Tuesday, 23 November 2021
“…and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” -Ephesians 4:24
Man was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). With the fall of man by sin, this likeness to God was replaced by an image that was totally opposite to God’s image. Over the centuries, man has tried to better his image with his good works but never achieved because of his depraved heart. Only God could provide a solution. In the fullness of time God sent His only Son, Christ Jesus who restored God’s image in every human being who turned to Him for salvation- thus giving them a New Look in Him.
When the world lays emphasis on the outward appearance of man, Paul here focuses on an inward beauty that is revealed in any man who puts off his old nature controlled by sin and puts on a new image which is created according to God. Though we all love to keep walking in this new image, we find ourselves sliding back to our old self. People are not easily freed from their old habits and prejudices. The tug is quite strong.
Paul teaches in our reading, a few steps that will protect us from returning to our old ways and continuing in our New Life in Christ:
1. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind (V.23)- When we surrender our lives to Christ, His Spirit takes control over our spirit and begins to renew our minds. He replaces angry, bitter, lustful, prideful, self-condemning and self-righteous thoughts that have been holding us captive and fills our minds with thoughts of kindness, love and forgiveness. This renewal is not a one day process but a lifelong experience as we walk with Him. Every day as we read and meditate on the Word of God, it sanctifies us through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Romans 8:5 says those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. This renewed mind leads to a transformed life. This is what we see in the life of the lost son in the parable in Luke 15. His changed thinking made him take actions that led to his reconciliation with God and his father. Is your mind renewed in Christ or are you still alienated from Him and darkened in your thinking? God wants to give you a new life in Him through Jesus! Come to Him!
2.Do not grieve the Holy Spirit (V.30)- Before leaving the earth, Jesus promised His disciples and us another Helper who will abide with us forever, ‘The Spirit of Truth’ (John 14:16-18) who will teach us and remind us all that Jesus has spoken to us (John 14:26). So today though Jesus is not here in bodily form, He lives in every believer through His Spirit who dwells in us. Every time we need a counsel in our Christian walk, it is the indwelling Spirit of God who leads us. But the minute we reject His counsel or ignore Him, we push Him away and cause Him to grieve.
This was what each of us did before we met Christ- our carnal mind was at enmity with God. But now we are no longer led by our spirit, but by THE SPIRIT OF GOD. It’s the Holy Spirit who enables us to live a victorious Christian life. May we make every effort not to cause Him pain by being hostile to Him or ungrateful but always remembering it was He who drew us to Christ and that He always lives to comfort and guide us.
Thought for the Day: “Being a Christian is more than an instantaneous conversion, it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.” ~Billy Graham
Listen: 'Christ in Me'