“But now also put off all these:  Anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds—and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.”

Colossians 3:8-10

It begins with the new birth (justification—Rom. 5:6-11), continues through a daily “denying and dying to ourselves” (sanctification—Lk. 9:23; Gal. 2:20) and one day will end in Jesus’ arms when we’re totally like Him (glorification—Phil. 3:21; I Jn. 3:2).

True conversion begins the moment the Lord Jesus comes to live within one’s heart.  No longer does Self sit on the inward throne; instead, the Rightful Owner takes up residence there.  And, from the moment until the end of our time here on earth or Jesus’ glorious Return, we continue to “throw off the old and put on the new.”

Now, from God’s estimation, this is already an accomplished fact because of Christ’s Death and Resurrection (Eph. 2:1-10).  His omniscient Eye knows everything about that—what we’re doing, thinking, saying, etc.  And, He also knows our inward motives and secret desires (Heb. 4:12).

Yet, because of His great Grace and Mercy, He deals with us lovingly and patiently as a father deals with a child.  Assuredly, there are times He must stretch forth His Hand of discipline and correct us (Heb. 12:5-11)—but it’s always “for our profit, that we might be partakers of His Holiness and will afterwards produce the peaceable fruit of Righteousness within us” (vv.10-11).

Inherent within this process is the Holy Spirit’s convicting, whereby He shows us our “sin, need of righteousness and Judgment to come” (Jn. 16:8-11).  Even though we may be grieved at how much of the “old man” still resides within us through “anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication, etc.,” we cry out to the Heavenly Father and ask Him, as the song says, to “Change my heart, O God; make it ever true.  Change my heart, O God; may I be like You.  You are the Potter, I am the clay; mold me and make me—this is what I pray.”

Thus, never forget that “new life in Christ is truly a process whereby old things are passing away and all things are becoming new” (II Cor. 5:17).  And, this is accomplished by our “partnership” with the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 3:9) whereby we “lay aside the old and put on the new.”

May the Holy Spirit help you visualize this as taking off some old, grimy, stinky clothes and donning some brand-spanking new clothes that are bright, clean and smell “new.”  And, just as you wouldn’t do this without first taking a bath—which is the Lord’s “faithful cleansing of us” (I Jn. 1:7-9)—so must we daily confess our sins, failures, shortcomings, etc., and ask Him to help us “love Him with every fiber of our being and others as He has loved us” (Mt. 12:30-31; Jn. 13:34-35).

Help us, O Lord.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated November 17, 2010

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