Put Off...Put On

<<total lifestyle change>>

Although God is ultimately in control, Satan and the forces of evil have been given temporary permission to run the show at the moment which accounts for the chaos and evil evidenced. The Bible repeatedly contrasts the flesh (typified by its ungodliness) and the new life in Christ (that is pleasing to God) which begins at salvation. We are instructed to put off the old, sinful life in its multitude of expressions and put on the new life in Christ, effectively considering ourselves dead to sin but alive to God’s power (Eph 2:1-10, 4:22-24; Col 3:5-10). This involves a new mindset (Rom 12:1,2). As we do this we will be able to walk a new path transformed by His power as we ‘live in Him’ (Rom 6:2-23; 2 Cor 5:17). It is not ‘life as usual’ – our new life in Christ is in total contrast to our life before we became a Christian. We are ‘being conformed into the image of Christ’. This is not an optional extra, “If you live according to the sinful nature you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body you will live” (Rom 8:12-14,29). We are not to love the world or what originates from its ungodly roots (1 Jn 2:15-17). Recognize it as fact that ‘in Christ’ although we are in the world we are not of it, and we so don’t have to be dictated to by its standards but can live on a much higher level, and point people to Jesus (Jn 17:14,15).

Our responsibility is to “Go now and leave your life of sin…purifying ourselves of everything that contaminates body and spirit…”, for “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” replacing it with His characteristics (Jn 8:11; 2 Cor 7:1; Gal 5:19-24). To do so is an ongoing challenge as

It is our duty to deal drastically with our carnal flesh

temptation is always present and we must exercise self-control and self-discipline (2 Cor 10:5). When we sin we need to repent and seek forgiveness, making a fresh resolve to walk as Jesus did (1 Jn 1:9, 2:6). If there is not a dealing with the sinful disposition and an increasing growth in righteousness, we have a legitimate reason to question a person’s salvation for by the fruit of their lives we will recognize those who belong to Christ and those who don't (Mt 7:20).

See also: cross, crucifixion, flesh, mindset, responsible/responsibility, self-discipline.