Spiritual Autoimmune Disorder

Preached by

For far too long, Christians have been seen as angry, judgmental, and devoid of love. But God’s plan has always been for us to represent the fruit of His Spirit – kindness, patience, gentleness – in a way that draws people to Christ.

When we become new creations, filled with the life of Jesus, why do we so often fall short in living it out? The answer lies in aligning our inner selves with our new identity in Christ. When our actions spring from love instead of duty, from gratitude instead of anxiety, we become the transforming presence God longs for us to be.

  1. We need to kill the parts of ourselves that don’t align with our identity in Christ. Paul describes three areas for us to “put to death”: sexual immorality, anger, and tribal identity.
  2. We need to “put on” or embrace the parts of our identity in Christ. Paul describes three things for us to develop: kindness, love, and gratitude. Love binds everything together.
  3. We should do all these things in the name of Jesus, not to earn God’s favor but because of who we already are in Christ. Our actions should come from dependence on God, not trying harder on our own.
  4. Developing these Christlike qualities and killing sin requires work and grace. It’s a process of spiritual formation. Community, teaching, songs, and admonition all help in this process.
  5. The ultimate motivation for changing ourselves is not just self-improvement, but loving and reaching others. By representing Christ well, we become a transforming presence for our friends and neighbors.

Brothers and sisters, God has given us everything we need to kill sin and pursue Christlikeness. Will we accept the grace and discipline offered to us, dying to the old self and allowing the new life of Jesus to fully emerge? When we do, we can become the recipe of kindness, love and gratitude that the world so desperately needs. Our friends and neighbors longing for joy and peace will finally find it in us – an undeniable demonstration of the resurrected life of Christ living through dust-and-ashes people like you and me. This world is waiting; will we rise to the task?

Let the love of Christ compel us forward, freeing us from the sins that would hold us back, and empowering us to reach the world with the good news of the gospel in words, deeds, and very lives.


Colossians 2:6-23

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