AND PUT ON THE NEW SELF: kai
endusasthai (AMN) ton kainon anthropon: (Eph 6:11; Job 29:14;
Isaiah 52:1; 59:17; Romans 13:12,14; 1Cor 15:53; Gal 3:27; Colossians
3:10-14) (Ep 2:15; Romans 6:4; 2Corinthians 4:16; 2Co 5:17-note; 1Peter 2:2)
Covenant: The Exchange of Robes -
Putting Off the Old Man, Putting on the New Man
And put on the
new self - As with "lay aside the old self", there are two
approaches to the interpretation of this verse. One sees it as a past
completed action (and thus as a "positional" truth), whereas the other
sees it as something the believer is to do. These differences are
reflected in the translations.
For example, below
is a translation that renders "put on" as a past completed act
that occurred at the time of salvation...
Wuest: and that you have
put on once for all the new self who after God was created in
righteousness and holiness of truth.
In contrast, the
versions below render "put on" as something the believer is to
NASB: and put on the new
self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness
and holiness of the truth.
Amplified: And put on the new
nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true
righteousness and holiness.
Put on (1746)
from en = in + dúo = to sink, go in or under, to
put on) means to put on as a garment, to cause to get into a garment, to
clothe or to dress. In the
it means to be clothed. The
uses of enduo by Paul all have a figurative meaning. In other
words he uses enduo not to refer to the putting on of literal
garments but of putting on "ethical, moral or spiritual" garments like
Christ Himself, like the armor of light, like the new self, like the
breastplate of faith and love, or like those garments which are
imperishable and immortal. What a "wardrobe" God has made available for
believers! We're the "best dressed" folks in the world and most of us
don't even know it!
as in this verse enduo means to clothe oneself. The
conveys the sense of "Do this now!" (if one interprets this as
action the believer is to carry out rather than one which has already
occurred in the past at salvation). The aorist tense can also convey the
sense that in each new situation we encounter,
we are presented with
an opportunity to put the new man on ourselves. What does
this look like practically? It's a new conduct in accord with
righteousness ("right conduct before God and men") and holiness (a
conduct set apart from what the fallen world typically pursues resulting
in its being continually corrupted by the lust of deceit - cp 2Pe 1:4-note).
commenting on the use of enduo in Col 3:10-note
(put on the new man) says it means...
to become so possessed of the mind of
Christ (1Co 2:16) as in thought, feeling, and action to resemble Him
and, as it were, reproduce the life He lived.
Enduo - 27x
in 25v - Matt 6:25; 22:11; 27:31; Mark 1:6; 6:9; 15:20; Luke 8:27;
12:22; 15:22; 24:49; Acts 12:21; Rom 13:12, 14; 1 Cor 15:53f; Gal 3:27;
Eph 4:24; 6:11, 14; Col 3:10, 12; 1 Thess 5:8; Rev 1:13; 15:6; 19:14.
Translated as - clothed(6), dressed(1), enter(m)(1), put on(21).
Ray Stedman gives the
following illustration: "When I get up in the morning I put
on my clothes, intending them to be part of me all day, to go where I go
and do what I do. They cover me and make me presentable to others. That
is the purpose of clothes. In the same way, the apostle is saying to us
(Ro 13:12, 13, 14-see notes
“Put on Jesus Christ when you get up in the morning. Make Him a
part of your life that day. Intend that He go with you everywhere you
go, and that He act through you in everything you do. Call upon His
resources. Live your life IN CHRIST.” (Stedman, Ray C. From Guilt to
Glory. Vol 2. p136. Waco, TX: Word, 1978) (Bolding added)
Wayne Barber writes...
We have been talking about (putting on) this new garment and being
strengthened in the inner man by the Spirit of God (Ep 3:16-note). You know, it is not
as easy as we preach it. We have Christ living in us. We know we are to
be strengthened with power in the inner man. We know we have a new
garment. But I tell you what, sometimes it is just difficult to put that
garment on, isn’t it? We are still human. Nobody has arrived. If you
have struggles in putting it on at times, I just wanted you to know that
I am in there with you. Those of you that have gone a little further
than us, would you please help us out because there are difficult
situations in making that choice to put on that new garment. No feelings
go along with this. It is just a choice to put on the new garment of
The apostle Paul has been talking about the normal Christian life. I
want to go back to chapter 3 briefly. In Eph 3:14-21 (notes) we find that Paul says
that living the normal Christian is experiencing God on a daily basis.
Now understand what I am saying, this is the normal Christian life. This
is not the deeper life. This is the normal Christian life, experiencing
God on a daily basis. Eph 3:16, 17-note
says we get to experience His power in
the inner man as He strengthens us daily. How do you do that? By
accommodating His presence. How do you make Jesus feel at home in your
heart? Ep 3:17-note
says you do it by your faith. What does that mean? It
means that I obey Him in His Word and as I am willing to obey Him, then
He strengthens me in the inner man. You see, I am not going to be
strengthened with power and experience His power until I am surrendered
and accommodating His presence.
Secondly, He moves me into that higher ground and to experiencing His
passion. That is in the last part of Ep 3:17-note on down through
We get to comprehend the love of Christ, but not only comprehend it, we
get to experience it for ourselves. He says, "and to know the love of
Christ." The word "know" means to know by experience, to experience it
for yourself. His love for us and His love through us constrains us to
love a world that is around us.
Then thirdly he moves us into the last part of Eph 3:19, 20, 21. We
need to experience His potential. Paul said "in order that." That
phrase, "in order that" is used twice in that verse. In other words it
moves us up to a different level. In order that we might be filled to
the fullness of God. What does that mean? It means to the point that all
of God fills all of us. Folks, when you get to that level of life, you
begin to live being filled to the fullness of God. The word "filled"
means controlled. What fills a man controls a man. When you are filled
to the fullness of God, you begin to walk into the potential of God. You
begin to experience for yourself that which is the exceeding abundantly
beyond all the things we could ask or even think.
The believer has received a change of
life that results in a change in his walk. We are called upon to "put
off", once for all, the ways of the old man who is just growing
worse day by day. (Note: The words "is corrupt" are present tense
and speak of a corpse that lies rotting in the sun. Each day brings with
it more evidence that the corpse is dead!) We are called upon to "put
on", once for all, the new man, who had been created in
righteousness and holiness. When the new believer comes to faith in
Jesus, he learns a new way of life, Ep 4:19-note,
He has experienced a change of heart that results in a profound change
of mind, Ep 4:23-note!
