“Be killing sin or it will be killing you”. This phrase was made famous by puritan John Owen. The meaning of it is simple but profound. It hits to the heart of every mortal’s problem. Sin is something we all fight with or better yet struggle with. Only Jesus Christ in his sinless perfection is spared that struggle. We Christians, wanting to be like Christ, strive to put to death the sins that plague our fragile bodies. Paul puts it pretty simply here in the book of Romans.
Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
We humans alone are incapable of killing our sin. We have to rely on the finished work of Christ, the grace of God and the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives to strive to rid our flesh of sin and conform to Christ’s perfection. While perfection isn’t possible this side of heaven, the struggling with our sin is ongoing and a fight we are not alone in.
Sanctification is the ongoing lifelong process in which Christians are made more Christ-like. The Holy Spirit does this work.
1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Obedience to God is the ultimate goal. The Holy Spirit helps guide us through our struggles with sin. Everyone has a different sin they struggle with at different times. Our job as men is to try and recognize that in the people we Shepard. While it is, no doubt, a full time job killing our own sins, as leaders in our homes and possibly Churches we have an obligation to aid others in their fight.
Through the sanctification process the sins that we thought were trivial or pithy become ones that break us down. Things we did before that we were able to shrug off will now bring us to our knees in begging God for forgiveness. This is the process of making the believer more Christ-like.
O my brethren, what a great blessing it is to be made to know our own weakness. To empty the sinner of his folly, his vanity and conceit is no easy matter. Christ can easily fill him with wisdom and prudence, but to get him empty-this is the work; this is the difficulty. – Charles Spurgeon
Help others kill the sin in their lives. I was fortunate enough to have some Godly men and women who helped me through some hard times in my struggling with sin. Look for ways to help others in their struggles and pray for the wisdom to do so in a God honoring way.