Much of what Paul taught the Ephesians is 100% applicable to us. Who am I kidding, all of Paul’s teachings are applicable… but there are parts that really shine in our culture.
At the end of chapter 4, Paul helps to draw a distinction between the old self and the new self, “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires.” (Eph 4:22)
Our former manner of life. The ‘old self’ is the self that lived BEFORE accepting Christ as Lord. You see, His title is Lord and Savior. People may choose to receive the “Savior” part but fail to make Him “Lord”. It’s a complete package, He can’t be your savior unless “you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.” (Rom 10:9)
If you are ready to make Him Lord, this means truly casting off your ‘old self’. It does not mean becoming an entirely different person, but it does mean shifting the energies and priorities. When Saul cast off his old self and became Paul, his personality was the same, his energy was the same, his priorities and values had changed.
Too many people try to add Jesus to themselves. If you picture the black and white robes of the graphic above… many will leave the black robe on and put the white robe over the top. They will attempt to call this accepting Jesus but the never shed their old self first.
Understand this. You CANNOT receive salvation without confessing that He is Lord. You CANNOT confess He is Lord while only ADDING Him to your old self. You MUST cast off the old and replace it with the new… replace it with Him.
The old way of thinking must be cast away. If you have not done this, do it now. Pray to Him.
Lord, help me to truly cast away my old self. I hang on to it like a favorite coat. I cling to it like a safety line, fearing the self I know will disappear if I let go. Help me to realize that the old self is an anchor pulling me down to drown and the new self is a lifeline, connected directly to you. Help me to let go. Amen.