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What Does It Mean to “Put Off the Old Self” and “Put On the New Self”?
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What Does It Mean to “Put Off the Old Self” and “Put On the New Self”?

In our journey of faith, the Bible often encourages us to undergo a profound transformation, moving from our former ways to embrace a new life in Christ. One powerful and recurring theme in Scripture is the call to “put off the old self” and “put on the new self.” But what exactly does this mean, and how can we live it out in our daily lives? Let’s explore this transformative concept with the guidance of God’s Word.

Putting Off the Old Self: The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, provides us with valuable insights into the process of putting off the old self. In Ephesians 4:22–24 (ESV), he says, “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.”

This passage emphasizes the need to recognize and abandon our old ways, characterized by worldly desires and deceit. It’s a call to leave behind the sinful patterns that once defined us and to allow God to renew our minds. Let’s meditate on Romans 6:6 (ESV), which complements this idea: “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”

Putting On the New Self: Putting on the new self is not just about discarding the old, but actively embracing the transformative work of God in our lives. Colossians 3:10 (ESV) encourages us with these words: “and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

This renewal is an ongoing process, rooted in a growing knowledge of God and a deeper understanding of His ways. As we put on the new self, we are called to reflect the image of our Creator in true righteousness and holiness. Galatians 3:27 (ESV) beautifully illustrates this concept: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

Practical Steps:

  1. Clothe Yourself in Christ: Embrace the righteousness and holiness of Christ as your new identity.
  2. Renew Your Mind: Engage in regular Bible study and prayer to allow God to transform your thinking.
  3. Discard Old Habits: Identify and consciously let go of sinful patterns from your former way of life.
  4. Cultivate Christlike Virtues: Actively pursue virtues such as love, kindness, and humility that characterize the new self

Putting off the old self and putting on the new self is a profound and ongoing process in the life of every believer. It’s a call to embrace the transformative power of God, allowing Him to shape us into the image of Christ. As we daily yield to His guidance and renew our minds in His Word, we can experience the joy of living out our new identity in Christ. May we heed the scriptural call to “put off the old self” and “put on the new self” as we walk in the footsteps of our Savior.

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