All love is not created equal. Agape love (Greek), the love of God, is unconditional. It surpasses all others and is supremely self-sacrificing. It reflects the limitless compassion of Jesus Christ who sacrificed His life as an atonement for our sins. Phileo love (Greek), also known as “brotherly love,” is love in action. It indicates an unselfish desire to express affection towards another person. It is divine in nature but lived out in human interaction. Ahabah love (Hebrew) is the love shared between a man and his wife. It is intimate and sensual and is a love that is celebrated in the Song of Solomon. But there is another love. One forged in the darkness of depravity. A love of sex and of selfish pleasures. A love of the body (or parts thereof); a love of nudity and orgasms. A godless love that ultimately leaves a person feeling empty and unfulfilled. A perverted love.
“Therefore put to death the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.” Colossians 3:5-7 (NASB uses the word greed but I put in covetousness from the NKJV because I believe it is a better rendering of the original meaning).
· Immorality- a junk drawer term for all matters of illicit sexuality- is where we derive today’s term for pornography. It refers to all sexual activity outside the design God intended as a gift for husband and wife to share.
· Impurity refers to sexual immorality of the mind. It is entertaining illicit sexual fantasies or perverted thoughts.
· Passions and evil desires are the insatiable longings to indulge immoral thoughts and lusts. The desire to put your thoughts in action.
· Covetousness is an intense desire to have more and more. Never being satisfied with what you have.
These all encompass perverted love. But Paul says in Colossians 3:3, “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (NKJV, emphasis added). We have died-- the flesh, the part of us that kept us in bondage-- and find life in Christ. Because of this, we must slay these perverted loves. But how? “…put off the old man with his deeds… put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:9-10, NKJV). We are to put off the old man and put on the new. This is the process of sanctification. We literally have to slay, or kill, the immoral “old man” (our sinful nature) and put on the “new man” by continually renewing our minds as Christ brings us closer to the original image of God.
I struggled to find an analogy to describe this process. Some use the analogy of an old filthy shirt and a new clean shirt, but I just don’t think that gives a clear picture of what the Apostle Paul is describing. You can remove a dirty shirt but it’s still lying on the floor or in the hamper nearby. No, I think it’s more than that. My brilliant J husband has a great (and disturbing) illustration to describe this process and I finally convinced him to let me use it (I think he was saving it for a future sermon). To be fair, I should warn you that this analogy might be unsettling:
Picture your old, sinful nature as a dog. Are you picturing it? You love this dog. You tend to it, feed it, and nurture it. It’s a healthy dog, very well-kept. It’s a prize winning dog. Then you have the day of repentance. And your fondness of that dog changes. You begin to neglect the dog. He starts losing weight; his hair becomes matted and dirty. He barks and jumps at you, snarling and showing his teeth. You continue to ignore him but he acts out. Soon you have to put him on a chain and leave him locked outside. Eventually you don’t even recognize that former, well-kept dog. Now he’s hungry, ribs showing, constantly howling. He’s still alive, but just barely. In order to finally end it, you have to go out back and kill him. Whichever way you see necessary, I prefer a shovel. Some may prefer a swift gunshot to the head. Either way, as long as he’s dead.
We have to kill our old, sinful nature. Put it to death. Put to death immorality. Put to death impurity. Put to death passion and evil desires. Put to death covetousness. Because we have been made new and find life in Christ. Jesus has given us the ability to remove the old man and his sinful deeds. He has cleansed us from our sins through the power of His blood and has given us the ability, through His Holy Spirit, to walk as the new man. No longer in bondage to the perverted loves of the flesh.
I thanked my husband today for slaying the perverted loves in his life. For removing the old, sinful man and putting on the new. And yes, a new man he is. I know it hasn’t been easy. But Praise God, it’s been good.
Walking in Freedom,
Tags: immorality impurity passion ""evil desires"" covetousness ""colossians 3:3-10"" ""put off the old man""
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