God puts a new desire within His children that makes them want to live
differently than they used to live! The bottom line is this: the
maturing believer looks different, acts different, walks different and
thinks different than he did before! (Eph
4:11-32 THE MARKS OF A MATURING CHRISTIAN)
The new self - The new man.
The new self
is a brand new self that did not exist before salvation and which makes
possible a new quality of life and service which was heretofore
impossible (cp related word kainotes
in Ro 6:4-note
and Ro 7:6-note).
is the unsaved person still in Adam
(1Co 15:22, 45, Ro 5:12-note,
Ro 5:18, 19-note)
and dominated by their
rebellious, anti-God, totally depraved nature, while the new self refers
to the saved person dominated by the divine nature (2Pe 1:4-note).
says "The “new man” is in contrast
with the “old man,” and represents that new assemblage of holy
principles and desires which have a unity of origin, and a common result
of operation. (Ibid)
commenting on Jn 3:3 reminds us that...
The things of God’s kingdom are not
apparent to the natural vision. A new power of sight is required, which
attaches only to the new man (Compare 1Cor. 2:14)...The object of
the new birth is declared to be that a man may see and enter into the
kingdom of God. But the kingdom of God is an economy. It includes and
implies the organized Christian community. This is one of the facts
which, with its accompanying obligation, is revealed to the new vision
of the new man. He sees not only God, but the kingdom of God; God as
King of an organized citizenship; God as the Father of the family of
mankind; obligation to God implying obligation to the neighbor;
obligation to Christ implying obligation to the church, of which He is
the head, “which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all things
with all things” (Ep 1:23).
probably from root ken [qen] =
freshly come, or begun)
is an adjective which
refers to that which is new kind (unprecedented, novel,
uncommon, unheard of). It relates to being not previously present.
related noun kainotes translated newness (Freiberg defines
it as "depicting something not only recent and different but
in Ro 6:4-note
and Ro 7:6-note.
Believers now have a brand new life with a brand new source of power
(the Spirit) to live out that life to the full (cp Jesus' desire for all
believers - Jn 10:10b)! Beloved in Christ, may this (His) "extraordinary"
life be a genuine reality in our day to day experience in Christ. Amen!
R. C. Trench
neos and kainos as follows
"Contemplate the new under aspects of
time, as that which has recently come into existence, and this is
neos... . But contemplate the new, not now under aspects of time,
but of quality, the new, as set over against that which has seen
service, the outworn, the effete or marred through age, and this is
- Trench's Synonyms of the New Testament)
that kainos "denotes “new,” of that which is
unaccustomed or unused, not “new” in time, recent (Greek
= "neos"), but “new” as to form or quality, of different nature from
what is contrasted as old.
As Vincent says in his
discussion of kainos "All the elements of festivity in the
heavenly kingdom will be of a new and higher quality.
The Open Bible
notes that kainos "can be used with reference to
something that has not been used before (Mt 9:17). Kainos is also
used with the connotation of “remarkable” as a designation of
something that is “new” and not known previously (Mk 1:27; Jn 13:34).
The same word qualifies something as “new” in the sense of a
replacement for something that is old and obsolete—as in the “new
covenant” (Heb 8:8). Converts are “new persons”
(2Co 5:17-note; Ep 4:24). Kainos is used in an eschatological sense to
describe the “new” heaven and earth (2Pe 3:13; Rev 21:1). (The
Open Bible : New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Kainos signifies qualitatively new in
neos which indicates temporally new or new with respect to
In Mark 1:27 we
read the reaction to Jesus' teaching...
And they were all amazed, so that
they debated among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new
(kainos) teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits,
and they obey Him."
Wuest comments that "There are
two words for “new,” neos, referring to that which is new
as to the matter of time, namely, that which has just come into
existence, and kainos, which contemplates the new, not under the
aspect of time, but of quality, the new as set over against that which
has seen service, the outworn, the effete or marred through age.
Compared to the stilted, staid, dry as dust rabbinical droning, this
teaching of Jesus (in Mk 1:27) was like the fragrance of a field of
clover in the springtime. It was fresh with the dew of heaven upon it.-
(Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New
used in 55 verses in the
(Deut. 20:5; 22:8; 32:17; Jos. 9:13; Jdg. 5:8; 15:13; 16:11f; 1 Sam.
6:7; 2 Sam. 6:3; 1Ki. 11:29f; 12:24; 2 Ki. 2:20; 1 Chr. 13:7; 2 Chr.
20:5; Job 29:20; Ps. 33:3; 40:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1; Eccl. 1:10;
Isa. 8:1; 41:15; 42:9f; 43:19; 48:6; 62:2; 65:15, 17; 66:22; Jer. 26:10;
31:22, 31; 36:10; Ezek. 11:19; 18:31; 36:26)
42x in 36v
in the NT (Seven times in the Revelation when God will make all things
new!) - Mt 9:17; 13:52; 26:29; 27:60; Mk. 1:27; 2:21, 22; 14:25;
16:17; Lk. 5:36, 38; 22:20; Jn. 13:34; 19:41; Acts 17:19, 21; 1Co.
11:25; 2Co. 3:6; 2Co 5:17-note; Gal. 6:15; Ep 2:15; 4:24; Heb. 8:8, 13; 9:15;
2Pe 3:13; 1Jn. 2:7, 8; 2Jn. 1:5; Re 2:17; 3:12; 5:9; 14:3; 21:1, 2, 5.
NAS = fresh(3), new(37), new things(1), things new(1).
Neos is new simply in point of time
and is thought by some (TDNT) to be an Indo-European word that is
derived from the adverb nu meaning “now, of the moment.”
In other words, neos describes something which
has come into existence recently, but there may well have been thousands
of the same thing in existence before. A pencil produced in the factory
this week is neos, but there already exist millions exactly like
it. Kainos on the other hand is new in nature or quality.
Continuing the former analogy, while a pencil might be neos, a
ballpoint pen would be kainos when it was first invented, because
such a unique writing
instrument had not previously existed. Kainos then is new in the
sense that it brings into the world a new quality of some thing which did not
denotes the new and miraculous condition that is emphasized especially
in the church age. Thus we see kainos as a key term in eschatological
statements -- the new heaven and earth in Rev 21:1-note.
The new heavens and earth will be far more than merely new in
time or chronology, for they will also be new in character -- a realm in
which righteousness dwells = 2Pe 3:13-note.
