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A Quaker who was a very spiritual and kind man heard
a burglar in his house and went downstairs with a loaded
shotgun and caught the man red-handed with some of his
goods. He said, "Friend, I would do thee no harm for the world,
and all that is in it, but thou standeth where I am about to
The apostle has been saying some very general things about
living the Christian life, but now he is about to aim the
rifle and shoot.
In Colossians 3, verse 5 we read: "Put to death, therefore,
whatever belongs to the earthly nature, sexual immorality,
impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Because of these, the wrath of God is coming." He says we are
to put to death this earthly nature. Maybe it has bothered you
as it has many of us who have looked at the Bible, that on one
hand it seems God's Word is telling us to love ourselves.
Jesus said, "You are to love the Lord your God with all your
heart and soul and mind and strength and love your neighbor as
yourself," or as you love yourself. He made humanity and said,
"That's good!" He tells us that we are to have a great deal
of respect and appreciation for the fact that we are made in
God's image. That what He made is good. We are to love
ourselves. On the other hand, we are told to constantly deny
self and take up our cross. We are told here to put to
death in us these earthly natures, which are also a part of
I think we need to understand that there are two kinds
of self. There is the undisciplined, lower-natured kind of
self, that would destroy us if we let it. J. Wallace Hamilton,
the great Methodist preacher said, "There are instincts and
drives and desires like wild horses within all of us." That
these are the drives and instincts that God gave us. We are
made like God made us, but sin comes and twists the things that
God made and perverts them, and we have within us these "wild
horses". We ...
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