Called to New Life

KEY VERSE: “Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” —Ephesians 4:24

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 4:22-32

THE “old man” is dead, and after reading its description in these verses we should say, ‘Good riddance!’

But we find it is just not that easy. To put off the old man requires being renewed in the spirit of our mind with what Paul refers to as putting on the “new man.” To those who have become new creatures in Christ, Paul again wrote, “Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.”—II Cor. 5:17

A great change has taken place as a result of being “in Christ,” and having become “new creatures.” We still have trials and difficulties, but now we realize that “all things work together for good.” (Rom. 8:28) In II Cor. 6:6,7, Paul tells how this change can be successfully made.

When self promotion was our chief concern we may not have been too seriously bothered with absolute purity, honesty, and justice. But in the pursuit of our new goals nothing but the highest standards of purity are acceptable to the Lord.

“By knowledge.” In our earthly vocation, a certain amount of knowledge is necessary. It may be knowledge of farming, machinery, or some other sort of skill. In our new pursuit, knowledge is also necessary—knowledge of the work we have been called to do. And the Lord has given us this new knowledge. It is found in his Word, and the wonderful plan of the ages.

“By longsuffering.” Patience was necessary in our old vocations, because sometimes there were trying circumstances. But this quality of character is even more important now, because we have to endure difficult tests of faithfulness which the Lord permits to come upon us.

“By kindness.” When we were pursuing our old ways we probably did not give as much thought as we might have to the matter of being kind. But now, with our new outlook, the exercise of kindness is a vital necessity.

“By the Holy Spirit.” Formerly we did not have the Holy Spirit of God to guide and motivate us. To the extent that we are emptied of self, we can be filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit; which in its various manifestations is the spirit of love, of patience, of goodness, of sympathy, and all the other qualities of our Heavenly Father’s character.

Now the Lord has given us a new spirit—the Holy Spirit. By it we are begotten to a new life, and it bears witness with God’s Spirit that we are the children of God.—Rom. 8:16

“By love unfeigned.” In every aspect of this ministry in which we have the privilege of participating we must be motivated by love—love for God, for the brethren, for the world, and even for our enemies.

We are to use the “word of truth,” Paul explains. In our old endeavors we sought to attain our ends by the aid of human philosophy, and the wisdom of this world. But now, together with our new vocation, the Lord has given us the word of truth to use. We follow God’s plans and purposes, not our own.

He has provided us with what Paul refers to as “the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.” In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul presents in considerable detail the various items of this armor. In a general way it would appear that each part of this spiritual armor represents a particular application of the truth.

It is with these high things that we are made a new creation “after God.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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