New Jerusalem = Rev 3:12-note; Re 21:2-note, new wine = Mk 14:25, the
new name = Rev 2:17-note;
Re 3:12-note, the new song
= Rev 5:9-note, the
new creation, unlike anything previously known = Rev 21:5-note.
The idea of new creation is also used to describe the life of a
sinner who has become a saint (a believer) and is now a new creation/creature in Christ (2Co 5:17-note). The new
dawned with Christ's first coming and His provision of salvation, so
that in this new age Jews and Gentiles are now one new man in
Christ (Ep 2:15-note,
Ga 6:15). Believers now charged to put on their new nature (Ep
4:24-note). God’s saving will is worked out in the promised new
covenant that Jesus has established (Lk 22:20; 1Cor 11:25; 2Co 3:6, Heb
This covenant is new in several ways -- It is a better covenant (He 7:22-note),
an infallible (faultless) covenant (He
an everlasting/eternal covenant (He 13:20-note),
a covenant grounded on better promises (He 8:6-note). The fact
that the old and the new cannot be mixed is repeated in all 3 synoptic
gospels to emphasize the distinctive, unique nature of the new covenant (Mt
9:17 Mk 2:21, 22, Lk. 5:36, 37, 38). The new commandment of love has its
basis in Christ’s own love (Jn 13:34, 1Jn 2:7, 8; 2Jn 1:5).
notes that "Everyone who is in Christ becomes a
new creature (cf. Ga 6:15). Kainos (new) means new in quality,
not just in sequence; believers’ “old self was crucified with Him” (Ro
they have therefore laid “aside the old self … and put on the new self”
(MacArthur, J. 2Corinthians. Chicago: Moody Publishers)
Steven Cole emphasizes that...
The main source of conflicts is our
old man (old nature). Some Bible teachers insist that believers do not
have an old nature, but just a new nature, and that our propensity
toward sin comes from the flesh (John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New
Testament Commentary, Ephesians [Moody Press], p. 164). I fail to see
any biblical distinction between the old nature and the flesh.
Whatever you call it, there is, even in the believer, a strong,
indwelling disposition to do what we want rather than what God wants:
“All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own
way ...” (Isa 53:6). “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among
you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?”
(Jas 4:1). That
old sin nature
using these terms interchangeably) pits us against one another and
results in conflicts. A number of other factors also, when coupled with
our sin nature, lead to conflicts: We come from different backgrounds
and experiences (type of family, where we’re from, income levels, etc.);
we have different habit patterns; different convictions and values;
different perspectives and ways of thinking as men and women; different
goals; etc. But with all these factors, the underlying reason for
conflicts is our “old man” which is self-seeking, living to gratify its
But when you came to faith in Jesus
Christ, a radical change took place: You became a new person in Christ.
Your bent toward sin was not eradicated, but God made you a new person,
created in righteousness and holiness of the truth (Eph 4:24). The power
of the old man has been broken (cp Ro 6:6-note,
When you were saved, you took it off like dirty clothes (Ep 4:22-note)
and put on the new man like a suit of clean clothes (Ep 4:24). And you
are involved in the ongoing process of renewing your mind (Ep 4:23).
That process continues as you count as true in your experience and
behavior the reality of the change spiritually that took place at
salvation. You must believe what God says--that you are a new person in
Christ; and you must act upon that truth in your behavior.
As you learn to believe what God says
about you in Christ and to act upon it daily, you will learn to get
along with other people, whether your mate or others, because you are
daily dying to the
4:17-32: Solving Conflicts by Steven Cole)
(Note: The links added to Pastor Cole's message are to notes
(anthropos) means man and refers to humanity in general. The word
is not aner, a male individual, but anthropos, the generic,
racial term, speaking of an individual.
speaking here of a man who is qualitatively new. The brand "new man" is
a truly new creation (2Cor 5:17-note),
a miracle of
regeneration performed by the Holy Spirit
(cp Jn 3:8, Titus 3:5-note,
Titus 3:6-note) on a heart and
mind which receives Christ (Jn 1:12, 13) by faith (Ep 2:8, 9-note)
as personal Savior and Lord (cp Ro 10:9, 10-note)
Kent Hughes explains this
passage this way
The fact is, we have this new
self if we are Christians. We received the old man at birth,
and we were given the new man in our heavenly birth. The new
man is not our work — it is God’s creation and gift.
Our task is
not to weave it, but to wear it. Paul is commanding a daily
appropriation of that which we already possess...We have our part to
do in dressing ourselves with the divine wardrobe, for here "clothes do
make the man" — and the woman! We must daily set aside the rotting
garments of the old man. We must formally reject sensuality and selfish
pride and materialism and bitterness (Ed: cp Ep 4:31-note). We must read the Word
(Ed: cp Jn 17:17, Col 3:16-note,
et al) and ask God
to to renew our minds through the Spirit (Ed: cp Php 2:13-note). We must work out our salvation
by doing those things that will develop a Biblical mind (Ed: Josh
Ps 119:9, 10-note,
Ps 119:11-note). We must put on
our new, shining garments of light (Ed: Ep 5:8-note,
Ro 13:13, 13:14-note,
1Th 5:4, 5-note;
We must put on what we are!"
R. K.: Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ. Crossway Books or
The "New Self"
is the essence of what believers now are in the new covenant with Christ
The Oneness of Covenant). This
term describes our new position in Christ which gives us new
potential to practice daily the putting off of filthy rags of
darkness and putting on of righteous deeds of light by the power of the
indwelling Holy Spirit. Our practice should also include a
continual reckoning that the "Old Self" is dead (Ro
present imperative!) and thus we are
dead to the power of
Sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Before we
was our Master and we had no power to say "No". Now as
those who possess a "New Self" in Christ, we have been
granted the power of righteous choice and
can choose not to commit sin (NB: We are however NOT sinless as
some falsely teach - 1Jn 1:8). Now as we practice saying "Yes" to Jesus,
it becomes more natural (better stated "supernatural") to say "No" to the
(see above discussion) and its strong desires to
self (Gal 5:17-note). To reiterate, because the "Old Self" died in Christ, and
the "New Self" lives in Christ, believers must put off remaining
sinful deeds and be being continually renewed into the Christlikeness to
which they were called.
Old self = "WHO"
we were was
what was important
New self = "WHOSE" we are is what is important!
explains the "New Self" as follows...
