Old vs New Part 2

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Ephesians 4:20-24 But you didn’t learn that sort of thing from Christ. Since you really listened to him and you were taught how the truth is in Jesus, change the former way of life that was part of the person you once were, corrupted by deceitful desires. Instead, renew the thinking in your mind by the Spirit and clothe yourself with the new person created according to God’s image in justice and true holiness. 

Since we are in the section of discussing “old” way of life versus “new” way of life, we have to ask, “how do we learn how to live in a new way?” Paul shows the answer is Jesus Christ. He is the source of life and the focal point. His example of living and his presence among us today still guides and empowers people to be who they need to be.

We often allow culture and those around us to try to shape us without asking “why?” or “how is this really going to help me live life?” We do this because we like to fit in and feel a need to be part of a crowd. But, what if, the crowd is actually leading us astray? What if the crowd we want to belong to is the loudest voice and the most influential, but it is actually a path that leads us away from true joy and peace?

Instead of following the crowd and living a life that turns people away from Christ, Paul is showing that it is Christ that we should be learning from. It is Christ who can and does renew our minds. When we allow Christ is renew and transform us, we are “clothed” in a new way. Colossians 3 says it well, “Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” This is what it would look like to renew our minds. People would notice we are different from everyone else.

The “new person” we would become would also produce more fruit in life. We would be able to develop and grow fruit that is sustainable and more powerful than anything; but we need Christ to help the fruit grow. What kind of fruit are we talking about? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, self-control. Imagine the possibilities and impact that would be made to transform the world if these were the qualities we were striving for.

Christ is our teacher. We should spend time with him daily. The Gospel message of Jesus Christ is so powerful that it changes who we are.

#TheGospelChangesUs

Published by

Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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