Sicut Christus = Christlike in Latin
PART FOUR OF SIX
Paul talks about putting off the old man and putting on the new man in Ephesians 4:20-24, “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
We are to put off the old man and put on the new man. This has the same idea as changing clothes. We are to change into a different kind of conduct.
Let me ask you this…..If a man is released from prison, what is the first thing he does? He changes clothes. Why? So people do not mistake him as a prisoner still. He is a free man now and his clothes reflect it.
This is where the “As-If” principle comes into play. If the prisoner has been out of prison for one minute, nothing about him has really yet changed. But putting on different clothes changes the way he thinks of himself and sees himself. He dresses “as-if” he were a free man, and a different conduct is also put on which starts to change his attitudes. He should not wait until he feels like the new man to put on the new man. It would be foolish of him to remain in his old clothes.
Jesus is not just merely added to our old life. He becomes our new life as the old life dies. There has to be a clean break from our past.
In Romans 13:14, Paul tells us to “clothe ourselves in Christ.” This metaphor of putting on clothing implies not just imitating the character of Christ, but being in close fellowship with Him. Even though as a believer we have new life, we must constantly renounce the flesh.
Every morning, we have a decision. You can decide to clothe yourself in Christ, or you can walk around in your old prison clothes. Everyone cannot see the old clothes, but you, you know what you are wearing. Therefore, we must clothes ourselves in Christ daily.
In verse 20, Paul says, “But you have not so learned Christ.” There is a characteristic of being a student to putting on the new man.
Charles Spurgeon said, “So, if you want to know the Lord Jesus Christ, you must live with him. First he must himself speak to you, and afterwards you must abide in him. He must be your choice Companion of your morning hours, he must be with you throughout the day, and with him you must also close the night; and as often as you may wake during the night, you must say, ‘When I awake, I am still with thee.'”
Verse 23 says to “be renewed in the spirit of our mind.” This transformation of our mind happens when believers begin to think in different, new, and right ways as they meditate on the truths of Scripture. Let the Lord teach you. Let the Lord transform you. This is a process; not just a one time thing. We must put off the old man and put on the new man each and every day.
Just for today, clothe yourself in Christ.
Tune in tomorrow for Part Five…..