New Self Living 

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One of the most important disciplines in our walk with Jesus is that of casting off our "old self" and putting on the "new self."  Paul wrote:

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; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV

The old self must be put off, because it is being corrupted by sinful desires and will otherwise lead us back into sin.  Simultaneously, we must put on the new self and be "made new in the attitude" of our minds.  Note that our responsibility is to cast off the old and put on the new, while God renews us in the attitude our minds.  If we fail to carry out our responsibilities, our old habits can block the renewal process.   The result will be that we live as "carnal Christians," divided in heart and backsliding into our old habits.

How to live in the new self: Hopefully, none of us will settle for carnal Christianity.  The remainder of this study is dedicated to exploring how to live in the new self.  There are two steps we can take that will help us be successful: 

1.  Ask God for help to make right choices each day, and then believe that he will help you.  Matthew 7:7-8 NIV says: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."  Your faith in God's word releases God's power in you to do so.  The Bible says, "All things are possible to him who believes" (Mark 9:23 NKJV).  

2.  Offer our bodies as instruments for righteousness and not for evil (Romans 6:11-14):  One of the most powerful abilities God created us with is the power to choose.  We have the power to choose who our master will be.  Paul explained that we can serve only one of two possible masters:

16Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16 NIV)

The two masters are:

Sin  
(Rebels against God and leads to death (the old self))

--OR--

The Holy Spirit 
(
Obeys God and leads to life (the new self)) 

These two masters are not compatible, as their desires are contrary to one another (Galatians 5:16-18).  The problem is that we are all tempted to continue serving sin by living in the old self after we have started following Jesus.  The devil tells us we can get away with some sin here and there, but that is a lie.  As Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 (NIV), "No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other."  If we intend to follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit must be our master.  

Our daily choices will reflect who our master is.  God has given us eyes, ears, hands, mouths, brains, etc. that can be used for good or evil.   Paul likened decision-making to seed planting.  He wrote, "Do not be deceived:  God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:7-9 NIV).   Our daily obedience in putting on the new self will bring a harvest of blessings and eternal life if we do not give up!

The Holy Spirit as our coach:  God has not left us as orphans to try to figure out how to walk in purity on our own.  He has sent the Holy Spirit to live in us and empower us to make right choices.  The Holy Spirit is like the perfect tennis coach, who faithfully helps us improve our "serve" every day.  He guides us in truth, convicts us of sin and counsels us in wisdom for purity.  He literally gives us power and life to live in obedience to God (Romans 8:11,13).  He will continue to help us, provided that we don't start ignoring his voice and launching back into sin.   This will quench the Spirit's "fire," and block our ears from hearing his voice.

Benefits:  It is perhaps human nature to want to know "what's in it for us" when we set out to do something.  There are some wonderful spiritual and physical benefits to new self living, which include:

This is an amazing list of benefits!  When we believe God's word and live in obedience, these will become reality in our lives.  

Personal Application Questions

Passages for further study:  We encourage you to take some time to study the below passages in your quiet times.  They will help you better understand what it means to live the new life in Christ and pursue holiness.  

The next several pages of this study will address some common areas of difficulty in living the new life in Christ.  

Related page: Old Self New Self

Next Page: Live in Love

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