Where to start? Well, I guess it makes sense to start with the thing that causes everything else to fall into place. It makes sense to start with the place Jesus starts with each of us when we accept Him as our Savior…newness! He doesn’t take our “old” and rework it. He doesn’t go under the hood and rebuild what was already there. He doesn’t repair us. He starts from scratch! He gives us an all new self!
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:20-24 NIV
20-24 But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well-instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. – Ephesians 4:20-24 The Message
He doesn’t ask us to dredge up all our past mistakes and failures and try to make them right. He doesn’t ask us to look back. He doesn’t ask us to work really hard to make ourselves new. He tells us to take off the old and put on the new. I included The Message because it shows you by whose power you are able to do that…”God accurately reproduces his character in you.”
9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. – Colossians 3:9-10 NIV
9-11 Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ. Colossians 3:9-10 The Message
It’s not up to us! This is great news! God doesn’t see the old man! This is great news! God isn’t working on the old man! This is great news! God is transforming us into His Image! This is GREAT news! He already dealt with the old man on the cross. He has risen…that work is complete! Now He is about the work of transforming us into His image. I don’t know about you, but that gives me hope. That makes all of life’s trials and struggles and the difficult parts of the journey much more hope filled! They have meaning and purpose and I don’t have to figure them out. He is doing that! He has a purpose! His purpose it to transform me…step by step!
“God isn’t working on your behavior…He is working on your Identity!” – Graham Cooke
“He is aligning your identity with Him…that is your journey.” – Graham Cooke