The Regenerative Life (Ephesians 4:21-24)

The Regenerative Life (Ephesians 4:21-24)

Paul has just finished telling the Ephesians that they did not learn from Jesus to live like the rest of their culture. He now shows us what we learned from Jesus.
The truth
Perhaps the greatest tenant of the Christian faith is truth. Jesus declares Himself to be the truth. To know Jesus is to know the truth. The truth is in Jesus and everything He taught is true. This is why we are to speak the truth to each other (Ephesians 4:15, 25.) This is also important as we discuss what it means to be a follower of Jesus; He has taught us the truth of what a regenerate life looks like.
Put off the old man
The new life we have in Jesus is characterized by two actions, the first of which is putting off the old man and his way of life. You cannot be a Christian and continue to live your life in the same way. A Christian must repent (change). This means that he must discard his old way of doing things.
However, Paul makes it clear that this old man is tricky. He deceives us and hides his corruption. This is why it is so important to learn the truth from Jesus. Our culture and our flesh will trick us into thinking that there is nothing wrong with the way we are living. The word corrupt here implies a small or subtle error that will eventually destroy the whole. We must understand that the smallest amount of error will eventually destroy our whole life.
The old man deceives us through our desires. We can easily understand this as it relates to diet. We may crave sugar, but what we really need is some nutrient we are missing in our diet. So it is with our fleshly desires. We can be deceived into thinking our desires for sin are good and true desires when they are really just deceiving us. For example, we may crave sexual sins when we really need intimacy with God. We must go through our lives in light of Jesus and discard anything that is in error.
Put on the new man
The second action of the Christian life is putting on the new man. This begins by renewing our minds (Romans 12:1-2.) Essentially I must take my thoughts to Jesus and let Him change the way I think. This will result in me seeing clearly the lies my flesh is telling me and see the truth that is in Jesus. As my mind is renewed I will see they need for change to take place.
This change takes place by putting on the new man. This new man has been created by God (Ephesians 2:10.) It is a life that is like His; a life characterized by righteousness and holiness. The Greek uses the word “true” to describe this life of righteousness and holiness. This denotes that there is a counterfeit holiness and righteousness. Again, how do I know what true righteousness and holiness look like? I learn it from Jesus.
Application:
Are you a new creature in Christ? What do you need to put off? What areas of your thinking need to be renewed? What do you need to put on?

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