Putting off the old… Putting on the new
After three chapters of building a theological foundation the Apostle Paul becomes extraordinarily practical in spelling out details of the way Christians are to live , Ephesians 4:17-5:20.
Paul reminds disciples of Jesus that,
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Eph 4:22-24
Paul details the characteristics of the “old self” and contrasts them to the “new self” reminding Christians of the dire consequences of continuing in unrepentant sin,
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God Eph 5:5
All of us need to decide whether we want to continue to live the world’s way or to turn to live God’s way in the power of His Holy Spirit. Paul spells out three reasons why Jesus followers would choose His way:
- Obedience- God commands us to follow His clear instructions- see Eph 4:17, 4:20-5:7
- Living God’s way is a better way to live
- Warning- rejecting God’s way will mean forfeiting a place in His kingdom. Eph 5:5
The basis for following Christ’s way is the integration of three related ideas: Being, Thought, Action
- Christian experience (what we are)
- Christian theology (what we believe)
- Christian ethics (how we behave)
Christians are called to be, think and act as followers of Jesus. One outworking of this trilogy will be to identify areas in our life where we need to put off the old self and put on the new self, and do just that!