. 

Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.  Colossians 3:10-11 MSG

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