Lucia's Blog: THE NEW BEGINNING
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Monday, March 9, 2020

THE NEW BEGINNING

“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.”
Ephesians 4:22-24



When sin rules in the life of a Christian as his master, he is living off the garbage that this world has to offer him. In Ephesians 4, 5, and 6, the apostle Paul gives us a list of behaviors that we must put away and those that we must put on or must be doing to allow room for the new life in Christ. God wants us to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel with humility, longsuffering, gentleness, and love. Jesus, our Lord, wants us to mature to the stature of His fullness so that we may stop being children and grow up in Him, who is the Head.

As faithful disciples of Christ, we must no longer walk in darkness but put off the old self, which is part of our old man who is corrupted by sin. Instead, we must renew our minds, putting on the new self, which is made in the likeness of God with righteousness and holiness.  Let us consider Paul’s counsel for us, as he instructs us about the behavior patterns that are acceptable and not acceptable to God.


I.   THE OLD SELF AND THE NEW SELF:  (Ephesians 4:25-6:9)

  • The Old Self:
    • Put Away:
    1.  Lying: We must reject all falsehood. We must not defraud one another, tell half-truths, spread gossip (Eph. 4:25).
    2. Anger:  Getting angry in ways that will lead us to sin, for we must not let our anger to cause us shame, nor may it last until the sun goes down. We must not allow the devil to fill our hearts with grudges, anger, resentment, and bitterness (Eph. 4:26).
    3. Stealing: Christians must not steal, but rather work hard with their hands to help themselves and others (Eph. 4:28).  
    4. Profanity or unwholesome words (foul or vulgar): Christians who have put on the new self must not speak words that are profane and vulgar. It is truly garbage! (Eph. 4:29).
    5. Grieving the Holy Spirit:  He knows what’s on our mind and sees what no one can see and hear (Eph. 4:30).
    6. Bitterness:  We must put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, hatred, strife, fault-finding, slander, verbal abuse, spitefulness, and malice (Eph. 4:31).
    7. Sexual Immorality & Impurity:  There must not be any indication of sexual immorality, indecency, or anything offensive to be seen in us (Eph. 5:3).
    8. Uncleanness & Covetenousness:  (Eph. 5:3).
    9. No Corrupting Talk:  There must be no filthy, course, silly, obscene or vulgar joking coming out of our mouths (Eph. 5:4).
    10. Empty Arguments or Words:  We must not get involved in empty arguments or be deceived in ways that encourage us to sin. We are commanded not to associate with such people, and certainly not participate in their sins (Eph. 5:6-7).
    11. Wasting Our Time:  We must not waste our time, participating in worthless and unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them (Eph. 5:11).
    12. Foolishness:  We must not be foolish or thoughtless (Eph. 5:17) and
    13. Drunkenness:  We must not get drunk, for it is foolish and wicked (Eph. 5:18).

As we look at this list of “do not's" given to us by Paul, we have another list of things commanded by him that we must do as we put on the new self in Christ.

  • The New Self:

    • Put On:

    1. Graceful Speech:  We must speak that which builds up and encourages others to be a blessing to those who hear us (Eph. 4:29).
    2. God in us:  Please the Holy Spirit:  We must strive to please the Holy Spirit, God in us (Eph. 4:30).
    3. Kindness & Compassion:  We must be kind, helpful, tender, compassionate, understanding, and forgiving of one another (Eph. 4:32).
    4. Righteousness & Holiness:  We must be imitators of God, walking in His steps of righteousness as well-behaved children who imitate their Father (Eph. 5:1).
    5. Love:  We must walk faithfully in love, valuing one another, and practicing empathy and compassion, seeking the best interests of others, just like Christ, who loved us and gave Himself for us (Eph. 5:1).
    6. Goodness, Righteousness, and Truth:  We must walk as children of light, which consists of all goodness, righteousness, and Truth (Eph. 5:9).
    7. Discernment:  We must please the Lord in all things (Eph. 5:10).
    8. Integrity, Boldness & Godliness:  We must have integrity, courage, and godly character, exposing all darkness and evil around us (Eph. 5:12).
    9. Honor & Purpose:  We must be careful how we walk, for we must live a life of honor, purpose, and courage (Eph. 5:15).
    10. Wisdom & Diligence:  We must make the best use of our time, taking advantage of each opportunity with wisdom and diligence (Eph. 5:16).
    11. The Will of God:  We must be filled with the Holy Spirit, who guides us as we hear His Word, that we may do the will of God (Eph. 5:17-18).
    12. Singing Praises to God:  We must speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, offering praise by singing, making melody in our heart to Him (Eph. 5:19).
    13. Thankfulness & Gratefulness:  We must be grateful to God for our salvation.  We must always be thankful to God for all things (Eph. 5:20).
    14. Submission & Reverence:  And finally, we must be subject to one another out of reverence to Christ (husbands, wives, children, bondservants and masters, Eph. 5:21-6:9).

Indeed, this a long list of godly traits that we must strive to cultivate in our walk with Christ. It is not easy, but we must work harder, pulling all those weeds up and throwing them out of our lives to bear good fruit to the glory of God. We must get rid of our bad habits as soon as possible before they take over and destroy our souls.


  • How We Must Walk:  
"Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts"  (Romans 13:13-14).

Our walk refers to our conduct.  This Scripture speaks of a positive walk that we must walk.  There is also a negative walk in which we must not walk!  For Christians, there is a code of behavior, for we are children of the day and not the night.  This leads us to how we must not walk:  "not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy."  Children of Lightdo not walk in sexual immorality and debauchery, dissension and jealousy (seeking to tear others down to make us feel better), but rather we renounce these practices.  Sadly, self-centered Christians are more concerned with ego than with Christ, edging God out.  In the light of our salvation, we must lay aside the deeds of darkness, behave properly as in the day, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is talking deliberately, purposefully, significantly, and permanently about putting aside the things of the old life, the old man of sin.  

