By Oscar M. Baker
"That ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk" (Eph. 4:17). And how do these other Gentiles walk? In vanity of mind; darkened understanding; alienated from the life of God; in ignorance; blinded hearts. They have become past feeling, and so have given themselves over to lasciviousness: they work uncleanness with greediness. They did not learn this from Christ.
Over and over we must repeat that a Christian is still in the flesh and can do the things of the flesh just as he did before putting on the new nature or new man. Beware!
Timothy was told to flee youthful lusts. Today we live in Sodom. It is all around us. We must take care that we do not fall into its ways like Lot did. Do not complain. This is a test for Christians to see if they will do the will of the Father. Obedience is the word.
"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man" (Eph. 4:22). You will note that we do not actually put off the old man himself. That only can be done in resurrection. But we can put off his deeds, the former conversation or way of living. The old man is full of deceitful lusts. Put them off , for that is corruption. Much of this can be done by exercising the will. But one can do all things through Christ Who is our strength. Also these deceitful lusts are hard to put off as long as one loves them. There must be a change of mind.
"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind" (Eph. 4:23). The spirit of the mind is often used of the new man or new nature. And it needs to be fed, to be strengthened and renewed by the Word. Feed on the Word and it will grow strong and overcome the old man. This renewal is a day by day experience we should have. Just as we eat our portion of meals a day, so should we feed this new man. Remember that men sin for the simple reason that they love sin.
"That ye put on the new man" (Eph. 4:24). Again, we must remind ourselves that we do not actually put off the old man nor do we put on the new man. But we do put on his deeds. It is a way of living, a walk, a conversation. It is evidence to the world that one does have Christ within. For He can only live in the new man or new nature, never in the old.
This new man is created in righteousness. So the new man is a new creation as we have said before. And it is righteous. We did not say to improve it. That is not possible. It is perfect and does not sin. But it needs the strength to overcome the old man. This is where true holiness comes in. It is a fruit of the spirit. And it can never be counterfeited so that God will be fooled. It is like pinning tinsel and ornaments on a so-called Christmas tree. Fake, false, and imitation; and nobody is fooled for a minute. These are not fruits, just baubles.
(Reprinted from Truth For Today, Vol. 31, No. 4.)