Put on Your New Self

Wendy Blight

Day: 12 | Plan: Christ Alone

Today’s Reading: Ephesians 4:17-32

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV) 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; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Have you ever heard gossip masqueraded as a prayer request? I have. In fact, recently I found myself doing just that.

Of course, I didn’t label it gossip. I justified my words because, in my opinion, the actions of my friend and fellow Bible study leader were completely "unchristian" and needed to be called out.

My time in church the next morning shifted my thinking, as God convicted me of gossiping. He reminded me that in Christ, I’m not the same person I used to be. I spoke self-righteous, judgmental words birthed from and spoken by my old nature, not His Spirit.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we die a spiritual death, meaning our sin nature, our “old self,” dies. And just as Jesus was raised from the dead to new life, we too are raised from spiritual death to a new spiritual life. And if that isn’t enough, we receive a new Spirit … a new connection to God through His Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of the Living God chooses to live inside you and me! It isn’t like being resuscitated and brought back to life. We are a new creation with a new beginning.

But, we must choose to walk in our new life. Notice Paul’s instruction: “put off” our old nature, our former way of life, and “put on” our new nature, created in the image of God. These are action words. Transformation comes when we choose to do our part.

God provides guidance on how to “put off” and “put on” in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

“Transformed” derives from the Greek word “metamorphoo,” which means to change into another form … like a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. Transformation is a journey. With each step of obedience, God molds and shapes us to be more and more like Jesus.

Let’s replay my conversation, but this time, I put off my old self and put on my new self. I now have a verse hidden in my heart, or clearly posted. This might be a verse that reminds me to guard my tongue and measure my words: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

In that tempting moment, I remember the powerful, attitude changing, life-transforming words from the Bible. By the power of His Word, God silences my tongue.

Which is the better scenario? Walking with Jesus is a journey, my friend. We will never be perfect, but if we are led by the Spirit, it will be a beautiful journey of transformation.

Prayer: Father, thank You that amid my sin, You willingly forgave, entered my sin-stained heart, removed my sin as far as the east is from the west and made me a new creation. Thank You for choosing to place your Holy Spirit in me to empower me … to mold and shape me from the inside out and make me more like You. I am forever grateful for this new life You have given me. Help me live it well. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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