This past week as we studied Colossians 3:1-11 we learned that our union with Christ is the driving force behind our desire and resolve to fight our sin. Because Christ is our life, we now have a new identity and thus are dead to sin and alive in and through Jesus. The regeneration we’ve experienced creates in us new desires for holiness.
In my message, I quoted from A New Inner Relish by Dane Ortlund as he interacted with an essay by C.S. Lewis about our desire to obey God. In the essay, C.S. Lewis argues that instead of separating people into two classes, those who obey God and those who don’t, we should see that there are actually three options. Here is Lewis’ description.
There are three kinds of people in the world. The first class is of those who live simply for their own sake and pleasure, regarding Man and Nature as so much raw material to be cut up into whatever shape may serve them. In the second class are those who acknowledge some other claim upon them – the will of God, the categorical imperative, or the good of society – and honestly try to pursue their own interests no further than this claim will allow. They try to surrender to the higher claim as much as it demands, like men paying a tax, but hope, like other taxpayers, that what is left over will be enough for them to live on. Their life is divided, like a solder’s or a schoolboy’s life, into time ‘on parade’ and ‘off parade’, in ‘in school’ and ‘out of school’.
But the third class is of those who can say like St Paul that for them ‘to live is Christ’. These people have got rid of the tiresome business of adjusting the rival claims of Self and God by the simple expedient of rejecting the claims of Self all together. The old egoistic will has been turned round, reconditioned, and made into a new thing. The will of Christ no longer limits theirs; it is theirs. All their time, in belonging to Him, belongs also to them, for they are his.
Therefore, Ortlund concludes, “The fundamental distinction among people is not between those who obey God and those who don’t. The essential distinction is between those who want to obey and those who don’t.”
As those who have been given this new desire through our salvation, let us fight our sin this week as set our minds on things that are above!
This Sunday, we’ll study Colossians 3:12-17 and look at what we are called to put on as Christians. I encourage you to read these verses in the next few days and if you have any questions related to the text, please email me at email@example.com and I’ll try and answer them in my message.
See you on Sunday!
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