17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
Throw off your sinful nature. Put on your new nature. Let the Spirit renew you. This type of language that Paul uses reveals to us that we have become totally different than we once were. When Paul says throw off your sinful nature, he isn't telling us to try harder to be a good person. Rather, Paul is telling us that God has given us a new identity, one that is truly righteous and holy.
If God has made us new, rather than expecting us be become better, we don't have to live in fear of failure. God doesn't look down on us with expectations and regulations but rather, He grants us permissions and access. He is saying that in Jesus an abundant life, one that is truly righteous and holy, is possible. Our new actions must stem from our new identity, that fully puts its trust in Jesus.
- Do you try to be "better" or do you live in the recognition that in Jesus, you're something new?
- Do your actions reflect your identity in Christ?
- Spend time thanking Jesus for making you new.
- Ask the Spirit to continue to renew your thoughts and attitudes.
- Ask God to show you opportunities to "put on the new nature" today; reflecting God's image in the world.