One of the houses I lived in as a child was infested with mice and rats. It was disgusting! We tried to get rid of them by setting up a bunch of traps. It took forever to get them out of the house. One time we caught three mice in one trap at the same time. Apparently they thought it was a buffet. My parents should have called the exterminator.
The problem with rats and mice is that they are full of disease and grossness. If you don’t get rid of them they can cause real damage and even death. They are kind of like the sin in our lives. If we don’t get rid of it can cause real damage and even death.
The Bible says in Colossians 3:5 “So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.” It also says that “If through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)
Everyone wants to live! But the problem is that we don’t like the things we live with… the rats the sin! We have to get rid of it!
The only way to get rid of it is to recognize the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. He died so that you and I would be set free from the sin that holds us captive. Once we recognize his amazing and selfless sacrifice it should draw us to repentance. This means that we are truly sorry for the sin that has ruled our lives and that we no longer want it to rule over us. Instead we want Christ to rule over us and so we ask for his forgiveness. This will produce a desire to do good works for God. Which is in direct contrast to how we used to live for ourselves.
The easiest way to know if you have permanently exterminated the sin that used to hold you captive is by the way you live now. Does your life demonstrate that Christ has set you free from sin or are you still riding the fence? Once Christ rules your heart the old life will never have the same appeal. You will want it out of your life completely. C.S Lewis said this “As long as he doesn’t convert it into action, it does not matter how much a man thinks about his repentance.”