Moving is a process. Since deciding to move to Charleston, the first thing I’ve been doing is purging, because how ridiculous would it be for me to pack up a bunch of old, useless things? I’m not wasting time, boxes, or space on old, dirty stuff that has no business in our new house! I mean, you’d think I was ridiculous if I packed up trash to take with me, wouldn’t you? So my question is, why don’t we apply this same thought to our spiritual lives?
After we’re baptized – once we’ve put off the old man (Col. 3:9, Eph. 4:22) – why do we take the trash of our former selves with us into our new man – our Christian man? Instead of truly killing off the old man and his ungodly deeds, we pack him up and take him with us! It’s crazy!
In the context of Colossians, Paul is writing specifically about sensual sins (3:5-7) and sins of speech (3:8-10). These are things clearly spelled out in the New Testament that we must not take with us on our Christian journey: things like lying, anger, malice, fornication, filthy language, covetousness. How often, though, do we pack these items up and haul them along with us?
James said that it was be difficult for us not to sin with our tongues, because the tongue is unruly and filled with iniquity (James 3:6-8). That means that it is going to take a level of sobriety in our thinking before we speak, and a higher fortress of defense around our tongues because we know Satan is working his way at us through that very small member.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul writes about a host of wickedness, but in verse 11 admonishes the Corinthians by saying that they were that way – past tense! When we come into contact with the blood of Jesus, those sins are washed downstream if you will. Far away from the new man who is supposed to be rising out of that water. Don’t hold on to them. Let it be said that you once were a gossip, backbiter, hateful individual. Let it be said that you once were immoral, a fornicator or a homosexual. But let it never be said that we are presently those things. Instead, we are to be Christ’s: holy, godly, pure. Cleansed from the filth of sin and freed from its chains. We’ve moved on from that lifestyle (or death style as James Watkins always says), and we’re moving on to greater things!
Don’t take the filth with you. Instead, throw it out once and for all. After all, out with the old and in with the new is a pretty Biblical concept =)