The old life or the old man must die and not be conformed to the pattern of this world.  As those who have been raised to live in newness of life, we must not give into temptations or make concession to sin.  We must take off our "night clothes" of sin and put on our day clothes of righteousness.  We cannot be Christ's followers and live our old, sinful life as well.  Rather, we must be continually putting on the Lord Jesus Christ and taking off the flesh at the same time, denouncing the old, sinful habits and removing them.  We put Christ on and imitate Him!  

So we must acknowledge that Christ is coming again and that we must be watchful, on constant guard against our old sinful ways. Because of this, we must cast off or lay aside the works of darkness.  Satan has already played all his cards, and we have victory on our side.  As good soldierswe must buckle on the "armor of light" and be prepared to make our stand!

Jesus died that cruel death on the cross and conquered death that we might have redemption and the hope of eternal life (1 Cor. 15:57).  When the Spirit of Christ reigns and dwells in us, we cannot let evil enter our hearts.  God abhors evil and sin.  This is why He sent His Son to die so that He might conquer evil and death.  When we obey the Gospel and are baptized into Christ, we are clothed with Christ, and He must live in us!  We must live by faith, trusting Him and His Word completely.
"And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret"  (Eph. 5:11-12).  

The closer we walk in intimate fellowship with God, doing His will, the more spiritually aware we are going to be, and the more we will expose the works of darkness, the old self.  How, then, do we expose the works of darkness? By merely rebuking them and not participating in them!  The more we put on the armor of Light (the new self), the more we are going to shut the door to evil or lawlessness and refuse to take part in it and not welcome it to dine with us.  We must keep our hearts airtight closed off from sin.
"You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.  Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?  We are not stronger than He, are we?"  (1 Cor. 10:21-22)

Evil is opposite to the righteousness of God.  We cannot mix righteousness with evil, for we have been commanded to hate evil and have no fellowship with it.  We must reflect God's Light in our way of living.  We must not justify evil as harmless.  Satan makes it look very appealing and popular. Satan is very astute and subtle in his evil ways. Sin enters our hearts, our minds, and our souls slowly and steadily.  It is a slow and gradual process that leads to the destruction of our souls.  It hardens our hearts to righteousness.


CONCLUSION:

God's children are of the light and sons of the day.  We do not belong to the night or darkness, because we are sober, on the alert, and self-disciplined (1 Thess. 5:4-6).  We must fight the dark side, grow up, stop acting like children, and put aside the deeds of darkness. When we allow the Light to guide our footsteps, there will be no room for any kind of darkness or evil.  When we fill up our lives with God's will, we find the cure for the deeds of darkness, filling up our life with the deeds of righteousness.  Thus, we must put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of Light.  We cannot afford to let Satan reign in our hearts. Christ alone must reign there. He must be the only one who is allowed to rule our hearts.  We must not let darkness be more prevalent.  We must not be insensitive to the deeds of darkness even though we are surrounded by them.  We need to keep them out!
  1. Those in Christ have already put on Christ (Gal. 3:27).
  2. Those in Christ have been commanded to put on Christ (Rom. 13:14).
  3. Those in Christ have already put on the new self/man (Col. 3:10).
  4. Those in Christ are commanded to put on the new self/man (Eph. 4:24).
  5. Those in Christ must put on the whole armor of God (Rom. 13:12; Eph. 6:11, 14; 1 Thess. 5:8).
  6. Those in Christ must put on love and other virtues (Col. 3:12; 3:14).
  7. Those in Christ will one day put on imperishable, immortal, heavenly bodies (1 Cor. 15:33).
  8. Those in Christ have already put off self/man (Col. 3:9).
  9. Those in Christ are commanded to put off the old self/man (Eph. 4:22).
  10. Those in Christ must put away all sin and all evil or lawlessness:  sinful, bad habits, vices (Eph. 4:25; Rom. 13:12; Heb. 12:1; James 1:21; 1 Pet. 2:1).

The Word of God plainly exhorts and warns us not to be deceived, for God is not mocked.  Whatever we sow, we shall also reap.  If we sow to the flesh, then we will reap the corruption of our own flesh.  Sowing to the flesh will lead to corruption.  But if we sow to the Spirit, we will reap everlasting lifeNo one can escape that Truth!

So as true children of God, let us clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Let us act, talk, and behave decently or properly as in the daytime like those who walk in the light of Christ.  Most people do their evil works at night when none can easily see them.  That is when most people often get into various kinds of trouble.  We must live as if God is watching us, and as a matter of fact, He is!  We were once darkness, but now are Light in the Lord.  We must live as children of Light and please the Lord and have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness but rather expose them (Eph. 5:8-17).  So let us clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus and refuse to indulge in the desires of the flesh and make provisions for it ( 2 Cor. 6:14-15).

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven"  (Matthew 5:14-16).

We must give up everything that hinders our walk with our Master and Lord. Therefore, we must strive to adopt those godly traits that Paul mentions in Ephesians 4:25-6:9, choosing to share more, love more, forgive more, and praise and be thankful to God each moment. It is a choice that we must make to be more like Jesus, our Lord, and to enter heaven. So let us choose to walk in the Light as He is in the Light (1 John 1:5-7).

May we walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel and renounce to sin, the old self but rather put on the new man of righteousness.  May we clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus and wait victoriously.  May we dress up with the Light of God.  May we take off our night clothes of sin (the old self) and put on our day clothes of righteousness (the new man).  And finally, may we walk in obedience to Christ, for this is the life that pleases God.

Luci

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