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Why We Have to Turn from Sin

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Colossians 3:5

Watch Week Three: Confess Sin

Eustace, a pigheaded character in C. S. Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, goes after a dragon’s treasure and finds himself transformed into a dragon.1 While he seemingly got what he wanted—namely, more gold than anyone could imagine—he was miserable, itchy, uncomfortable, and lonely. The golden band he shoved up his arm as a boy started to cut painfully into his thick dragon arm.

When we reach out for sin—the easy gratification of the witty but cruel comeback, the moment of giving way to our anger, the refusal to inconvenience ourselves to help another—we’re grabbing for the dragon’s treasure, and that comes with a price.

This week, we are talking about turning away from our sin. Sin is rebellion against God’s ways. It acts and thinks in ways contrary to who God made us to be. Every sinful behavior and attitude turn us away from our humanity and toward the dragon.

Over time, Eustace realized his foolhardiness, pride, and sinful desires. He wanted to be human again. This could only happen by allowing Aslan, a lion representing the character of God, to claw off the dragon’s skin and submit to a bath in the healing waters. So we too must submit to God’s work of sloughing off the sinful scales.

Killing the Dragon

Paul tells us to “put to death therefore what is earthly in you” (Colossians 3:5). By “earthly,” he doesn’t mean the ways of God’s beautiful creation, but the ways of the rebellious forces against God’s heavenly kingdom. You once belonged to that old, dying kingdom. You once wore the dragon’s skin. But now you belong to God’s kingdom, and you must turn away from the desires and selfish behaviors of the corrupted and decaying kingdom. This doesn’t happen overnight. Belonging to Jesus doesn’t transform all of our desires and behaviors in one fell swoop. We have to learn what it means to be human, like the beast in Beauty and the Beast, identifying and turning away from our sinful habits until our “automatic” responses look more like the responses of Jesus, the only true human.

Pray that God will convict you where you need conviction and encourage you where you need encouragement. Read through Colossians 3:5–9. While not an exhaustive list of sin, Paul gives a sampling of issues plaguing the Colossians. What sins does he list? Where do you see them in our world? In our churches? In your life? How do our cavalier attitudes toward sin keep us trapped in the dragon’s skin?

Pray that God will bring to mind one practice of the old self you still wear. Anxiety? A temper? Lying? We’ll talk about sin more throughout the week. Right now, just take the time to identify a behavior or thought pattern that looks more like a dragon than a human.

Now read verse 10. God doesn’t leave us naked. As he claws off the dragon skin, he transforms us. After Eustace’s harrowing escapade, he was transformed inside and out. He was more human not just in appearance but in action, and he enjoyed the community of his fellow sailors in a way he couldn’t before. He became an essential part of the Narnian voyage. This is where we are headed too.

 

1 C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (New York: Macmillan, 1952), 67–93.

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Daily Question

What behavior or thought pattern do you need to confess to God?

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Comments (14)

I speak before I think – especially with some work colleagues. I know I do it, and can’t seem to catch my response before it’s been said (or demonstrated). I need Holy Spirit’ help to control this.

I’m guilty of making fun of myself and others for a humor effect, and my son has started doing the same. It has the potential to cause great hurt and doesn’t demonstrate love to and for my friends and family.

I am so quick to point out where everyone is failing or to highlight their mistakes (mostly in my own home, but sometimes, even if not vocalized, with others as well). I NEED God’s help in capturing those thoughts before they become words out of my mouth. I am WAY too quick to speak and not slow to listen. Help me Lord. I see the damage I have done and am doing to my family with my words.

Anxiety over money. Has he not promised me that he would take care of all my needs? Told me to be happy, that my needs are met, my future secure? Could it be that this is his plan for me right now?

I am guilty of thinking that I am doing better Spiritualy than others! Only to be rebuked by the LORD and then I feel so bad because I am greatly humbled because I find out that I am usually in way worse condition Spiritualy than they are 🥺😔

I have a short fuse and can go from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds flat. On top of that, I tend to be so “in the moment” that when I feel a certain way about something, I tend to feel like it is always that way. For example, if my son is disrespectful, I overlook all the times he has been respectful and only see how disrespectful he has “always” been. Forgive me, Lord! Refine me and show me more ways and opportunities for patience, gentleness, & self-control.

I confess my words lack gentleness towards my husband and kids. I am selfish with my time and seek approval of others rather than focusing my thoughts and actions to be a way to glorify God.

I confess that sometimes I am angry that I am a single mother of four teenage boys. I feel lonely, frustrated, and exhausted all the time. I work full time and now I am trying to help my kids with remote learning with school and attend college for my self. I see others and see how well my friends are doing with there whole families and husbands. Then I struggle with life and me doing anything. I just need to let go of my anger and let GOD.

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