Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)
Let’s see whether this insight from the Apostle Paul can relieve frustration building up in Ohio District congregations.
The frustration is with society relentlessly promoting the very sins listed in Colossians 3:5: sexual immorality and impurity, evil desire and covetousness. How did America become so unmoored from moral foundations?
The frustration isn’t limited to society celebrating sin. It is with the pressure we feel as Christians to embrace these same sins. It is with Christian denominations compromising the faith by integrating such immorality into the denominational teaching.
The Apostle Paul sounds much like a medical doctor when considering this litany of sins. When we become ill, experiencing fever or pain, doctors seek the root cause of the symptoms. Often just knowing the root cause is a relief, since there could be a cure for the symptoms. In this passage, Paul identifies a root cause of these sins: idolatry.
It can be overwhelming to envision addressing all the different forms of sexual immorality or covetousness in society. It is not nearly as intimidating to consider addressing the root cause: idolatry. Addressing the one singular issue of idolatry is more manageable the myriad of sins. As we bring Gods’ Word to bear on idolatry, our Lord may ultimately address the many and varied symptomatic sins.
(A Second Look devotions are written for the congregations of the Ohio District LCMS.)