Wednesday, 5 October 2022
“Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” -Ephesians 4:24 NLT
After laying the foundations of the Christian faith, Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Ephesus writes about how they are to conduct themselves in their witness to the world as belonging to the household of God. When we are saved, we are “born again” and possess a new nature which is being renewed into Christ-likeness.
Over the centuries, man has tried to better his image in various manner either by rituals, philosophies or his good works but it can never be achieved because of his depraved heart. It is only by way of knowing Christ Jesus, in one being saved through Him that Jesus restores God’s image in every human being. Thus when we are saved through Christ, we have a “New Look in Him!”
When the world lays emphasis on the outward appearance of man, Paul focuses on an inward beauty that is revealed in anyone 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 often slide back to our old self. Old habits and prejudices have a strong pull in people and are difficult to wear off.
Paul lays down a few steps that will protect us from returning to our old ways, while continuing our New Life in Christ:
Be renewed in the spirit of your mind (V.23)
As we yield our lives to Christ, Holy 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 we have been held captive, with thoughts of kindness, love and forgiveness. This renewal happens not in a day but a lifelong experience as we walk with Him! The indwelling Holy Spirit sanctifies us as we read and meditate on the Word of God daily. Romans 8:5 says those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. A renewed mind leads to a transformed life. We see this in the story of the Lost Son in Luke 15—his changed thinking made him take actions that led to his reconciliation with God and his father. Is your mind being renewed in Christ or are you still alienated from Him and darkened in your thinking? To those who are far from God- come to Him-God wants to give you a new life through Jesus!
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit( V.30)
The Holy Spirit is our Helper whom Jesus promised to His disciples, who would be with us forever- ‘the Spirit of Truth’ (John 14:16-18) who would teach us and remind us of what Jesus spoke (John 14:26). So today though Jesus is not here in bodily form but He lives in every believer through His Spirit who indwells us. Every time we need counsel in our Christian walk, it is the indwelling Spirit of God who guides us. But when we reject His counsel or ignore Him or live against God’s principles, we cause Him to grieve.
Paul lists several practices that we need to rid ourselves off- bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. What is fitting for God’s children is being kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven us.
Our old way of life before we knew Christ was marked by the carnal mind but we are to remind ourselves that now we are led by THE SPIRIT OF GOD. The Holy Spirit enables us to live a victorious Christian life. Hence may we make every effort not to cause Him pain by being hostile to Him but yield to Him as 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'