The word new (kainos) does
not mean renovated but entirely new—new in species or
character. The NEW SELF is new because it has been created in the
likeness of God. The Greek is literally, “according to what God is”—a
staggering statement expressing the wondrous reality of salvation. Those
who confess Jesus Christ as Lord are made like God! Peter says we become
“partakers of the divine nature” (2Pe 1:4-note). Many rescue missions have
a delousing room, where derelicts who have not had a bath in months
discard all their old clothes and are thoroughly bathed and disinfected.
The unsalvageable old clothes are burned and new clothes are issued. The
clean man is provided clean clothes. That is a picture of salvation,
except that in salvation the new believer is not simply given a bath but
a completely new nature. The continuing need of the Christian life is to
keep discarding and burning the remnants of the old sinful clothing. The
many therefore's and wherefores in the New Testament usually introduce
appeals for believers to live like the new creatures they are in Christ.
Because of our new life, our new Lord, our new nature, and our new
power, we are therefore called to live a correspondingly new life–style.
J: Commentary on Ephesians, Moody Press)
Ruth Paxson explains the new self is...
the new creation in Christ; the saint possessing a new spiritual divine
nature, from which a pure river of life flows into every part of his
being; the human personality with Christ at its centre, crowned as its
Lord, and indwelt as its Life; the "I in you" of John 15:4 ("Abide in
Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it
abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.");
the "Christ in you" of
Colossians 1:27 (see note)
("Christ in you, the hope of glory"). (Paxson, Ruth: The Wealth, the
Walk and the Warfare of the Christian. 1939. Revell)
Wayne Barber explains the laying aside the
old man and putting on the new man...
When we received Christ, we
got a brand new garment. Once Christ comes in, that garment is present.
Christ is the very fabric of that garment. When I choose to let Jesus be
Jesus in my life, when I choose against my
flesh, when I choose to
say "yes" to Him, strengthened in the inner man by the Spirit of God,
then I begin to live a brand new way. note:
When you receive Christ, you have the garment to wear that identifies
you wherever you are. It is a brand new lifestyle. But how many
Christians are still trying to go back and put on those old clothes,
still trying to dress the way they want to dress? What an indictment
Paul gives to us. He warns them in Ep 4:17, 18, 19-note
not to go back and
live like they used to live. It says in Ep 4:22-
in reference to your former
manner of life, you lay aside the
old self, which is being corrupted
tense = pictures a continuous process.
Passive voice = this
corruption is the result of an outside "force", in this case the "lusts
of deceit") in
accordance with the lusts of deceit." (see
note) (Ed: See related
The Deceitfulness of Sin)
In other words, the more you choose the old
rather than Jesus, choosing what you want, the more you begin to
be caught up in that downward spiral which is constantly being
That verse talks about the lusts (epithumia
[word study]) of deceit (apate
[word study]). Did you know that all of the
lusts that we have to contend with are deceitful? They make you think
that you want something and pull you out of your walk with God. The
moment you get whatever you were lusting for, you realize that it is not
what you thought it really was! Now you are caught once again in the
current of that putrid stream which is continually being corrupted by
the deceitful desires!
Point number one: We started off by saying that we must put on the new
man. Living the brand new life is like putting on a brand new garment.
Point number two: Before I can put on the new, I have to take off the
old. In both of these situations, I have already put on the new man and
taken off the old. However, we must appropriate this now and bring
positional truth down to experiential truth. The Christian life is a
walk. It is us moment by moment continually making the choice to make sure I
am "dressed properly" in the garment of the Lord Jesus, by allowing
Jesus to be Jesus in my
life. And this all describes a brand new way of living.
Point number three: Ephesians 4:23. We have to be, first of all,
in our minds. We are not going to put on these new clothes until we
start thinking differently. Remember the lost world is darkened in its
understanding (Ep 4:18-note). We have been enlightened in our
mind (cp Paul's prayer Ep 1:18-note). We can
now appreciate what
is right and what is wrong (Ed: Contrast Isa 5:20, 21-note,
Hos 4:6). We understand now what God requires. The
more we get into His Word, the more we allow our minds to be renewed,
and the more we are going to "dress properly" and live properly. The
world looks at us and sees the witness of Jesus as a living reality in
Let’s look at Ep 4:23:
"and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind."
That word "renewed" caught my attention. It is not the same word as
Romans 12:1 (note)
Certainly your mind goes there. Romans says,
Do not be conformed
= with negative means stop letting this happen!) to this world, but
be ye transformed
= command to make this our continual aim) by the renewing of your mind."
There are two words that are used in that little word "renewing": ana,
which means again and
which means renew. In other words, it is a qualitatively brand new mind.
He is telling the Romans,
"You are going to have to completely change your way of thinking."
Perhaps he is saying something else here to the Ephesians. It’s almost
the same thing. The Ephesians are already changing their minds. They are
already faithful servants as Ep 1:1
Paul uses another word for renew
in Ephesians 4:23 which comes from ana and
means new, not so much qualitatively new, but thinking in other ways. In
other words, you continually let your mind be changed. It has already
started with this qualitative, brand new way of thinking. (cf Ro
Now you continue to let God rebuild and renovate your mind.
You see, the problem with us is the way we have been trained to think.
If we don’t think God’s way, then obviously we are going to live wrong.
Proverbs says, "As a man thinks, so is he." Certainly my heart is to be
surrendered, but I need to get into God’s Word and let God’s thoughts
replace my thoughts, qualitatively and otherwise. I continually grow as
the Holy Spirit of God begins to teach me how to wear my new garment (cp
I think there are some steps. First, we have to take off the old. Then we
put on the new. Then third, before we are ever going
to consistently do that, we have to be renewed in the spirit of our
mind. The word "spirit" there tends to refer to the rational part
of the mind (See John Eadie's discussion
above). So I think what Paul is saying here is that in the area
where you decide, in the area where you make decisions, in that area of
your mind, you need to be consistently renewed so that you will
continually put on the new garment of the brand new behavior. (Ephesians 4:22-27: A Brand New Way of Life
WHICH IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD HAS BEEN CREATED IN
RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS OF THE TRUTH: ton kata theon ktisthenta (APPMSA) en
dikaiosune kai hosioteti tes aletheias:
1:26,27; 2Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:10; 1John 3:2) (Ep 2:10;
Galatians 6:15) (Ps 45:6,7; Ro 8:29; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 1:8; 12:14; 1Jn
3:3) (John 17:17)
Which in the
likeness of God has been created - The
what a believer has been created to be in Christ. It is the new
creation, in which old things have passed away and all things have
become new (2Co 5:17-note). This new kind of man is according to God, that
is, created in His likeness. And this new man manifests or shows itself
to be a "brand new" man in Christ by living (as it were) in the
righteousness (right conduct before God and man) and holiness (this is
the state of a proper attitude toward God which is exhibited in action,
specifically in a lifestyle set apart from the profane, set apart from
the godless, even anti-God world system ruled by Satan [1Jn 5:19, Lk
4:6], and instead oriented toward God, toward what pleases Him [cp Col
(theos) refers to the supreme Divine Being, the true and living
has some interesting thoughts about the phrase in the likeness of God
has been created...
