January 1, 2011
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
Everyone deserves a fresh start. As we start the New Year with resolutions and lofty ideals, it is good to remember that we can all renew our commitment. We can all purpose to gain even loftier heights in our spiritual journey toward Christ-likeness. No matter how far we have ascended, we can go farther; no matter how low we have fallen, we can begin again.
How can this be accomplished? As the context of our text teaches, we must go back to school–the school of Christ. “But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:20-21). “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
As our text verses explain, we must both “put off . . . the old man” and “put on the new man,” clearly speaking of our manner of life, just as if we were changing clothes. If we as believers are hanging on to a few old rags, let this New Year see us obey this passage as an act of faith through the living Spirit of God: “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14).
This act of submission and desire will result as we are “renewed in the spirit |or attitude| of |our minds|” (Ephesians 4:23). The old man will not be removed or changed into the new but will be brought under control. The new man is a new creation of God modeled after Him “in righteousness and true holiness.” “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10). JDM