Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day and Night: Colossians 3:1-10

Over my years of ministry across several denominations, states, and nations, I have encountered Christians with sound doctrine but not a sound Christian life. “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:16)
Some of these encounters have taken place after a tragedy has happened, in which case everyone know about the unsound, sinful life. In many cases, few other people know about the inconsistency between the person’s life and doctrine. The local church might not know. In every case the person with the sin does not get easily fixed. Some Christians seem to watch their doctrine more closely than they watch their lives. They have adjusted to their own lives.
Here is a little open-book quiz. It is self-graded, or better yet, God-graded. Use a 3 x 5 index card. Please copy the descriptive phrases or words from the following quotation on the card. There are nineteen of them.

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–– having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

These are people with the form of godliness. Please read through the list several times. Ask God if any of these words or phrases describe you. Put a check mark by each such phrase. Count the check marks and record the number on the card.

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in the knowledge in the image of its Creator." (Colossians 3:1-10)

These are the people who
1. have been raised with Christ
2. whose life is now hidden with Christ in God
3. who have taken off their old self with its practices

Write on the reverse of your index card those sins you have not put to death (verse 5) and the sins you have not put off (verse 8-10). Keep the index card in your Bible. Cross out the checked-off sins on the front and those written on the back as you get the victory over them. You may not say, “I am only human.” Remember that we are dead to sin and our life is hidden with Christ in God. If you want to get rid of these sins, the process will be short. Then you may throw the card away.
If you need more help, please contact your pastor or elders. If you would like to know more you can check out our website at www.ccmbooks.org.

In the Lord Jesus Christ,
Jim Wilson

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