The Change Lifestyle of the Christian.
By Nick Bibile
Ephesians 4:22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
How many of you came to church today with a desire to grow in Christ, looking for a change, that God will do a mighty work in you, or did you come to Church as just as a habit of going to church on Sunday? As a tradition or did you come with prayer and confession of sin asking God to change you and to make you like our Lord Jesus?
Last time we saw the dividing line of the Christian, just like when you take the year of the calendar there is a division, B.C or A.D. The division of the calendar is based not on a principle but on a person, the person Lord Jesus Christ. B.C stands for Before Christ and A.D stands for Anno Domini in Latin, which means in the year of the Lord. Jesus Christ is the dividing line of history. In the same way there is a dividing line of history to the Christian in his personal life. There was a point where the Lord Jesus took control of his life, there was a point where the old passed away behold the new came, this is called a new creation, you were born again, you became a new person in Christ Jesus, you experienced a new lifestyle, a new conduct, new behavior.
In the beginning when God created Adam, he was a perfect creation, there was no sin in him, Adam was holy and righteous before God. He was created in the image of God. But when Adam sinned against God by violating the law of God, he became unholy, unrighteous and that image was scattered, relationship was broken, the result of sin was death to all humanity. All humans were born in sin.
But when Christ Jesus enters a person’s life, he become a changed person. The old lifestyle is going to be changed, the old behavior is going to be changed.
Ephesians 4:22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires.
What do you mean by put off your old self? We need to remember there are two natures.
There are two births. The first is we were all born of Adam, this is the sinful nature, the depraved nature of man. Every person is born to this world is a sinner as all are born in Adam. This is fallen man’s nature. This is the nature of the unbeliever. This is called the old self, the earthly nature, the fleshly nature. Then in Christ Jesus there is the new nature, the spiritual nature, the new man has to do what Christ have done in our life, we became a new person. Then for the Christian there is a second birth, the spiritual birth that you are born in Christ and you become a new person.
Putting off your old self means to put off your old Adamic, sinful conduct that you had before. Now if you are in Christ Jesus you are a new person as you have a new nature then why is it that Apostle Paul is telling us to put off the old nature? Although we have a new birth in Christ Jesus the old Adamic nature is still with us in this flesh. But one day when God gives us a new body not an earthly body but a heavenly body we will be complete, but as for now we still have this old tent, the old flesh which is sinful.
The old nature, belonged to your former manner of life, previously before you became a Christian you lived in a different lifestyle. They are corrupt, deceitful to the soul and these desires of the flesh should be put off. Now let us see some of the old sinful behavior in scripture.
Colossians 3: 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.
Christians should not live in sexual immorality like the unbelievers. Watching worldly movies shows adultery, immorality even if you are not doing it you love to watch those immoral movies, these movies are produced by sinful men and it shows the corrupt imaginations of man’s heart, true Christians should not watch these kinds of movies that is very deceitful to their souls.
Impurity is anything impure, unholy, passion, evil desires and covetousness are the same meaning in different words. These are earthly passions, sinful passions and desires of the flesh, covetousness is excessive greediness and something that you want to have.
Again there is anger, being hot tempered will turn into wrath, when you are angry your flesh is in total control and in wrath you will not know what you will do, people kill in wrath, fight in wrath, the result is malice. Malice means want to injure others, take revenge. There is slander. Slander is trying to injure someone else that you don’t like by telling a false report. Then when people get angry and wrathful they speak profanity, filthy language, they will lie as they don’t want to admit their sinful behavior. You may be able to get away with these things on this earth but not with God. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming.
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds.
To be renewed means to make a new again. Adam who represented the all humanity was holy and blameless before God and there was no sin. But as a result of sin, there was death and the divine wrath of God waiting upon us. The house was ruined but by God’s grace and mercy he renovated us, renewed us. Our minds need to be reminded through the word of God what he has done.
Once you are renewed you become holy. The importance of the holy life is to live the holy life, not in our own spirit, but in the Spirit of Christ. But what does it mean by the spirit of your mind? It simply means to be renewed, not only with respect to the physical appetites or desires, which are mostly sinful, but with respect to the soul. Now you are renewed your soul should be craving for God.
You have a new spirit controlled by the Holy Spirit and he is the author of renovation.
The question is how were we renewed?
Colossians and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Which is renewed in knowledge. This newness of life consists in knowledge. Knowledge means not any kind of knowledge but spiritual knowledge. How do you get your spiritual knowledge? The new man who is renovated has an appetite and a thirst for God as the Holy Spirit through the word of God put burning fire on his soul, shows the light of truth and transform the whole man.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
1 Cor 11:7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.
First of all what do you mean by the image of God? Image of God has to do with the reflection as man’s soul, heart and mind becomes a mirror of God. This is where man is different from animals. Man is made in the very image of God. Man is a mirror of God’s divine glory, rule over his creation as God’s representatives and a communication between God and other human beings.
When Adam sinned against God that image was deformed and destroyed. Image was corrupted. Man became slaves to sin, the mirror of God’s holiness and knowledge was not reflected but sin was reflected. God in his mercy sent his Son. Now Christ was made in the exact image of God.
2 Cor 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
But praise be to God as Christ imputed his righteousness and holiness to us, we are renovated back into the image of God. Now we are conformed to the image of Christ, we have Christ likeness. We have a new heart and a spirit and we reflect like a mirror the goodness of God, the righteousness of God, the knowledge of God and the holiness of God as we bear the image of God.
Rom For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
New birth is a new pattern of God as we have a new life in Christ Jesus.
Eph 4:24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Don’t go back to your old nature but on the new man. The outward man decays daily as we are getting closer to the grave but the inward man is renewed day by day as we should grow in his holiness, righteousness and knowledge.
If you live in holiness you will be righteous. When you see generally holiness of righteousness or righteousness and holiness together what does it mean? Holiness refers to the first part of God’s Ten Commandments. This has to do with God or vertical position with God, our purity before God. Our devotion before God in worship and service. The righteousness refers to the second part of the Ten Commandments our uprightness before men. This is our horizontal position before humanity. Look at the song of Zacharias.
Luke 1:74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our
might serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
Holiness is our worship to God and righteousness is our conduct before men.
Your heard the word of God in it’s purity today, may the Lord take hold of your souls and change you by his mighty power, may the Lord make you a new person in Christ Jesus so you can say no to ungodliness no to your pet sins, no to your favorite TV and movies, no to selfishness and greediness, no to covetousness, no to sexual immorality but yes to godliness.