“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind—and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Although the transformation doesn’t take place over night, there still should be evidence of the inward change.
Judicially, in Christ we know we are no longer under the “curse of the Law” when we come to Him in faith and repentance (Gal. 3:10-13). Because of His accomplished work on the Cross, we are set free from the Law’s condemnation and sin’s strongholds and are now a “new creation in Christ” (II Cor. 5:17). Hallelujah!
Yet, it is the outworking of the Spirit’s in-working in our lives through sanctification, which Hannah Whithall Smith called “the Ministry of the Interior,” that’s addressed in today’s Manna. In writing to the church in Ephesus the Apostle Paul was calling the members to unity in the Body through a proper understanding of faith and the use of their gifts (Eph. 4:1-16). He then compared the “old man” (our lives before Christ) with the “new man” (our lives after Christ) and how we must consciously and intentionally “put off one” and “put on another” (vv.17-29).
We must always remember this will not happen automatically. Just as a plane will not fly level for long without a hand on the stick—but will give in to the pull of gravity and head downward—so will our “old man” not die without our being “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20), which comes with a daily “denying of ourselves, taking up our cross and following Him” (Lk. 9:23).
That’s why Paul calls on us to “be renewed in the spirit of our minds.” Again, this will not happen automatically or accidentally. This can only occur when we willingly lie down on the Potter’s Wheel as “living sacrifices” unto the Heavenly Father (Rom. 12:1). And, even then, this will require us to daily “chew the cud” on God’s Word as we hide His truths in our hearts (Ps. 1:2-3; 119:11).
Oh, dear Christian, never forget our minds are the greatest mental-computers known to man. Everything we see, taste, touch, smell, feel, etc., is recorded in them. And, if we do not intentionally “guard” what goes into them—especially those sights and sounds that lead to sin and degradation—our thought-life and values will more resemble the world than they do the things of God.
As you prepare for the day, visualize yourself “putting on the new man” (your new life in Christ) by putting on “the whole Armor of God” (Eph. 6:13-18). Do not neglect donning yourself with every piece—especially that of prayer (v.18)—for failure to do so will render you vulnerable to the attacks of the evil one.
You’ll know how well you’re doing by how well you walk in “righteousness and true holiness” today, which is simply living a Godly life that reflects God’s Glory and let’s others see Jesus in you. So, go forth and conquer in Jesus’ Name, Pilgrim: The world awaits you.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated May 23, 2010