A Change of Character
Read Colossians 3:9b-10 (ESV)
...seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Are there any areas in your life that reflect the old you more than the new you that is in Christ? What does Paul say to do with the practices of the “old self”?
My boys are tough on clothes. They put holes in their pants. They trash their shoes. They grow out of their shirts too fast. There is nothing better than when they get gifted brand-new clothes! But it doesn’t do any good to get a brand-new outfit if they never put it on. It looks nice hanging in the closet. It was a blessing to receive the gift. But it is useless if they keep wearing their tattered worn-out clothes instead of putting on the new ones.
That is what Paul is talking about in today’s verse. He says make sure you take off the old and put on the new. But He wasn’t talking about clothes. He was talking about your character.
In 1 Corinthians 5:17, he said everyone who is in Christ is a new creation. Everyone who receives Christ has been given a brand-new self—a new character. But even better, it’s a self that Paul says is “being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
In the beginning, mankind was made in God’s image and Adam and Eve perfectly reflected God’s glory. Until Genesis 3, that is, when they sinned against God. Since then, mankind is still made in the image of God, but the reflection is marred. We are broken and sinful.
But in Christ, we get a brand-new self that is continually being renewed because the old self died with Christ. The broken reflection is being restored. We are becoming more like Him every day. The change isn’t instantaneous. It is a process called sanctification. The more time we spend walking with Him, the more time we spend in His Word, the more we will grow in spiritual knowledge. When we become new creations in Christ, it is like we are spiritual babies. We are completely brand-new right away, but we have to grow and develop to become spiritually mature.
But the deal is, you have to take off any of the old flesh that still remains. If you’ve accepted Christ, you are a new creation! You have been given a brand-new character! But you can’t wear the new self over the old. The new you shouldn’t act just like the old you. Believers in Christ still have to battle with the flesh. Some of our old sinful habits remain and tempt us. But remember, you have been changed and you are still being changed in Christ and by the Spirit. That change should be reflected in the way you live your life. Paul said to be done with the sinful practices that the old you engaged in before you were made new in Christ.
Friends, what old practices do you need to take off? Whatever it is, see to it! You’ve been gifted a new you from God because of His grace. You are a new creation that is continually being sanctified. The image of God that You are reflecting to the world can look more and more like God with every passing day. But you can’t keep returning to the old you! You have to change your spiritual clothes! So, off with the old character and on with the new!
Lord, thank You for making me a new creation. But I know I’m hanging onto areas of sin from my past that I need to let go. Help me take off the old me and put on the new me that I’ve found in You. To You be the glory. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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