Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Kill Your Treasured Sin!"

"Kill Your Treasured Sin!"
by Geoffrey R. Kirkland

A believer no longer lives under the dominating power of sin. The death of Christ has freed him from the condemnation of sin, the power of sin, and the penalty of sin. At the same time, every believer understands that the Christian life demands nothing less than an aggressive zealousness for pursuing sanctification until glorification dawns. So how do believers kill sin? How do Christians kill sin? The power resides within the believer — through the enabling power, grace & strength of God the Holy Spirit — to overcome sin and to kill sin. Not only is the power available to every believer to overcome sin but he must strive to be killing sin in his life. 

So the question remains, how does the man of God kill sin? If a cherished sin has a home in a corner of one’s life, how does he slaughter that treasured sin? A few helpful thoughts will provide help for how to kill sin.

1. Meditate on Death. 
One motivation for killing sin is the ever-present reality that death could invade at any moment. When the believer remembers that death could seize him at any time, it serves as an incentive for killing a treasured sin. No believer in the Lord Jesus Christ desires to meet Christ at the moment of death having just engaged in an activity of sin. Meditating on the imminency of death can lead a man of God to strive to kill his darling sin by the grace of God, with a perspective on Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2. Meditate on Judgment Day.
A day quickly is coming when every Christian will stand before God’s judgment seat to give an account of what he has done. It will not be a judgment to determine salvation or judgment. For the believer, Christ destroyed sin’s penalty by becoming sin in his place on the cross. Nevertheless, every person of God will appear before God’s judgment seat (the bema) (2 Cor 5; Rom 14). To bear in mind this day when the Christian will stand before His master and deliverer will be a helpful motivation to holiness. To meditate on the certain reality of standing before Jesus Christ and giving an account of his life will win the blood-bought sinner away from sin and toward holiness in Christ. Thus, he will kill his treasured sin the more that he meditates on judgment day. 

3. Meditate on the Joys of Heaven.
To think much on heaven necessitates thinking much about the glory of God, the purity of God, the beauty of God, the holiness of God, and the world of love. To meditate on the joys of heaven will catapult the believer to a heartfelt zeal to kill every treasured sin on earth because there will, of course, be no presence of sin in heaven. For the believer who knows heaven to be his destiny, Christ to be his inheritance, and God to be his joy is a triumphant motivation to kill every treasured sin. No lust can compare with the lasting satisfaction in Christ. No covetous thought can compare with the glory of heaven. So then, to meditate much on the joys of heaven will remind the believer that sin is worth killing with all vigilance and all iniquity is worth slaughtering mercilessly so as to best prepare for the next world of perfect glory. 

4. Meditate on the Torments of Hell.
Meditating on the torments of hell will compellingly remind the believer to kill every treasured sin. Every sin deserves hell. Every lawless deed, every evil thought, every careless word, every selfish motive, every hypocritical act deserves endless eternities of God-inflicted punishment in hell. Every Christian knows himself to be deserving of hell. Since being a follower of Christ, he fully affirms his worthiness of judgment, wrath, hell, and divine fury. No Christian enjoys sin without repentance. No Christian would desire to trample on the blood of Christ by living a life of willful sin. So then, the redeemed sinner who is owned by God and reconciled to God by the blood of Christ is one who earnestly wants to kill his cherished sin. He wants to allow no sin. He desires to permit no ongoing lust in his life. Meditating on the torments of hell serves as a powerful antidote to indulging in sin.

5. Meditate on the Death and Sufferings of Jesus Christ.
The greatest incentive for the believer to kill every treasured sin is the reality that Jesus’ death and sufferings paid for all of the sins of all of His elect. Therefore, every sin that every Christian commits is one that Jesus Christ died for and paid for in full. The believer, thus, does not want to bring shame upon the name of Christ. Nor does he want to shame the reputation of Christ’s gospel or give a faulty picture of holiness to a watching world. The Lord Jesus died on the cross and he suffered anguish because the Father forsook Him because the One who hung on the cross became ‘cursed of God.’ To think much on the perfect life, the substitutionary death, and the divinely-given sufferings of Christ leads the believer to desire to honor his Savior. It compels the believer to kill his treasured sin. It motivates the believer to maul his darling sins. O to look at the dying Savior, to behold His sufferings, to contemplate the eternally-mysterious reality that He drank the cup of divine wrath stored up for sinners! O to behold the beautiful salvation Christ won for His children. To see the death of Christ, the curse that He became, the hell that He bore, the wrath that He took, and the punishment that He received is to remind the believer of the salvation that Christ has won on his behalf. There is no more compelling reason to passionately pursue the mortification of sin than to see the love displayed at Calvary when the Lord Jesus became sin. Seeing the sufferings of the Savior will encourage the slaughtering of sins.

Thomas Brookes once compellingly put it: “the daily sight of a bleeding, groaning, dying Savior—is the only thing which will subdue and mortify darling sins!”


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