Ephesians 4:22 — 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 (NIV).
What does it mean to put off your old self, and why is it so important to do so? These are two questions I want to answer today. This a relatively familiar verse, but I pray for God to show you something new and fresh. Just because a passage of Scripture is familiar doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant.
To put off your old self means to do an about-face. When we come into relationship with Jesus, we are supposed to completely abandon our old lifestyle and walk in the opposite direction. It means cutting out sin and the things that cause us to sin. And you do so because you love God and want to be more like Christ.
You may be saying, “But I was a good person before I got saved. How would doing the exact opposite of good things be beneficial?” When you surrender yourself to Jesus, you don’t quit doing what’s right. You simply do what’s right with different motives. Begin doing everything as unto the Lord. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God” (AMP).
It’s important to put off your old self because your flesh is self-destructive. When you are not in right standing with God, your life is corrupted by its own deceitful desires. A life minus God will eventually kill itself off spiritually.
Please understand that we will never be perfect. Even after you put off your old lifestyle and purpose to do what’s right, you will falter. As you mature in your faith, though, you will look more like Christ and less like your old self. You will no longer be a danger to yourself. I challenge you today to take a survey of your life. Declare over yourself, “Out with the old!”
Romans 6:6 — For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with (NIV).
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