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“Putting off the old man” May 20, 2007

Posted by Kevin in Uncategorized.
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I remember growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. It was very popular to refer to your dad as “the old man.” That is to say, popular in every house but ours. We were told very early in our teen years about that phrase and that it was analogous to man’s sinful nature. And that was definitely far from the representation or description of our father.

But what does “putting off the old man” mean to me?

Let’s first look at a passage of scripture that brings up that phrase.

Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart; they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness. You did not so learn Christ! — assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:17-32 RSV

Putting off the old man sounds almost benign in this passage, doesn’t it? You get a somewhat different picture in Romans 6:6. That passage says this:

knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Romans 6:6 NKJV

Crucified — that’s not quite so benign is it? That sounds downright painful in fact. And it is painful. Or rather, it was. It was painful when Christ died for our sins. It was painful when He willingly gave His life that we might live. And that brings me back to my original thought when I started writing this.

How should we then live?

I think the best way to live is to focus not so much on what we are putting off. But rather we should focus on what we are putting on. Put on a new Spirit for your mind as noted in verse 23. And put on holiness and righteousness as noted in verse 24.

Is it easy? — Yes and No

It is easy in that we don’t have to do anything in our own strength. We have the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us and empower us to live a Holy life.

It is not easy in that we are often tempted to try to handle it on our own. We listen to the voice of the world that tells us that we need to be self-sufficient and rely on our own abilities. Self-reliance is an open invitation to letting the devil get a foothold in our lives as we are warned in verse 27.

Here are some practical words right out of our passage.

  • Speak truthfully to your neighbor
  • Be angry, but without letting that anger drive us to sin
  • Work hard and do something useful for the Kingdom
  • Share with those who are in need
  • Watch your mouth for unwholesome talk
  • Use our words to build each other up
  • Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit
  • Get rid of socially unacceptable and disruptive behaviors
  • Be kind and compassionate to one another
  • Forgive each other as Christ forgave us

I am not sure why I wrote this today. But it came to me during the worship service this morning. Perhaps I wrote it because I needed to read it.

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Comments»

1. TREY MORGAN - May 20, 2007

Hey Kevin,

Glad you ran across my blog. Hope you’ll come back again. I’m looking forward to looking around here some too.

Blessings,

Trey

2. Scott - May 21, 2007

Some good thoughts there Kevin. It brougth to mind two other things that I came across today. 1 some scripture and 2 life (lol)

1. 1 Peter 5 has some a message that tangents along this as well. Some quick points from that:
A. Clothe yourselves with humility
B. God opposes the proud
C. God gives grace to the humble
D. Cast ALL anxiety on to Him
E. He cares
F. Be self-controlled and alert
G. The enemy prowls
H. Resist, you are not alone in your sufferings and trials
I. He alone will restore us!!

2. from life, it seems to me sometimes that the forgive like Christ forgives can be one of the hardest things for us to do. Having family coming into town, I have been reminded of how much we can bring up each other’s past actions that may have hurt each other. We have “stated” that we have forgiven, but I don’t think we truly forgive like Christ forgives. He wipes the slate clean and does not bring up that to which we have repented of. I pray that I can have that type of forgiveness for my past by my loved ones and that I can also have the humility to extend that same forgiveness.

Great post Kevin.
Blessings
Scott

3. Kevin - May 22, 2007

Trey, thanks for coming by. I will visit yours a little more as well.

Kevin

4. Kevin - May 22, 2007

Scott, I think the passage in Luke 7:36-50 is applicable here. When I focus on what I have been forgiven, it is easier to forgive as Christ forgives.

Do you agree?

5. Scott - May 22, 2007

Kevin,

That is a great scripture and yes I completely agree with it. It seems the practice of it, when with the family (outer family, not my two girls), it seems that past hurts or actions often come up in conversation. It is something that actually seems to be a characteristic of a section of my family. I inquired to Cherie if I am like that and she gave me feedback that I can only credit Jesus with, and that is that I am not like that with her or our daughter.

So, I am extremely thankful for the forgiveness of Christ because I know what I have been saved from. I think I am just letting a conversation I had recently with a family member I love get to me where this very thing happened. Some people just don’t want to let go of the past and look to the good He has awaiting us. Pastor’s sermon about sowing discord really hit home within that conversation. Glory to God, I was able to just let it be and not add to the fire. Another sign to me of who is living in me.

Praise God in all
blessings
Scott

6. Scott - May 23, 2007

2 more side notes

1. my family made it in safe and sound

2. I have posted up some blog stuff on my myspace too.

Blessings
Scott

7. Kevin - May 23, 2007

Scott,

I’ll check out your MySpace stuff when I get home. It is blocked by the firewall at work.


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