Think for a minute about the last time you went to your favorite clothing store to buy some new clothes. Let’s say you were looking for some new jeans. You picked out a few from the racks and headed to the dressing room. What was the first thing you did once you got into the dressing room? You put on the new jeans, right? Of course not, first you took off the jeans you were wearing, and then you tried on the new ones. Simply pulling the new ones over the old ones, now that would be crazy, they aren’t going to fit.
It would be foolish to try on new jeans simply by pulling them on over the old ones. You might be thinking, “Of course I would never do that.” But those of us that are followers of Jesus often try to fit the new life Jesus calls us to fit over our old life. And just like those new jeans, it will not fit.
In Ephesians 4:22-24 the apostle Paul is encouraging his readers (and us today) to be renewed in mind and to live according to the new nature that God us making, an image in God’s likeness. This renewing comes by the power of the Holy Spirit when we submit our wills to His. Here is what we read – You were taught, with regard to your former self, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitudes of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
We think these verses tell us three things about this new self, this new nature. First, we are completely discard the old self, and put off your old self. The Greek word used here means “to lay aside.” He calls us to discard the old jeans. Second, Paul calls us to a radical reorientation in both mind and spirit (made new in the attitudes of your minds). And lastly, this nature we have in Christ is completely new, not refurnished. Our old jeans are not to be patched or sewn; instead, they are thrown away and replaced by a brand new pair. Paul says that righteousness and holiness, which are qualities of God, are reproduced in his genuine worshippers.
So today we ask you – What “old jeans” do you need to throw away that are holding you back from being the person God is desiring to make you into?
Dear Father, please put Your finger on those areas in our lives that are old and need to be made new. Help us throw off those things and in the process make us more like You. Amen
New Bern, North Carolina