“I am Adonai, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. Therefore you are to be holy, because I am holy.” ~ Leviticus 11:45
“Following the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in your entire way of life; since the Tanakh says, ‘You are to be holy because I am holy.’” ~ 1 Kefa 1:15-16
In this post, we will begin to look at putting sin to death.
Putting Sin to Death ~ Part A
“Therefore, put to death the earthly parts of your nature – sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (which is a form of idolatry).” ~ Colossians 3:5
As we previously learned the Bible leaves no doubt that holiness is our responsibility. If we are to pursue holiness, we must take some decisive action. The action we are to take is to put to death the practices or misdeeds of the body (Romans 8:13). Sha’ul uses the similar expression in Colossians: “put to death the earthly parts of your nature.” (see above quote) What does the expression put to death mean? The King James Version uses the term mortify. According to the dictionary, mortify means “to destroy the strength, vitality, or functioning of; to subdue or deaden.” To put to death the earthly parts of our nature, then, is to destroy the strength and vitality of sin as it tries to reign in our bodies.
It must be clear to us that mortification, though it is something we do, cannot be carried out in our own strength. Mortification must be done by the strength and under the direction of the Ruach; it is nevertheless a work which we must do. Without the Ruach’s strength there will be no mortification, but without our working in His strength there will also be no mortification.
The crucial question then is, “How do we destroy the strength and vitality of sin?” If we are to work at this difficult task, we must first have conviction. We must be persuaded that a holy life is God’s will for every Believer. We must believe that the pursuit of holiness is worth the effort and the pain required to mortify the misdeeds of the body. We must be convinced that we are to “Keep pursuing shalom with everyone and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)