Before You Knew Him
Read Ephesians 4:20-24
But that is not the way you learned in Christ! - assuming that you have heard about Him and were taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
What were you like before you knew Jesus?
We all have a past. Even if our testimony was growing up in a Christian home and accepting Jesus as Lord when we were young, we still have a past. A time when we didn’t know Him and did things our own way.
In yesterday’s passage, Paul said the Gentiles were darkened in their understanding, futile in their thinking, and immoral in their behavior (Ephesians 4:17-19). Today he says, “But that is not the way you learned in Christ!” If you are in Christ, you know better now because you know Him. It’s not just that you’ve heard His teachings or you’ve heard about Him. If you are truly in Christ, you know Him personally. You have a relationship. And that means He’s changing you.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul told the Corinthians that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” In Christ, you are a new creation. You are not the old you. You have changed.
You can continue to change too, but you must take off your old self and stop putting it back on. Your old self is like a disgusting, dirty old outfit. It’s filthy! You’ve been given fresh, clean new clothes. Don’t put that old gross stuff back on! Throw it away! Bury it in the backyard! Burn it! Get rid of the old self. You don’t want it anymore, trust me.
Don’t return to your former way of life. How? Paul says to be “renewed in the spirit of your minds.” Renew your mind with God’s Word. Let the Holy Spirit work through you as you read the Bible and pray each day. Let Him change your thinking and it will change you.
Friends, Paul says your new self is created after the likeness of God. You can become more and more like Him in true righteousness and true holiness. Put on prayer, put on the Word, put on fellowship with other believers. Every day. But don’t return to the way you were before you knew Him.
Jesus, thank You for making me a new creation. Help me to take off my old self and stay in my new self. I want to daily be changed by You. I want to become like you. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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