Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV)
22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Romans 13:14 (ESV)
14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.It does not take long for a beggar to put off his rags and take instead a new suit of clothes, and it need not take a moment longer to put away habits and thoughts, ways of speech and life which are unworthy of the children of God. Do it now, and look up to the Holy Spirit to keep renewing you in the spirit of your mind.
“If the Holy Spirit be ungrieved He will witness to our sonship; He will enthrone Christ as King of our life; will keep the self-life in the place of death; will give us a hunger for the things of God; He will give power in witness-bearing. In order to have a strong and blessed Christian experience, the one thing is to see that we do not grieve the Spirit. I do not think that we can grieve Him away, but we may greatly limit and restrain His gracious work by insincerity of speech, the nursing of an unforgiving spirit, any kind of over-reaching or fraudulent dealing, impurity of speech, or failure in love. We may be bound, so as not to be able to move our arms, by a number of cotton threads, quite as tightly as by a strong rope-thong. Let us take care not to grieve Him by such inconsistencies.” —F.B. Meyer
At the moment of true faith, when, in recognition of the utter sinful rebellion of one’s being in the sight of God, a person accepts that God’s perfect mercy was shed in Jesus Christ, and His Grace is available for cleansing, that old, self-life sinfulness dies with Christ on the Cross. The poor, mourning soul is buried with Christ and called out, like Lazarus, grave clothes and all, to new life. The New Man is regenerated with life from the Risen Lord who tells us to come out of the place of death and encourages us and those of our family to remove the grave clothes.
Put off the old man! that’s the command to remove the grave clothes Come out of the tomb! We’re to leave the place of death and the clothes that are only appropriate in such a dark and loathsome place. We are to walk, not remain lame. We are to show ourselves to the Priest, Christ, that we are truly cleansed, not continue to live in blindness or corruption among the leper colony.
In addition to putting off the things of the dead self-life, we are to put ON the things of Life, the garments that have been provided by the Father for the wedding feast. How many will attempt to attend the wedding feast without the appropriate garments? They will be cast out because they never received the cloak of righteousness that comes from the Father because of His great Grace, recognizing the payment He made through His son, Jesus Christ.
We understand through quantum theory that one particle can exist equally in two places. So, it is not hard to imagine how we can exist in the Heavenly realm with Jesus as our representative, whose Spirit resides within us, as well as bodily in this earthly realm. But we must increasingly associate ourselves with the Ascended Lord who sits in the throne room of Heaven, a very real place, rather than this temporary shell of what we know as reality.
We should be like travelers who, as we draw closer to home, we see landmarks that are more reminiscent of Home than of the places through which we traveled. These landmarks should encourage us and remind us of the Home to which we’re traveling.
The Old Man resides in the place of death and values the grave clothes over anything else. The riches of this world, the recognition of fellow dead men will one day be revealed to our sight in stark detail that will not be missed. In that day, the dead men of the rebellion will know how foolish they’ve been and will see clearly how useless their wealth and status is against the Lord. They will feel like the primitive savage confronting a modern army. Their spears will be like toothpicks and their witch doctors will be revealed as frauds. The LORD will roll over the rebels decisively. There will be no resistance. There will be no hope.
Death and the grave cannot survive in the purifying Light of Life. Not for an instant.
Put off the Old Man, leave the grave behind. Put ON the New Man, who is Christ our LORD.