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.
Emily was tasked with feeding Bridget’s dogs while she was on vacation. She was surprised when she arrived to see the fence gate wide open. For a moment, she worried that the dogs were gone, but her fear was quickly dismissed as she noticed the dogs would not cross the fence line. They had been conditioned by the electric fence not to cross it or they would suffer a shock.
As we come into a new year, we bring along our past experiences. Our past and our perceptions have a way of limiting us and conditioning us. The one who was brutally betrayed misses the blessing of close friendship, as they resolve not to trust people again. Paul recognized that the past can have such an effect and seeks to remind the Christian of the true reality of his current situation.
While these verses read like an exhortation, they are a recounting of what has already taken place. Paul is not asking us to “put off” and “put on”. On the contrary, he is reinforcing to us that it has already happened! Let us recognize the wonder and force of these completed actions.
Before we were saved, Paul describes us as the “old man” and “corrupt.” Old conveys the idea of that which is worn out or decrepit. Corrupt carries the idea of waste, spoil, ruin and wither. We know that corruption does not remain stagnant, but it continues to rot. That corruption was fueled by our lusts, which are deceitful. Lust always deceives us into thinking that the object of our lust will provide far greater satisfaction than it will.
BUT, THANKS BE TO GOD, He did not leave us in that condition. We have put that old man and it’s corruption off. We have cast it away and God has been transforming the very spirit of our mind. We have put on the new man created in God’s image. Rather than the continual corruption, we now experience a continual renovation of the “spirit of our mind,” the very core of your thoughts and motives. It’s what drives the way we think. God is constantly repairing our minds so that our will that once sought to please ourselves, now seeks to please him.
The Christian’s current reality is that they are new creatures in Christ. Paul challenges you not to live your live preconditioned by the old man, but to live it as we now can, in holiness and righteousness. We have put off the old and put on the new. Take time in this new year to read the rest of Ephesians and find out more about how we should be living as a new man and what things we should have put away.