THE WAY OF CHRIST - PART 1
THURSDAY 27 OCTOBER 2022
It is not enough to be born again, we must strip off the old man completely and walk in the way of Christ, who has set a perfect example for us. Let's find out more!
Reference: Ephesians 4: 20-24 New King James Version (NKJV) "But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness."
When you come to Christ, you must learn to hear Him and be taught by Him according to the truth in the Word. As for your past life, you are to cast off the old man who is being corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. So we must take a fresh breath and learn Christ, as well as, let God renew our mind and attitude. Then we are ready to fully walk in our new self, modelled after the very likeness of God: truthful, righteous, and holy.
Now watch this: The notion of putting off the old man and putting on the new man has to do with our godly appearance and influence, stirred to display by the inner self. Remember clothes are attached to the body and its mostly worn to be seen in public places.
So the first instruction: "Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts" has to do with dirty clothes which represent the flesh, its deceitful desires and corrupting influences.
The second instruction: "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind" has nothing to do with clothes themselves but the invisible part of human form - inside of man. This attitude of the mind needs to be renewed, so they can gain the mindset of the righteous and sustain a new cloth, otherwise, they would go back to putting on the old man because the right mindset is missing. Got it?
The third instruction: "Put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness", which means, after the mind has been transformed, the righteous can fully wear a new clothing that will energise the life of Christ in them and display godly appearance or lifestyle. Got it?
The strength of this message is derived from the inspired theology of Pauline epistle which came from the numerous encounters he had while he was in prison, specifically in Ephesus. The filthy clothing is clothing worn in the prison which denotes dirt and scars of the condition he suffered. The filthy clothing represents an image that can have a negative effect in the mind and can also stir a demeaning flow of emptiness (due to inferior condition of being in bondage of sinful nature), thereby revealing the evidence of depravity in shared public places. So the filthy clothing represents our old life which manifested former conduct. Paul says, "Hey! Abandon them; put them off." This is because there is a sense of their ownership sustained when they remain worn and so they will negatively undermine the purpose of salvation.
For apostle Paul, it is not just enough to believe in Christ and accept Him as Saviour. The right belief should invariably produce the right living as we learn about Christ. Therefore, the gift of salvation demands that we put off the old man and renew our minds so we can sustain the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. How? By learning and putting into practice, the character of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Think about this: When we take off and discard the old, worn-out clothes as trash, the clothes are assumed to be lost or forgotten. Same way, we must strip off old self with its actions and attitude that signify earthly impulses such as: Impure actions, unbridled pleasures and wicked thoughts. Since our lives have been made new in Christ, things like selfishness, idolatry, witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, envy, drunkenness, sexual immorality, greed, anger and evil conversations must never find expression through us. Stay tuned for part 2. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - John 3:6; Romans 6:6; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Romans 13:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Exuberant declaration: I'm daily renewed in the thoughts and attitude of my mind by paying attention to the Word. With the mindset of the just, I'm inspired to live a meaningful life in Christ because I function in accordance with my new nature, which is righteous and holy, created to be like God. By the help of the Spirit, I'm always free from corrupt desires and evil influences and I have an open and steady access to quality and glorious life in Christ with the determination and passion to always deliver high-impact positive influence in my world for Christ. Blessed be God!