“Many who became believers confessed their sinful practices. A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars.” (Acts 19:18-19, NLT)
I remember reading this section of Scripture a view years ago and noted it in my Bible, saying “Burn your sinful habits!” in the margin. Now a few years later I once again came back to this same section, and I feel that principle still stands. We must burn our sinful habits! Maybe not literally burn it, but figuratively so to speak.
These people here in Ephesus who came to Christ were getting rid of their sin at all costs; literally, these books were expensive! They realized that they could keep nothing from their old life. They now had a new life in Christ and things were going to be different. They knew that they could not continue to possess these books and expect to live a life for Christ. They then not only burned them privately, but publically. Letting everyone know what they were leaving behind.
Now you probably do not practice sorcery and own a bunch of really expensive sorcery books. But maybe you have some other sin in your life that needs to be “burned”. You must not only “confess” your sin, but take the next step and “burn” everything that leads up to it.
I know first-hand, if I don’t get rid of all of the temptations leading up to whatever sin it may be, you can almost guarantee I will fall down. I must destroy every temptation to follow through with whatever the sin may be. It may be expensive in actual money, it may be expensive in ego, it may be expensive in pleasure, it may be expensive in something else. But it must be burned. There are no excuses.
Do not allow the sins of the past to stick around. Starve it. Destroy it. Deprive that crap of oxygen and leave it for dead. Do not think that a quick grill session will oust the sin. Get rid of it completely! The sin in your life must be hated if you desire to truly conquer it.
It is impossible to continually live for Christ when we let the sin in our life linger around us. We must kill it.
“Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.” – John Owen
What sinful habit or sinful stumbling block in your life do you need to burn?