Old Self New Self 

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The Bible talks about the daily discipline of putting off our "old self" and putting on our "new self" in Christ.  This is a skill that is critical to maintaining our freedom from sin.  It is something that we'll be perfecting for the rest of our earthly lives.  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 it is our responsibility to put off the old and put on the new, while God renews us in the attitude our minds. 

How to put off the old self

Putting off the old self is synonymous with putting it to death.  The old self is the part of us that is continually trying to pull us back into sinful habits and thought patterns (Romans 6:11-14).  The lure of the old self can be powerful, especially when our memories remind us of the pleasures of past sin.  Here are some suggestions on how to put off the old self:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 NKJV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

1There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  Romans 8:1-2 NKJV

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 NKJV

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  Romans 6:4 NKJV

Another aspect of this found in the ways that we have been making provisions to gratify lust.  Paul wrote, "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:14 NKJV).  Some examples of making provision for lust are: hiding a favorite porn magazine or image file, keeping an adult video store membership card, going to places where we know we'll be tempted, flirting on the job or with our neighbors, keeping unfiltered internet access or keeping a favorite list of porn sites on the computer.  Leaving such unlocked doors for the enemy will likely lead us back into bondage at some point.  The key is to remove the obvious things that could tempt us to fall back in sin.  Solomon wrote, "A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless" (Proverbs 14:16 NASB). 

Exercise:  Take a moment to identify the ways that you've been making provision for lust in your life.  Next, consider what actions you can take to eliminate each provision.  You can ask God to help you in doing this:  "Dear Lord, Please reveal the ways I've been making provision for lust in my life and show me how to eliminate each item. Thank you, Father. Amen."   Feel free to use the below table to record your findings:

How I've made provision for lust What I can do to stop making this provision
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
Triggers How I can run to Jesus when this happens
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 

How to put on the new self

Our new self is the person that God created us to be.  This new self is "created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:24 NIV).  God gives us the ability through the Holy Spirit to live in the reality of the new self (Romans 8:11).  There are some basic actions we can take to put on the new self each day:

When God speaks to us (and we know it is him), it is vital to heed what he tells us, no matter how insignificant the instructions may seem.  Sometimes God uses seemingly mundane situations to test our willingness to obey him.  A friend of mine was getting discouraged because he hadn't heard from God in a long time.   One day as he was driving down the highway at lunch time, he craved a McDonald's hamburger, but couldn't remember the exit number of the restaurant.  "Lord, please help me remember where the McDonald's is," he prayed.  Very plainly the Spirit said to him, "Take this exit, now!"  Though he didn't think that was the right exit, he obeyed and discovered that it was the right exit after all.  That little incident helped strengthen my friend's faith that God was still with him and cared for him.

There are many possible ways to study the Bible, but in general it is best to develop a daily habit of Bible study, including scripture memory work.  There is no shortcut to learning the scriptures, but the time and effort you put in will strengthen your faith and bolster your walk with Christ.  I'll offer suggestions on this in the next section (Quiet Times).

Ideas on how I can serve others in love
 

 

 

 

 

 

Before proceeding to the next page of the study, please take a moment to review your answers to the questions on this page.  Ask God to help you make the needed changes that will help you put off the old self and put on the new self daily. 

Next Page: Quiet Times

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