Thoughts on the mortification of sin…

I was thinking on a quote by Augustine:

We are free to do what we like, but we are not free to like what we ought to

There is a constant battle against the flesh for the life of the Christian. The words of Augustine are an echo of what Paul says in Romans 7.

“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”-Romans 7:21-25

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment , are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealous.But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.“-Romans 13:8-14

No Provision. No means of gratification. Put on Christ.

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.“-Colossians 2:20-23

Nothing of ourselves can bring the mortification of the sin in our mortal flesh. The only victory we shall find in this war is in the one who has removed the sting of sin and death. Victory is in the one who has taken the old life of his saints and crucified it. Christ Jesus.

Paul continues this though in chapter three of Colossians:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is 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 what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.- verses 1-10

There is a calling, a command from scripture that we live our lives as dead to what we once were: to live the baptism in which we have been baptized, to live believing that we were buried with Christ in baptism. Christ’s death was one that removed believers from the enslavement of sin. No longer should we live in and of ourselves gratifying the flesh. We must live as the new creations that we are. Embrace the Resurrection of Christ. No longer should we constantly try to use some kind of Resurrection power that we think we have in ourselves to raise what once enslaved us!


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