WORTHY INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING
THURSDAY 27 JANUARY 2022
The Bible is replete with worthy instructions which are ever-present provisions available to God's people in His Word, and furthermore, they are instructions through which the Spirit of God shapes and transforms us and then brings us in conformity with the image of the exalted Christ, our Lord, as God predestined us to be.
Reference: Ephesians 4:31-32 New International Version (NIV) "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
These two verses are Pauline exhortation provided as part of the general all-purpose set of instruction for Christian living, in his epistle to the Ephesians. That is, apostle Paul listed these instructions as a godly pattern for living in the world. It is the way of life we learn and practise after we receive Christ as Lord and it is taught in accordance with the truth that is revealed in Christ Jesus.
Beloved, there is the right way to live after being born again. The way has to be taught, because before the new birth, the "old self" which represents the natural man or unbeliever was used to practising the wrong and misleading way of life, owing to sinful nature. Now in Christ Jesus, as a new creation, you must be conditioned to put off your old self, which is corrupted by its deceitful desires and be made new in the attitude of your mind. Romans 12:2 reads, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." (NIV).
As we renew our minds by exposing it to the system of the Word, our previous frame of mind or perspective is challenged and reprogrammed such that we are accurately positioned to engraft divine principles into our thought pattern and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore, to make Pauline instructions practical, putting on the new self is likened to taking a vigorous or determined step to undress your previous character and lifestyle, and replace them with the stated instructions, following a mind renewal. For instance, the first verse says, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." To "get rid" is to take action in line with removing them as filthy clothes. To continue in these hideous acts is to despise the message and instructions of the glorious gospel.
Look at it this way: It is strange and out of accord for a born again Christian to take on the devil's character of engaging in "brawling and slanderous comments" with their widespread speculations. But this is normal for the natural man. However the replacement for those who are in Christ is apparent in our second referenced verse: "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (verse 32). Now, like putting on new clothes, that is the "new self" to put on, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27.
Guided Prayer: Heavenly Father, your word is a priceless treasure stored in my heart for my good and benefits. Thank you Lord for your thoughts and purpose for me which stand established in my life as exceptional truth. Daily, I pay more attention to your instructions in the Word and I act on them, by putting on the new self in the likeness of Christ, thereby experiencing the remarkable, godly results in Jesus' Name, Amen!