What the apostle affirms is not that
creation is God's work and prerogative and His alone, but that as the
first man bore His image, so does the new man, for he is created
“according to God,” or in the likeness of God; or, as the apostle writes
in Col. 3:10-note,
"according to the image of the One who created him"... The
allusion is to Ge 1:27. What God created, man assumes. The newness of
this man is no absolute novelty, for it is the recovery of original
holiness. As the Creator stamps an image of Himself on all His
workmanship, so the first man was made in His similitude, and this new
man, the result also of His plastic energy, bears upon him the same test
and token of his Divine origin; for the moral image of God reproduces
itself in him (cp 2Pe 1:4-note).
It is no part of our present task to inquire what were the features of
that Divine image which Adam enjoyed. (Recommended
Resource - You have to dig
through Eadie's prodigious comments but the nuggets of gold are
Ephesians 4 Commentary)
[word study]) means to bring
something into existence or to call into being. Ktizo is used in the NT only
of God's creativity. The Greeks used ktizo to describe the
founding of a place, a city or colony.
Ktizo points to saved sinners as new creations in Christ, having
formerly been dead and by His Spirit now called into an existence of
eternal life! The
points to a specific
act having taken place in the past
Ktizo - 83 15x
in 79 13v - NAS = created(13), Creator(1), make(1).
= creation of man;
= Creation of heavens and earth;
= "the Creator";
= creation of man;
creation of the new man (with a new "job description") in Christ
= creation of one new man = the Body of Christ, the Church, believing
Jew and Gentile united as one;
= God's creation of everything;
= creation of the new man in the "atmosphere" of a new, right and holy
= creation of all things by Christ;
= creation of the new man in Christ;
4:3 = creation of all things by God;
= speaks of the Father Who created all things (while the Son carried out
the actual act of Creation);
= creation of heavens and earth.
Ktizo - 68x
in 63v - In the non-apocryphal
- Gen 14:19, 22; Ex
9:18; Lev 16:16; Deut 4:32; 32:6; Ps 33:9; 51:10; 89:12, 47; 102:18;
104:30; 148:5; Pr 8:22; Eccl 12:1; Isa 22:11; 45:7, 8; 46:11; 54:16; Jer
31:22; Ezek 28:13, 15; Da 4:1; Hos 13:4; Amos 4:13; Hag 2:9; Mal 2:10
In a parallel
passage in Colossians Paul reminded the saints that they...
have put on the new self (at the time
of salvation) who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the
image of the One Who created (ktizo) him. (Col
Comment: "Being renewed” is
= “constantly being renewed.” The "crisis" of salvation leads to
the "process" of sanctification, daily becoming more like Jesus Christ,
Who is to be our life-long goal taking priority over all other goals (cp
KJV Bible Commentary notes that created does not refer
the reformation or renovation of the old man; this is the product of the
new birth and results in a new creation. The new man is created after
God and in the family likeness of God. The brand new man is known by the
Christlikeness exhibited day by day in living out the new life.
Righteousness refers to his new conduct toward his fellowmen.
Holiness refers to his new conduct towards God. These two are the
essential qualities and the evidence of the new man in Christ. (Dobson,
E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV
Bible Commentary: Nelson)
then something not already existent. It is not a spark of divine life
just waiting to be fanned into a flame. No man is born the possessor of
this divine nature. "The new man" is not the product of physical but of
spiritual birth. Again, what is created is not evolved. "The new man" is
not the product of self-culture, but is an outright creation of God.
(Paxson, Ruth: The Wealth, the Walk and the Warfare of the
Christian. 1939. Revell)
In righteousness and holiness of truth - These are the elements
in which the creation of God, the new man. manifests himself.
In Col 3:10-note,
as Olshausen remarks, “the intellectual aspect of the Divine image is
described, whereas in the passage before
is given to its ethical aspect.”...
The two terms (righteousness and holiness) occur in inverted
order in Lk 1:75, and the adverbs are found in 1Th 2:10-note;
The new man has affinities not only with created beings, but he has a
primary relationship to the God who made him, and who surely has the
first claim on his affection and duty. Whatever feelings arise out of
the relation which a redeemed creature bears to Jehovah, this piety
leads him to possess—such as veneration, confidence, and purity. (Ephesians 4 Commentary)
[word study] from
dikaios [word study]
= just, righteous = root idea of
conforming to a standard or norm) is derived from a root word that means
“straightness.” It refers to a state that conforms to an authoritative
standard or norm and so is in keeping with what God is in His holy
character. Righteousness is a moral concept. God’s character is
the definition and source of all righteousness. God is totally righteous
because He is totally as He should be. The righteousness of human beings
is defined in terms of God’s.
in Biblical terms describes the righteousness acceptable to God and thus
which is in keeping with what God is in His holy character. Rightness
means to be as something or someone should be.
Eadie writes that dikaiosune as used in
the present passage by Paul signifies "that
moral rectitude which guides the
Self) in all
relationships. It is not bare equity or probity (adherence to the
highest principles and ideals), but it leads its possessor to be what he
ought to be to every other creature in the universe. The vices
reprobated by the apostle in the following verses (Ep 4:25, 26, 27-note,
Ep 4:29, 30-note,
are manifest violations of this righteousness. It follows what is right,
and does what is right, in all given circumstances. (Ephesians 4 Commentary)
In short, the
righteousness of God is all that God is, all that He commands, all
that He demands, all that He approves and all that He provides (through
the gospel of Jesus Christ, the perfectly Righteous One.)
In the present
context righteousness describes right conduct toward others.
