What the Lord Wants Us to Give Up

Text: Colossians 2:20-23

Lent is the 40-day period beginning with Ash Wednesday leading up to Easter. Those who practice it, give up something for forty days. No matter how well-intentioned, these man-made practices do not help. Instead of thinking we have some spiritual obligation to give up some insignificant luxury for forty days, let’s look at the things that God really expects us to give up.

Sin

  • We are to put away sin from us (Hebrews 12:1; Romans 6:1-2, 11-12)
  • Sin is not to be tolerated or ignored – it brings about the “wrath of God” (Colossians 3:6)
  • Jesus is our example (1 Peter 2:21-22) – He was sinless

Evil Associations

  • We must not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)
  • Avoid those who would lead us to practice sin (1 Peter 4:3-4) or believe error (1 Corinthians 15:33)
  • Obviously we cannot avoid all contact with non-Christians (1 Corinthians 5:9-10) – point is not about contact, but influence; do not allow yourself to be influenced by others to evil

Human Religions

  • Paul condemned “self-made religion” (Colossians 2:23)
  • There is only one way – through Christ (John 14:6)
  • There is only one church – the one which He built (Matthew 16:18), purchased (Acts 20:28), and saves (Ephesians 5:23)
  • Every other tree will be uprooted (Matthew 15:13)

Human Creeds

  • Man-made creeds/standards are condemned (Matthew 15:7-9)
  • We cannot change the message (Galatians 1:6-9) – must follow the pattern (2 Timothy 1:13)
  • We must do all things in His name (Colossians 3:17) – this means by His authority (Matthew 7:21-23)

Self

  • Jesus said we must deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23)
  • We must be able to say we have been crucified with Christ and that He now lives in us (Galatians 2:20)
  • In everything we do, we must first seek to do His will, not our own

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