“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10)
Sometimes, while on my daily activities, my past lifestyle flashes. In such moments, I begin to ask myself, “Were you the one that did such a thing”? Then a still small voice whispers to me, “Your old self did that, not you”. Just like we see ‘flash back’ scenes in movies, memories of our past lifestyles are hardly completely drained. In such moments, some people realize how stupid and ignorant they were.
Many are comfortable with the ‘old man’ or self, thereby missing God’s agenda for their lives. It takes conscious efforts to realize the shortcomings of the ‘old man’ as it concerns values, character and attitude. It also takes conscious efforts to evolve from the ‘old man’. In Colossians 3:10, the Bible instructs us to put on the ‘new man’. This involves a paradigm shift from the old pattern of thinking and behavior. This is a total departure from the old culture to the new culture of God’s Kingdom.
Characteristics of the Old Man
From the biblical perspective, the ‘old man’ is characterized by ungodliness, ignorance, desires of the flesh, complacency, poor attitude and mediocrity.
- Does not know God
The ‘old man’ does not believe that God exists and is completely ignorant of who He is. Many people, who are putting on the ‘old man’, do not have a revelation of who God is and do not have any relationship with Him. God is never important to the ‘old man’ and ultimately, the ‘old man’ lacks the life of God – eternal life (John 17:3).
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
- Does not love God
The ‘old man’ does not give himself or herself completely to God – laying down everything and surrendering to God. The litmus test of love for God is spending quality time with Him in prayer and studying His Word as well as serving Him with all amount of zeal and passion. The ‘old man’ never passes this litmus test – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”(John 14:15)
- Lacks the qualities of God
The ‘old man’ does not live, move and have his or her being in God. The wisdom, power, holiness and goodness of God are lacking in the life of ‘old man’, thereby living a life of bondage, oppression, hardship, struggles, stagnation and backwardness.
Putting on the New Man
Like I mentioned earlier, it takes conscious efforts to put off the ‘old man’ and put on the ‘new man’. This involves a total evolution into a new self – a complete transformation predicated on a personal decision and help of the Spirit of God. It involves a rebirth that brings about a regeneration of one’s spirit and soul – born of the Spirit of God.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)
Being in Christ begins with accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and letting Him to dwell in your heart. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the ‘new man’ begins to express the character and qualities of God. Say this prayer of salvation if you have never done so – Dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart. I accept You as my personal Lord and Savior. I believe that you died and rose again to save me. I declare that I am born again. I receive the gifts of forgiveness and righteousness. Thank You for accepting and glorifying me. Amen!
Putting on the ‘new man’ also involves studying and meditating on God’s Word. This brings about transformation and empowerment of the believer. God’s Word reveals God’s principles, character and pattern of thinking and behavior. As you study and meditate on God’s Word your life is gradually transformed.
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2nd Corinthians 3:18)