17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4: 17-24
“Now: (can be translated as “Therefore”) connects the glorious salvation and spiritual blessings laid out in chapters 1 through 3 with the appropriate living of the Christians in chapters 4 through 7.
Putting off the old man, putting on the new man.
What was your “old man” like? Do you still remember how you lived before knowing Christ? Some of the changes happened instantly and automatically after we became Christian. I have heard a lifelong smoker just stopped smoking the next day. Some of us tell lies like it’s normal and would feel absolutely guilty for doing it again as Christians. This is the power and the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts! Yet, some old habits require us to “PUT them OFF” like putting off our clothes. These are deliberate actions that we take in choosing the new way by PUTTING ON the “new man”. These actions are often motivated by the Holy Spirit and our of love of God. Some take time. Some take quite a bit of effort. Some need to be learned. Some require a lot of practice.
The new person is not perfect. Yet is created in the likeness of God. That’s what it means to be restored or regenerated. We once again have the image of God in us and reflect His glory in our lives.
A thought for you to ponder: If you truly know who you are, you would not be doing some of the things that you are doing and should be doing some of the things (ch 4-6) that you haven’t been doing.
Do you know who you are?
What should you put off?
What should you put on?
Dear Lord, thank you for calling us into a new living. Please help us to “put off” and “put on”. help us take Christ-like actions daily. Amen