October 21, 2017
Don’t put off what you need to put off
Text: Ephesians 4:17-24
Vs. 22 tells us that we need to put on something but before doing so, we must put off or get rid of some things in our lives.
However, procrastination, which means to delay or to put off for another time or occasion, prevents us from doing things or taking actions that the Lord has asked of us.
In Ephesians, Paul is speaking to the church, the body of believers. In chapters 1 to 4, he writes about the teachings and principles of Jesus Christ. In chapter 4, he tells us what we must do with these teachings-vs. 22 ‘put off the…old man’. If it were to mean anything to us, the Word of God must be practised.
The old man and the new man or new creation fight against each other. In Genesis 3, we see how sin changed man’s relationship with God. Man lost dominion and authority. Man lost his way (the old man). To restore the relationship, God sent His son, Jesus Christ. Even after we are saved, the ‘old man’ still rears its head.
We have NOT dealt with the old man. Events in our past, before we got saved, still haunt us. We sometimes give up or do just enough to make our Christian walk easier.
BUT, God has called us to a higher calling. Our career is in fishing – fishing for lives – some share the gospel, some preach the gospel, some teach the gospel but all of us reveal the gospel by our living before people in our homes, church and community.
Vs. 22 “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts”…We must put off the old way of living by asking God for deliverance from everything impacting negatively on our walk with Him.
Vs. 23-24 “ And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”… How?
1. By divine intervention, that is, God working in us. ‘Except you walk in Christ; except you serve the Lord; except you exercise the Word of God’.
2. By human intervention, that is, me working with God. We must make an effort to put off the old man, set it aside. Sometimes, this is so difficult but with God’s help and our co-operation, we are guaranteed victory. It may take a little longer because if there is no struggle, there is no strength and then we do not develop faith. Sometimes, the struggle with the action brings us a level of strength that helps us to overcome anything in our lives.
3. By replacing it with the fruit of the Spirit Gal. 5:22-23. We must exercise what we already have. We must lay back so we can lay off.
Dr. Daniel Kahneman gives the following theory about human behaviour. Our memories are attached to endings. If the ending is good, we remember the experience; if the ending is bad, we lock it away. Our life is made up of two selves: the experience self and the memory self. Do we recall all our experiences or do we remember our life via our memories? We must not allow our memories and our past experiences to determine our future.
When we got saved, our prayer was ‘to be like Jesus’. We can be like Jesus but we have to walk like Jesus. We must put off what needs to be put off and put on what needs to be put on in order to become the person that Jesus wants us to be – the person that God created us to be.