Understand Your Position by Rev. Shine P. Thomas
How should we behave now that we are God’s children?
God called us from darkness into his divine light. Now we are born again and an heir of the Kingdom of God. How is your walk with the Lord now? Does our conduct magnify God’s name? Is there progress in your spiritual life from when you were saved?
In Ephesians 2, God speaks of the condition of man.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.
See what God has done for us
4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
When we accept the Lord Jesus, we are made alive in Christ.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live. That old man is dead. The old man was nailed to the cross in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. The old man was nailed to the cross in Jesus Christ. So the old man is dead. He is still the old man but he is dead, so put off new old man and put on the new man.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
NKJV …..and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
It is not the old creature dressed up in new attire like the metamorphosis which takes place in the lifecycle of a butterfly. The old man is dead. The old man has been crucified with Christ, nailed to the cross in the Lord Jesus Christ. But we have been created again, a new man.
So when we are born gain and baptized we are the members of God’s family, we are a new creature. Therefore our conduct and behaviour has to reflect the new man.
17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do (the unsaved walk/the old man’s walk), in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. 20That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.
So the Bible says to put off the old man which is corrupt. The old man is dead, he is corrupt. I do not want to be improper but the old man is an old rotting carcass, dead. So as a new creature in Christ, don’t go putting that old rotten corpse around your shoulders and walk around, we are to put him off.
So, remember who you are. Understand your position in Christ Jesus. You are a new creation in Christ. So let your conduct and lifestyle be like the new man.
How do you put off the old man? Ephesians 4 and 5 gives us some simple living tips on how we are to put off this old man.
1. Put off falsehood
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body. Believers are to be truthful, we are not to lie.
The Book of Ephesians was written to a wonderful church. This is the first century church in the city of Ephesus. They are addressed again by Jesus Christ in Revelation 2 and there we discover that they are a church who is very busy in serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus says to them:
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. They are a busy working church. So these words here “put off lying” are written to people that you might expect no one would ever write such words to. Why? That is because it is very possible and often does happen that God’s people lie, they do not tell the truth.
We live in a world where lying has almost become a virtue. That is a characteristic of the rotting carcass of the old man which is not you. Understand your position. We are told to put aside this business of lying and be truthful in our words.
2. Put off wrath
26In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger….
It does not mean that you do not get angry or do not use your emotions. No, we are created as emotional people and we can have the good emotion of anger. There are things which come in life, things which are wrong, things which perhaps are hurtful, situations at work, home etc which can bring about the emotion of anger, but we are told be angry and sin not.
There is the possibility for God’s people to be angry without sinning. We are not to turn that down into wrath and we are not to let it last beyond that day. We are deal with our emotions when they come. The new man is not like the old man. He should not go around angry all the time.
3. Do not steal
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Do you know that believers in the Lord Jesus Christ can steal? That is possible. Believers can yield to temptation and even steal. Sometimes God’s people steal. We are not to do that.
Have you ever stolen something? You say, “Pastor, I have not robbed a bank.” That is not what I am asking. Do you take advantage of your employer when he is not looking around? Do you steal his time and your time for what he has hired you? Or Do you misuse the company’s items? Do you claim wrong medical bills, do wrong insurance claims? Do you mark present in your attendance register after not going to work? Remember who you are. You are a child of God and you are not to steal.
The Bible says, “steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”
Work is a Bible virtue. You and I are not to be slothful in our work. We are to work and work hard. That is part of the conduct of the new man.
Why should one work? It is not that he can get all he can earn and use it only for himself. No we are to work and as we work and God blesses us with rewards from our work, we are to have a giving spirit. That is the spirit of God, a giving spirit. God wants you to work hard and provide you through your work and also so that you will have to give to others. Don’t steal but work hard.
4. Put of unwholesome talk
Do not talk destructive talks.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
This is the matter of a filthy mouth. The old man was characterized by a filthy mouth. Bad talk is very prevalent in our world today. You see they are not born again and still the old man. But it is sad that filthy talk has lapped over into the life of believers.
Sometimes outright cursing, sometimes using God’s name in vain, sometimes telling off colour jokes or laughing at them, sometimes saying things with double meanings.
Examples of unwholesome talk
- Slander. Psalms 50:20-21. James 4:11-12
- Gossip. Proverbs 16:28
- Arguing & Complaining. Philippians 2:14
- Criticizing & Judging. Matthew 7:1
- Filthy Language. Colossians 3:8
- Boasting. James 4:16
- Lying. Exodus 20:16
Dear friend, that is the old rotting carcass of the old man that is dead. That is not who you are, so put that off concerning your conversation.
A new man is characterized in his conduct by kind and encouraging words.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
1Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Be kind to others just as God had kindness toward you. Do you realize that God loved us and died for us while we were yet sinners? That is the pattern of kindness. How is it in your life as a believer? How is your tongue? Is it kind toward others or does it cut and slash others? How about your actions in life? Do you show kindness to others? That should be the characteristics of the new man.
5. Put of moral impurity
3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity….
See the mention of sexual immorality and obscenity. There is a whole list of sexually impure things that come under this. We know what it is, we know where we are weak and put it off by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It can be temptations for youngsters before marriage or married people tempted outside the covenant of marriage.
If you have a tendency in your flesh to be tempted in the area of viewing things which you are not to view which is morally unclean, then don’t go there. If you are tempted in that area, you cannot seem to get victory over that, there may need a time in your life where you have to decide, I am simply not going to have a personal; computer or avoid a smart phone.
Sexual immorality should not be seen in the family of God. That is characteristic of the old man. That is to be put off.
6. Put of Greed
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Greed is lack of satisfaction of what God has given you in this life. Greed is to desire more than what God intends for you. It is lusting after what your neighbour have that you do not have. So there is a disquiet in the spirit and an un-satisfaction in the heart. That is the old man. That is not the new creature in Christ, so we are to put that off.
7. Put off Alcohol
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.
God’s people are not to be users of alcohol. This is a great curse on the society. There is no place for social drinking for God’s people. We are not to use that which would take over our being.
In the list of alcohol we can also add illegal drugs for recreation, smoking etc. Put it off.
8. Put off the devil
… and do not give the devil a foothold.
If a believer is not careful to put off his old nature, if we are not careful in the above list of things, there can be in the believer’s life can open spot where Satan can attack you. It can come in all kinds of ways. So, don’t give place to the devil.
How should be our life in light of our salvation? What is the nature of the new man? What kind of people we ought to be?
1. Be thankful
We are to be thankful in all circumstances.
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thankfulness is the characteristics of the new man in Jesus Christ.
2. Be filled with the Spirit
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
11“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
Jesus was speaking to his disciples who already knew Jesus in salvation. Jesus was saying you need the Holy Spirit controlling your life every day. You need to be filled with the Spirit every day of your life. So how does that happen? Simply ask. Every day part of your prayer ought to be that God would cleanse of your sins, wash you 1 John 1:9 and part of your prayer ought to be very simply be that God would fill you with his Spirit. Jesus said the father would give if you would just ask him.
3. Be people of Music
..speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.
You do not have to be a musician. You can have music in your heart toward God and others. God’s people ought to be happy people. The new creature in Christ is a happy one. His conduct is to demonstrate that kind of happiness through the music in his life.
Is there anything i still need to understand about my Position?
How is my conduct? Is there any hit of the old man’s life in me? Is there anything you need to repent?
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Every time we live like the old man we are grieving the Holy Spirit that is in us. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse us and enable us to walk in the new way of life today.