December 1, 2023
New Life

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Ephesians 4:17-24 - Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 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 from Ephesians encourages believers to embrace a new way of life in Christ. It contrasts how Gentiles live, characterized by futile thinking and hardness of heart, with how Christians are called to live. Non-believers are darkened in their understanding and alienated from God due to ignorance. They live for sensual pleasures and indulge in impurity. However, believers are not to live this way. We are called to put off the old self, corrupted by deceitful desires, and put on the new self created in God's likeness, characterized by righteousness and holiness. This new life is rooted in Christ, in whom we have been taught the truth.


When I consider how I used to live before coming to faith, I see the truth of this passage. My mind was focused on empty, worldly things that did not satisfy my deepest needs or lead to fulfillment. I was living to please myself and chase after fleeting pleasures, with little thought of God or how my actions affected others. But by God's grace, I have been given new life in Christ. Now I want to live each day honoring Him with my thoughts and actions. It's an ongoing process to put off my old selfish ways and put on the character of Jesus. I'm far from perfect, but I find great hope knowing that through Christ, I have been made new. As believers, we all have areas where the old nature still clings to us - but the Holy Spirit empowers us to continually choose righteousness over sin. May we stand firm in our identity as God's children and represent Him well to a lost world.


Heavenly Father, thank you for the new life you have given me in your Son. Help me each day to walk further from my old nature and closer to the righteousness and holiness that reflect your image. May my thoughts, words and deeds honor you. When I am weak, strengthen me by your Spirit. Use me to share your love and truth with others still living in darkness. I pray in Jesus' name, Amen.