A heavenly make-over!
Scripture reading for September 26th: Ephesians 4:17-32
“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; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
After salvation, pastors and teachers begin to help new believers with what I call a “heavenly make-over.” God works through the Holy Spirit on our inner man and we must change our thinking and attitudes in order to put on the new man. This happens through sound doctrinal teaching of the word of God. We must put on the attitude of a disciple and humbly receive the Word. We also must put off the old man, recognizing its corruption. God wants to form us into the image and character of His Son but we must cooperate and make choices to allow this transformation to take place.
Paul, in his calling of pastor and teacher, goes on to detail what sort of changes need to be made. The new believer must cease lying and begin telling the truth. When angry, one must not let the sun go down on his anger because this gives the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:27) If you give him an inch, he will take a mile! If you have a problem stealing, go to work and become a giver to those who are needy. These practical changes seem like common sense to those who have walked with Christ. The world system is “normal” to the unsaved and newly converted.
This make-over will affect other areas of your life and attitudes. Our speech will change from vulgar and critical to loving and encouraging. Building up each other will be the new way instead of tearing each other down. We will develop a new sensitivity to the Holy Spirit who lives in us. The Holy Spirit will help us by letting us know when we need to make changes. We will feel His grief! (Ephesians 4:30) We will sweep out all bitterness, slander, and malice towards others and clothe ourselves with Christ’s kindness and compassion. Forgiveness will be the rule when wronged, instead of revenge. How thankful I am for this heavenly make-over! I need touch-ups regularly and continued training in sensitivity to the nudging of the Holy Spirit!