Posts Tagged new self

New You

Ephesians 4: 22 – 24

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

I was reminded of this verse today and heard a new liberty in it. This is instruction to cast off our former ways and begin living in our new life created to be like God, bought with the blood of Jesus. I heard some new things today though.

First, I am created to be like God and you are too. This is for the here and now. Is that mind expanding? That is what it means to put on the new man. You and I can walk in this earth like God, as did Jesus. That is the model for your life on earth. This is exactly why God sent us the Holy Spirit, so that we can walk in God-like righteousness and holiness. This isn’t the holier than thou mantra either because there is no arrogance in Christ. We can be others centered and still emotionally and mentally whole. We can walk without blemish when we don his robes. This tends to stretch your brain just a little, at least.

The second thing I got out of today’s reminder is that we are empowered, we have the ability and God given grace, to leave a bunch of junk behind us. I usually think of this verse only in terms of shucking the old me behaviorally, but there is much more opportunity embedded in this verse. We are given the right and ability to bury the sins of our past but also of others. We can leave behind, put off from us, the injuries of the past. Old hurts, bad memories can, and should, be the things of the past. We get to put on a new us each day. Isn’t that good news? This is an ongoing dynamic. You don’t just cast off the old self once. No, you get to bury yesterday’s mess. Today’s mistakes, errors, and sins are tomorrow’s graves. Give it all to God and let Him file it on Pluto for you. Maybe there, we will find it more difficult to dig it up and examine it again.

We are not people who should be looking behind us, but rather new creatures formed in the likeness of God Himself, who look forward, even beyond the horizon. I like the end of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie when Jack Sparrow says, “Bring me that horizon.” That is us, leaning forward, looking for the next opportunity, growing and stretching to our new horizon and then beyond.

Put on your new self, casting away the former one who was laden with too much junk and bad behaviors. Put on your new you who has been transformed by the renewal of your mind in the grace of our Lord.

Melting Away

Colossians 3: 8 – 9

But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech from your mouth, do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices.
As we set our eyes on those things above, we must take care that we do not resurrect those things from our old self. But the good news is that as you keep your eyes on Jesus, those old things will feel foreign. They are inconsistent with your new self and soon they become uncomfortable. Then they will begin to melt away from you.

It is interesting how many of the above offenses are committed with our mouths. Getting our mouths under control is the bulk of the battle but with our eyes fixed on Jesus, he lends his strength to us so that in our weakness, we are strong. As we focus our attention on seeking Jesus and our Father, his power is made alive in us. Our worship and love of him draws us away from our old behaviors. They will eventually become as repugnant to us as they are to Him because we are drawing closer to Him every day and becoming more like Him.

Help, I’m Dying

Romans 6: 4, 6

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life . . . knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him.

I wish to share with you today about healing. Now I realize that the verse I chose in order to discuss health and healing looks more like a discourse on dying. Ultimately that reflects the point I wish to make though. Healing is in death. If you want to walk in all of the enormous benefits of Jesus’ triumph, including perfect health, then you must die.

Galatians 2: 20 reads, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. This is generically spoken of as dying to self. We are to crucify ourselves, our flesh or worldly selves, and take on the life of Christ, joining with him in holy union so that he lives through us and we live in and through him. Ephesians 4: 22 and 24 give us an even more clear understanding: “In reference to you former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” 

Our old self was crucified with Christ and buried with him but we tend to continue wearing grave clothes instead of donning the robes of righteousness given to us by Christ Jesus. The renewed life is in doing as Paul teaches us in these passages; take off the old self and bury the carcass. Then put on Jesus in his fullness and glory. Jesus told us that in the new age, the age in which we are living, that he would live in us, he is the glory and righteousness within us. “In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14: 20). This is the great revelation and triumph of the New Covenant. The Messiah has come, Emmanuel – God with us.

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you” (Romans 8: 11). You see, it is God within us which is health and healing to our bodies. The healing power of God is alive in us right now. We just need to live to that truth instead of living in the world and its decay. We shuck off the old self, don the new life in Christ and ask Jesus to fill every cell of our bodies.

If we are inviting Jesus and the Holy Spirit to indwell us then ask them to fill you to overflowing. I am reminded of the freshmen physics course where the professor fills a beaker with rocks and asks the students if it can hold any more. When they answer in the negative he pours in small gravel bits. Oh my, now is it full, can it hold any more? “No,” they proclaim. So the professor trickles in sand. “Okay, how about now?” “Certainly not!” From below the desk top the professor produces a beaker of water and begins to add water to the first beaker.” 

So, I would ask you, “Is the beaker now full?” I suggest that it is not. If the Holy Spirit was the water we could analyze that, as with each medium, the Holy Spirit is filling the negative space or the empty space. I posit, though, that after the water is added to the beaker that there is still room for the Holy Spirit to fit in that beaker. He goes in and fills the molecules and the space between the molecules and he fills the atoms and so on down to the smallest atomic particle. That is the vision I wish to share with you for your body. As you cast off your old self and put on the new self, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you down to the smallest atomic particle. Ask him to saturate every cell of your body with his presence. 

Every day see your old self dead and buried and envision your new life in Christ filled with all that he is. Let your life in Christ permeate you. In death is resurrection. In death is life. I know it is paradoxical but you can handle the paradox because you have the mind of Christ. When you die to self you can live to Christ and when Christ is your life then all of the power of the universe is not only with you but within you. You only have to die.