Text:- Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence and covetousness which are idolatry, for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience (Colossians 3:5-6)
The Epistle appointed for this service dwells on the need to mortify one’s earthly nature. To mortify the deeds of the body simply means to make the body unresponsive to sinful pleasures (Romans 6:11; Galatians 5:24). Mortification of the body becomes necessary in view of these reasons:
- Man’s carnal nature is opposed to his spiritual nature. The carnal man lives to please his carnality, while the spiritual man seeks to please God (Roman 8:6-9)
- The end of living in carnality is eternal death that is eternal separation from God, while that of the spiritual man is eternal life.
- Mortification frees us from worldliness.
The way mortification can be achieved is to be unresponsive to the evil desires of the flesh in any form. It requires total commitment to Christ and his teachings. The Bible offers us strategies to help us live for God on daily basis. These include
(1) Imitation of Christ’s merciful, forgiving attitude (Colossian 3:12-13) always remembering how one has himself been forgiven
(2) Letting charity to dominate one’s life in view of the immense love shown to us by Christ (Colossian 3:14)
(3) Allowing the peace of God to rule one’s life by living in people with all people (Colossian 3:15)
(4) Always be thankful to God. It is by so doing that one can worship God whole heartedly (Colossian 3:15)
(5) Have God’s word richly dwell in you as his word is the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit (Colossian 3:16; Ephesians 6:17).
(6) Live as ambassadors of Christ, for unto this God called us (Colossian 3:17)
(7) Be prayerful at all times, for the grace to hold fast which endures forever (Luke 18:1; Thessalonians 5:17)
(8) Be watchful against the viles of Satan (1Peter 5:8-9)
More holiness gives me, more striving within patience in suffering, more sorrow for sin more faith in my Saviour, more sense for his care more joy in His service, more purpose in prayer.
We have heard the joyful sound, Jesus saves!, Jesus saves!,
Spread the gladness all around, Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to every land, Climb the steeps, across the way,
Onward’ tis our Lord’s command, Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
The Church of Nigeria Hymnal 461 verse 1
The Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi Ph.D