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Put on the New Self, Which Is Being Renewed in Knowledge

26 February • Monday of the Second Week in Lent


Colossians 3:1-11

1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.


5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Meditation

 

Colossians 3:5-10 instruct us to live by our new identity in Christ. As forgiven and redeemed people, we are to put to death carnal desires, put away ungodly behaviours, and put off the old self with its worldly and sinful behaviours. In place of all that, we are to put on the new self, which comes with a renewed understanding derived from knowing the very nature of Christ.


While the observation of Lenten disciplines draws us closer to God, knowing what pleases the Lord and living a life that reflects this understanding are two distinct matters. Simply put, we study the Bible not just to know about the nature of God and His expectations for us, but also to present ourselves to God as one approved (2 Timothy 2:15).


For this reason, we need to be extremely conscious about translating head knowledge into attitudes and deeds that are acceptable in God’s sight. As we remember God’s sacrificial love for us on the cross, let us be mindful that God did not demonstrate His love for us in theory or with words alone, but came in person to take our place of sin and death. In Jesus’ resurrected glory, we have been victoriously raised to walk in the newness of everlasting life.


But Christian obedience is not an exercise of mere avoidance or abstinence, and the point of putting on the new self goes beyond an extrinsic behavioural change. What the Lord desires of us is a sincere heart of worship in response to His great love for us.


The Bible urges us to live a righteous and God-fearing life because life apart from God is meaningless. The confidence of our salvation rests solely in God’s unchanging and unconditional love and grace. We also need to know that if we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries (Hebrews 10:26-27).


So let us take the step today to walk steadfastly with our Lord. Rely wholly on Him to show us how we could lead purpose-driven lives for Him.


Prayer

 

Dear Lord, grant us discernment, resolve, and courage to right the wrongs in our lives to live a life truly worthy of Your name. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.


Action

 

Are there areas of our lives that we need to put to death, put away, and put off? Stop procrastinating; seize the moment to repent and be right with God.


Rev Dr Edwin Wong

Pastor-in-Charge

Christ Methodist Church

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