Dikaiosune - 96x in 86v - Matt 3:15; 5:6, 10,
20; 6:1, 33; 21:32; Luke 1:75; John 16:8, 10; Acts 10:35; 13:10; 17:31;
24:25; Ro 1:17; 3:5, 21f, 25f; 4:3, 5f, 9, 11, 13, 22; 5:17, 21; 6:13,
16, 18ff; 8:10; 9:30f; 10:3ff, 10; 14:17; 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 3:9; 5:21;
6:7, 14; 9:9f; 11:15; Gal 2:21; 3:6, 21; 5:5; Eph 4:24; 5:9; 6:14; Phil
1:11; 3:6, 9; 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22; 3:16; 4:8; Titus 3:5; Heb 1:9;
5:13; 7:2; 11:7, 33; 12:11; Jas 1:20; 2:23; 3:18; 1 Pet 2:24; 3:14; 2
Pet 1:1; 2:5, 21; 3:13; 1 John 2:29; 3:7, 10; Rev 19:11; 22:11
= sacred, holy) is piety and
indicates fulfilling the divine demands which God places upon men. It
describes that disposition of a person which acts out of regard for the
moral law of God. In other words, it is the state of proper attitude
toward God which manifest itself in pious action (devoutness, holiness).
in true Greek fashion, defines hosiotes as a knowledge of right conduct
toward the gods, the NT regards it as a consequence of the new birth.
The only other NT use of hosiotes is by Luke as John the Baptist's
father Zacharias filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:67) prayed (Lk
To grant us that we, being delivered
from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, 75 In
holiness (hosiotes) and righteousness before Him all our days.
(Luke 1:74, 75)
F W Grant says
that holiness is “piety towards God, which puts Him in His
truth - Young's Literal Translation reads "and to put on the new
man, which, according to God, was created in righteousness and kindness
of the truth." The NET Bible reads "in righteousness and holiness
that comes from truth". Although several other translations invert the
literal Greek order (E.g., NIV "true righteousness and
holiness"), there is another way this phrase can be translated and one
which seems to be a more accurate reflection of the Greek. For example,
the Translator's New Testament has "and shown in the righteousness
and holiness that comes from the truth". William Barclay has "and
which shows itself in that justice and holiness, which are the products
of the truth". The French Common Language Bible has "and that
manifests itself in the righteous and holy life inspired by the truth".
As several of authoritative sources (Eadie, Vincent, Nida) emphasize, it
seems better to interpret "the truth" as the source or origin of
the righteousness and holiness.
The NET Bible
Or “in righteousness and holiness
which is based on truth” or “originated from truth.” (NET
a well-known Greek scholar agrees writing that truth is that which is "Opposed to deceit and likewise personified. Righteousness and
holiness are attributes of truth. (Ephesians 4 Word Studies in Greek)
writes that "Finally, the concluding genitival
phrase ‘of the truth’ is best understood as denoting source or origin.
The graces of holiness and righteousness which are to characterize the
new person come from ‘the truth’, which is another way of saying
from God himself. He is the truth. These qualities originate in Him, are
consistent with His character, and are ultimately real. In this sense it
may be said that they are ‘true holiness and righteousness’. In the
wider context of Ephesians ‘the truth’ is the truth of the gospel (Ep
1:!3-note) which the readers
learned when they were instructed in Christ Jesus (Ep 4:21-note). This truth stands
over against false teaching and all forms of trickery (Ep 4:14-note contrasting with
while the immediate consequence of showing forth these graces which
spring from the truth of the gospel is that each believer should put
away falsehood and speak the truth to his neighbour (Ep 4:25-note). (O'Brien,
P. T. The Letter to the Ephesians. W. B. Eerdmans. 1999)
J Vernon McGee
explains that created in righteousness and holiness
shows that this is the imputed
righteousness of Christ, and that all is to be done consistent with the
of God. Since we have been declared righteous and we are in Christ
seated in the heavenlies, our walk down here should be commensurate with
our position. (McGee,
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
The Christian is
patterned after Christ in the perfection of His character in its twofold
expression of righteousness in relation to man and in holiness in
relation to God. Christ has been made unto us righteousness and
sanctification (1Cor. 1:30). We are, therefore, righteous in the
righteousness of Christ and holy in the holiness of Christ. Paul's
appeal, then, is for us to become what we are: to put on the garments
with which we have already been clothed. (Paxson, Ruth: The
Wealth, the Walk and the Warfare of the Christian. 1939. Revell)
Of the truth
- How does one manifest a
piety towards God when the "strong currents" and "prevailing winds" of
this present evil age (Gal 1:4) continually seeks to pull the new man
back into his former cesspool of sinful, God-hating ways?
Jesus foresaw the "dilemma" (not a dilemma to Him of course) and prayed
for us in John 17....
They are not of the world, even as I
am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. (Jn
Commenting on the phrase of the
truth Eadie says...
"Of the truth” (cp Jn 1:17; Ro
1:25, 3:7) (is in the form of the) subjective genitive (which) is not to
be resolved into an adjective, after the example of Luther, Calvin, et
al... as if the meaning were—true righteousness and holiness; nor
can it be regarded as joining to the list a distinct and additional
virtue—an opinion advanced by Pelagius.... Those critics referred to who
give the genitive the simple sense of an adjective, think the meaning to
be “true,” in opposition to what is assumed or counterfeit...
Aletheia in connection with the new man, stands opposed to the
(lusts of) deceit (apate, see Ep 4:22-note)
in connection with the old man, and is truth in Jesus (Ep 4:21-note).
While this spiritual creation is God's peculiar work—for He who creates
can alone re-create—this truth in Jesus has a living influence upon the
heart, producing, fostering, and sustaining such rectitude and piety.
