that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22–24)
Today’s big question: what does Jesus teach about practicing morality?
I have heard it called spiritual amputation.
Judgment is a reality, and for those under judgment, hell is an eternal reality. Every unrepentant sinner is under judgment and the Bible clearly states that every human being is a sinner (Romans 3:23). We are in a mess—a big horrifying mess.
When we stand in the light of Jesus as our standard of morality, it’s easy to see where we fall short. Jesus was able to sit with sinners and not sin. He reached out to tax collectors, prostitutes, thieves, and murderers with great compassion and without compromise. And yet, prominent Christian leaders often fall in sin without even being in the company of those we consider disreputable in our society.
Today’s verse is a solemn reminder from Paul of where ungodly pursuits lead. Jesus also taught that whatever could possibly lead us toward sin is dangerous. If we let our sinful human nature reign and reject Christ, we remain under God’s judgment. Through true repentance and faith we can receive salvation. If we want to honor Christ by living according to His standard of morality, we need spiritual amputation:
If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:29)
We need to be seriously concerned regarding the sin in our lives. Considering all Christ has done in fulfilling the Law, our response should be to flee from all immoral behavior, which keeps us from Him.
Furthermore, Jesus told us that we should rid our lives of anything that causes us to sin. If this is our computer, we should get rid of it. If it is our friendships, we should remove ourselves from those relationships. If it is the places we are going, we should amputate them as well.
Fleeing from sin and running to Christ requires action. It is not good enough to pray and then say, “God will stop me from sinning.” God expects us to obey and act in His strength. Prayer is vital but true prayer requires a true heart, which results in real action.
Jesus gives us everything we need to know about putting morality into practice in this sinful world. He has promised that we will not be tempted beyond what we can handle in His strength (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Today’s big idea: practicing true morality requires amputating whatever leads to immorality.
What to pray: ask the Lord to reveal anything that leads you away from Him.