Put Off the Old Man and Put on the New

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작성자 카마리오한인연합감리교회 작성일23-05-05 19:17 조회386회 댓글0건


Date: 4/30/23

Sermon Title: Put off the Old Man and Put on the New

Context: Ephesians 4:17-24

(Eph 4:17) So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.

(Eph 4:18) They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

(Eph 4:19) Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

(Eph 4:20) You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.

(Eph 4:21) Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.

(Eph 4:22) 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;

(Eph 4:23) to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

(Eph 4:24) and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.


Preaching Note  

1. Life of Strangers

Apostle Paul tells the Ephesian church saints in verse 17, “Do not live like the Gentiles.” “Therefore, I beseech you in the Lord. From now on, do not live as the Gentiles live with empty thoughts” (v. 17). Then, in verses 18-19, Paul describe very negatively Gentiles who do not believe in God. Here Paul mentions three important characteristics of the Gentiles: spiritual ignorance, spiritual death, and moral depravity, debauchery.

      First, in verse 18, Paul says that the understanding of the Gentiles is darkened because of the ignorance and hardness of heart within them. That is why the Gentiles do not know God and do not understand His will. Because they do not know God, they glorify themselves instead of God and live a self-centered life. According to Romans 1:21-25, they worship and serve the creature more than the Creator, even claiming to be wise. That's why Paul is telling us not to live like the Gentiles who live with empty thoughts.

     Paul goes on to say that the Gentiles are separated from the life of God. Since God is the source of existence and life, a person who is separated from Him is spiritually dead. Here Paul explains that the Gentiles became like this because of the ignorance and stubbornness of heart within them.

      Then, in verse 19, Paul says that the Gentiles have lost their sense of shame and gave themselves over to dissipation, greedily doing all sorts of dirty things. This is an expression reflecting the moral depravity and dissipation of the Gentiles. Of course, not all Gentiles at that time lived like this. For example, Seneca, the Roman statesman and philosopher, pursued a noble life by practicing virtue. However, as Paul said, the majority of the Gentiles did not feel shame and often did all sorts of dirty things out of boundless greed. That is why Paul earnestly exhorted the Ephesian church saints not to live like the Gentiles.


2. Old self and new self

Paul reminds us of what we learn about Christ in verses 20-21. “But you did not learn Christ that way” (v. 20) “if you heard about him and were taught in him according to the truth that is in him” (v. 21).

     Then, in verses 22-24, Paul recounts the lessons learned in the past. First, it says to cast off the old self. “You live according to the way you lived in the past, following your vain lusts, and put off your old self, which will perish” (v. 22). The old man’ here refers to a being who lives according to the way of life in the past, following vain desires under the rule of sin and death. In other words, the main characteristic of the old man is to live according to the vain desires of the flesh. Such a person thinks that as long as he gets what he wants, he will be satisfied and happy. However, no matter how greedy we are, we cannot get everything we want. Human greed has no end. We can never be content and happy only with possessions and sensual pleasures. That is why Paul is saying that we must put off the old self and be replaced by the new self.

     Second, it says to be renewed by the Holy Spirit. “Renew the spirit of the heart” (v. 23). The early Christians became a new person through baptism. It is not easy to put off the old and put on the new. It's hard to change from a selfish person to an altruistic person. It is difficult for a person who pursues vain desires to change into a person who pursues love. We need God's grace. This is possible only when we attend the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, into our hearts.

     Third, it tells us to put on the new self. “Put on the new self, which was created in God’s image in true righteousness and true holiness” (v. 24). The literal translation of this verse is, “Put on the new self created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” Righteousness and holiness are attributes of God. The new self was created with these attributes of God, and he must serve and behave God in righteousness and holiness. The expression ‘to wear’ here is a word that symbolizes status. Since ancient times, humans have been displaying their identity through the clothes they wear. Therefore, the expression ‘put on a new self’ refers to a new identity change from a stranger as an old self who lives a vain life following empty greed to a child of God who lives in the righteousness and holiness of the truth following God.

Q. Do you take good care of your health?


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