The question of natural and moral
ability does not come fairly within the compass of discussion in this
place. The apostle only says, they had been taught the doctrine of a
decided and profound spiritual change, which had developed its breadth
and power in a corresponding alteration of character. He merely states
the fact that the Ephesians had been so taught, but how they had been
taught the doctrine, in what connections, and with what appliances and
arguments, he says not. Its connection with the doctrine of spiritual
influence is not insisted on. “Whatever,” says Dr. Owen, “God worketh in
us in a way of grace, He presenteth unto us in a way of duty, and that,
because although He do it in us, yet He also doth it by us, so as that
the same work is an act of His Spirit, and of our own will as acted
thereby.” (On the Holy Spirit, Works, iii. p. 432; Edinburgh, 1852)
Resource - You have to dig
through Eadie's prodigious comments but the nuggets of gold are
Ephesians 4 Commentary -Enter page 340 OR
[word study] from a = without + lêthô = that which is
hidden or concealed, the combination meaning out in open) is the the
unconcealed reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an
appearance; the manifested, the veritable essence of matter.
explains the origin of this word this way -
Etymologically aletheia means “nonconcealment.” It thus denotes
what is seen, indicated, expressed, or disclosed, i.e., a thing as it
really is, not as it is concealed or falsified. aletheia is “the real
state of affairs,” e.g., the truth in law, or real events in history, or
true being in philosophy... aletheia is “that which has certainty and
force”... aletheia is “that on which one can rely”...aletheia is “the
state of affairs as disclosed”... aletheia is “truth of statement” used
with speaking (Lk. 4:25) or teaching (Mk. 12:14).... aletheia is “true
teaching or faith” (2Cor. 13:8; 4:2; Gal. 5:7; 1Pe 1:22
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
Truth is the
correspondence between reality and declaration which professes to
set it forth. To say it another way, words are true when they correspond
with objective reality. Persons and things are true when they correspond
with their profession. Hence a truth is a declaration which has
corresponding reality, or a reality which is correctly set forth. Since
God is Himself the great reality, that which correctly sets forth His
nature is pre-eminently the Truth.
The basic understanding of aletheia is
that it is the manifestation of a hidden reality. For example, when you
are a witness in a trial, the attendant says "Raise your right hand. Do
you swear that you will tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help
you God?" And you say, "I do" and you sit down. The question is asking
"Are you willing to come into this courtroom and manifest something that
is hidden to us that only you
know so that you will bear evidence to that?" And when you do speak the
are manifesting a hidden reality.
Truth is the
property of being in accord with fact or reality as defined by God.
Whatever God says is Truth. Truth is a person, Christ Jesus. Truth
counters the lie and deceptions of our fallen flesh, the evil world and
the Evil One (Satan, the father of lies, John 8:44)
109x in 98v - Matt 22:16; Mark 5:33; 12:14, 32; Luke 4:25; 20:21; 22:59;
John 1:14, 17; 3:21; 4:23f; 5:33; 8:32, 40, 44ff; 14:6, 17; 15:26; 16:7,
13; 17:17, 19; 18:37f; Acts 4:27; 10:34; 26:25; Rom 1:18, 25; 2:2, 8,
20; 3:7; 9:1; 15:8; 1 Cor 5:8; 13:6; 2 Cor 4:2; 6:7; 7:14; 11:10; 12:6;
13:8; Gal 2:5, 14; 5:7; Eph 1:13; 4:21, 24f; 5:9; 6:14; Phil 1:18; Col
1:5f; 2 Thess 2:10, 12f; 1 Tim 2:4, 7; 3:15; 4:3; 6:5; 2 Tim 2:15, 18,
25; 3:7f; 4:4; Titus 1:1, 14; Heb 10:26; Jas 1:18; 3:14; 5:19; 1 Pet
1:22; 2 Pet 1:12; 2:2; 1 John 1:6, 8; 2:4, 21; 3:18f; 4:6; 5:6; 2 John
1:1ff; 3 John 1:1, 3f, 8, 12. Translated as - certainly(1), most
certainly*(1), rightly*(m)(1), truly*(2), truth(104).
><> ><> ><>
I love F B
Meyer's description of the accoutrements of the "New Man"...
This is the aggregate of blessed
habits that mark the life of the converted - the white robe of purity,
the girdle of self-restraint, the silver of humility, the jewels of holy
character. All through the Epistles we are bidden to don it. "Put on the
armour of light." "Put on, as God's elect, a heart of compassion.'' "Put
on the Lord Jesus Christ."
It is the new man, because the habits and character of the
children of God are very similar. There is a family likeness
common to all. It is after God, because it is created in His likeness.
It is the fashion of God in human nature, perfectly exemplified once in
Jesus Christ, and now waiting to be imparted by the Holy Ghost. It is
righteous toward man. It is holy toward God. It is true, perfectly
transparent and sincere. Put on this holy thing! Created in Jesus, and
therefore not to be woven by human effort or spun by outward obedience
to rites, but to be simply assumed.
Put it on by faith. Do not try to build up Christ-likeness by
your repeated endeavours. Just assume it by faith. Believe it is yours.
Reckon that it is so. Go out believing that Christ's likeness is on you,
and His beauty clothing you as a beautiful robe; and men shall
increasingly realize that it is not you but Christ. The
beauty of the Lord will be upon you; and the life of Jesus will be
manifest in your mortal body, both in life and death. (Devotional
Commentary on Ephesians)
><> ><> ><>
Ruth Paxson explains God's
gift of "Holiness in Character" which is to be worked out in our lives
in "Holiness of Conduct", that conduct being described in detail
beginning in Ep 4:25-note...
A Walk in Holiness
One step over the boundary line
between the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God brings us into a new
sphere and begins a walk in newness of life. This walk involves a
radical change in character, what we are; in conduct, what we do; in
conversation, what we say.
Holiness in Character
"He hath chosen us in him...that we should be holy."
"Put on the new man...created in true holiness."
"That he might present to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or
wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and
In the eternity of the past the
Father chose a Bride for His Son; a Church composed of those who would
be united with Christ in absolute oneness of life through the eternity
to come, and He Himself set the standard for their Christian character:
"that we should be holy."
Despite all the difficulties of a
walk in a thoroughly defiled and defiling world, God never lowers this
standard. However, He is not unreasonable in demanding of us something
which we are utterly incapable of doing by ourselves. He has made ample
provision for what He requires in giving to us His Holy Spirit and His
Holy Word. The Spirit uses the Word in separating us from all that is
unholy and in setting us apart unto all that is holy. The way of
holiness is clearly taught. A daily study of the Word under the tutelage
of the Spirit, accompanied by implicit obedience to it, ensures
continuous growth into holiness of life.
Christ, also, gives us fellowship
with other Christians. How often the Christ-life, shining transparently
and winsomely through some saint of God, has created within us a hunger
and thirst for more Christlikeness for ourselves! How tenderly the Lord
has responded to our heart's cry for holiness of character by sending
someone who had himself thirsted and been filled to help us into the
same blessed experience.
