Put to death, therefore… Colossians 3:5 (NIV)
When you see the word therefore in the Bible, always ask “What is it there for?” The therefore refers back to verses 1 to 4, and it tells us what to do in the light of those verses.
What we have in the first four verses is essential to what we are being called to in verse 5. Verses 1 to 4 tell us: (1) “You have been raised with Christ,” (2) “You died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God,” and (3) “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
A Christian is a person who has new life in Jesus Christ. Before, you were sin’s prisoner. Now you have been set free and you are in a position to fight. The reason you are able to engage in this fight is that you have new life in Christ. The Holy Spirit lives in you. Mortifying sin is possible only when you are in Christ. It is by the Spirit that you put to death the misdeeds of the body. This is only possible when Christ’s Spirit lives in you.
A person who is not in Christ can change his behavior, but only a Christian can mortify sin. What’s the difference? When you are in Christ, you confront sin out of love for the Father, joy in the Son, and obedience to the Spirit. Mortification leads to a growing faith, hope, and love. None of these things are the natural fruit of self-help. All of these things are the natural fruit of the mortification of sin by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Does the Holy Spirit live in you? Are you in a position to mortify your sins?