“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” -Colossians 3:5 (NIV)
All sin is idolatry. When we indulge ourselves in wickedness, we are essentially bowing down before our sinful nature. In an effort to satisfy our inner corruption, we worship it through committing sinful acts that run contrary to the perfect righteousness of Christ as revealed through His Word. If we have failed to make Christ the center of our lives, by default we have given that position to our own innate wickedness. The problem with this is that our sinful nature is a brutal taskmaster and once we have allowed it to occupy the throne of our lives, our freedom is sacrificed. It will constantly demand that we bring before it sacrifices of vice and sin; sacrifices that will only continue to push the boundaries of our own integrity and dignity. In this way we are enslaved to sin; a slavery that will eventually result in our own destruction as we sacrifice our very lives to its needs.
In Christ there is freedom, and only Christ can free us from this slavery. When we personally accept His redemptive sacrifice for us on the cross and allow Him to reside in our hearts, He will break the chains which bind us to our sinful nature. Before we knew Christ, we knew only sin’s iron hand. But once we have Christ, He begins His restorative work of perfecting His righteousness in and through us. The only thing that will hinder His work is our own stubbornness and our willful desire to disobey Christ and voluntarily submit ourselves to sin’s yoke. Christ, because He has given us free will, allows us to exercise that free will in our choices. The question is whether we will make the right choice. If we choose to place our sinful nature at the forefront of our lives, we will suffer under the consequences of pandering to our sinful nature’s every whim. But when we choose to place Christ on the throne of our hearts, He will deliver us from our wickedness and give us freedom from it by molding and refining us in His righteousness. We cannot save ourselves. How can one steeped in sin save himself from something embedded in his nature? Only through Christ is our old nature broken, and through His enabling and power will we be able to put to death all those wicked practices that ensnare us, thereby living up to the new nature of righteousness which He has given us.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.