The Lord does not discourage us by
demanding perfection of character all at once. But our walk should mean
a step-by-step growth into Christlikeness; to keep our hearts set on
perfection He keeps our eyes fixed on that day—perhaps not far
distant—when He will return and the Church will be presented to Him
spotless and holy, even as He is. (Paxson, Ruth: The Wealth, the Walk
and the Warfare of the Christian. 1939. Revell)
><> ><> ><>
A Christian All the Time - My
nephew James had completed boot camp and had become one of the few and
the proud who could say, "I'm a Marine!" His dad was showing me some
graduation pictures and pointed to one of a relaxed James smiling for
the camera. "I wasn't supposed to take this one," he said. "James told
me he could get in trouble for having his picture taken like that while
Apparently the Marine's code of behavior extends beyond formal
functions, even to the way he is photographed. A Marine is "a new
person," and this should be evident in the way he acts 24 hours a day.
Of course, this doesn't mean he can never relax or smile, but there
should be something different about his manner because he's a Marine.
So it is in the Christian life. The new guidelines, which apply 24 hours
a day, include not lying (Eph. 4:25-note),
not allowing our anger to lead us into sin (Eph. 4:26-note),
not giving the devil a chance to influence us (Eph. 4:27-note),
not stealing (Eph. 4:28-note),
not speaking dishonorably (Eph. 4:29-note),
not grieving the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30-note),
avoiding malice (Eph. 4:31-note),
and being kind (Eph. 4:32-note).
Just as a Marine has a constant responsibility to uphold the image of
the Corps, so we must remember that we represent Jesus--all the time. —
(Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI.
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Help me, Lord, to live my life
Free from selfishness and strife
So that others clearly see
Changes You have made in me. --Sper
Christ is not looking for parttime followers.
><> ><> ><>
Spiritual Reupholstering - When we
moved into our home 5 years ago, we discovered that the former owner had
left us six dining room chairs. They were covered with fabric of
beautiful African art—tasteful zebra stripes. We appreciated the
unexpected gifts and used them frequently when entertaining guests.
When we recently moved again, those chairs needed a makeover to match
our new decor. So I called an upholsterer and asked, "Shouldn't we just
put the new material over the existing fabric?" He responded, "No,
you'll ruin the shape of the chair if you just put new material over the
The work of God in our lives is similar. He's not interested in merely
changing our spiritual appearance. Instead, He intends to replace our
character with what is called "the new man," made in the image of Christ
(Ephesians 4:24). The flesh has a tendency to perform religious
activity, but this is not the work of the Holy Spirit. He will
completely transform us on the inside.
But the process is a partnership (Php 2:12-note;Php
As we daily lay aside our old behaviors and replace them with godly
ones, the God of grace works in us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
God wants to reupholster us. —Dennis Fisher
(Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI.
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Dear Lord, You've given new life to
A great and full salvation;
And may the life that others see
Display the transformation. —Hess
When you receive Christ,
in you has just begun.
><> ><> ><>
Dragon Skin - In the fifth Chronicle of Narnia, The Voyage of the
Dawn Treader, Edmund, Lucy, and their spoiled cousin Eustace are
summoned to help on a quest in the Eastern Sea. Along the way, Eustace
is tempted by enchanted treasure and turned into a dragon. The desperate
dragon accepts the help of the great lion Aslan, king of Narnia. But
Eustace can only be freed by allowing Aslan’s claws to painfully tear
off the dragon’s flesh. Grateful for his deliverance, Eustace chooses to
become a better boy.
Receiving God’s gift of salvation through Christ is a one-time event,
but to become like Him often requires suffering and struggle. It
involves putting off old sinful habits and replacing them with new godly
ones. Paul wrote, “Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man
which grows corrupt . . . [and] put on the new man which was created
according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ep 4:22, 23, 24).
What is troubling you today? God may be using the kind rebuke of a
friend or a painful trial to prompt you to get rid of a sinful habit and
to replace it with godly character (Ro 8:29; 1Peter 4:1, 2).
The process of becoming like Christ is sometimes painful, but it’s
always worth it.— Dennis Fisher
(Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI.
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
To be like Jesus is our goal,
Though it doesn’t happen fast;
We trust the Spirit as our Guide
Till we’re glorified at last. —Branon
The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment;
the growth of a
saint is the work of a lifetime.
><> ><> ><>
Something Has Changed - When some missionaries took the gospel to
Vanino, a town in the far eastern part of Russia, they didn't know what
effect their work would have.
A few years later, Gary Anderson, president of Baptist Mid-Missions,
visited Vanino. He was met by the vice-mayor, who told him, "We have
noticed that when people are associated with your church for a while, it
makes a difference. It's as though they are reborn."
Anderson was then asked by the vice-mayor if his church would work with
troubled families and directionless young adults in Vanino.
Without knowing it, that city official had correctly described what had
happened. People in Vanino had been "reborn"--born again by faith in
Jesus, who died for their sins and rose from the grave. Each of them was
"a new creation" (2Co 5:17-note).
The question we need to be asking ourselves is whether people notice
that we have been reborn. Can anyone tell that there is a positive
difference about our lives?
One of the greatest witnesses we can have as Christians is to leave a
positive impression on others. The people of Vanino know that something
has changed the churchgoers. Is it obvious to others that Someone has
changed you? — Dave Branon
(Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI.
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
When we're reborn--made new in Christ--
It should be plain for all to see
That God has changed us from within
And placed us in His family. --Sper
A changed life is the result of a changed heart.
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Chambers in a devotional
entitled Continuous Conversion writes...
These words of our Lord (Matthew
18:3) refer to our initial conversion, but we should continue to turn to
God as children, being continuously converted every day of our lives. If
we trust in our own abilities, instead of God’s, we produce consequences
for which God will hold us responsible. When God through His sovereignty
brings us into new situations, we should immediately make sure that our
natural life submits to the spiritual, obeying the orders of the Spirit
of God. Just because we have responded properly in the past is no
guarantee that we will do so again. The response of the natural to the
spiritual should be continuous conversion, but this is where we so often
refuse to be obedient. No matter what our situation is, the Spirit of
God remains unchanged and His salvation unaltered. But we must "put on
the new man . . ." (Ep 4:24-note).
God holds us accountable every time we refuse to convert ourselves, and
He sees our refusal as willful disobedience. Our natural life must not
rule— God must rule in us.
To refuse to be continuously converted puts a stumbling block in the
growth of our spiritual life. There are areas of self-will in our lives
where our pride pours contempt on the throne of God and says, "I won’t
submit." We deify our independence and self-will and call them by the
wrong name. What God sees as stubborn weakness, we call strength. There
are whole areas of our lives that have not yet been brought into
submission, and this can only be done by this continuous conversion.
Slowly but surely we can claim the whole territory for the Spirit of