The Bible talks about the daily discipline of putting off our "old self" and putting on our "new self" in Christ. This is a skill that is critical to maintaining our freedom from sin. It is something that we'll be perfecting for the rest of our earthly lives. Paul wrote:
Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV
22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
The old self must be put off, because it is being corrupted by sinful desires and will otherwise lead us back into sin. Simultaneously, we must put on the new self and be "made new in the attitude" of our minds. Note that it is our responsibility to put off the old and put on the new, while God renews us in the attitude our minds.
How to put off the old self
Putting off the old self is synonymous with putting it to death. The old self is the part of us that is continually trying to pull us back into sinful habits and thought patterns (Romans 6:11-14). The lure of the old self can be powerful, especially when our memories remind us of the pleasures of past sin. Here are some suggestions on how to put off the old self:
Ask for help: Too often people try to resist temptations by sheer will-power. As Christians, we have the source of ultimate power and assistance available to us: Jesus. He knows the temptations we face (Hebrews 2:18) and will help us resist those temptations (Hebrews 4:15-16). Each day we can pray, "Dear Jesus, please help me put off the old self and put on the new self today. Please help me overcome any temptations that come my way. Thank you, Jesus. Amen."
Reckon yourself with Jesus: Reckoning with Jesus is basically aligning ourselves with him and his condition: dead to sin and alive to God. Paul wrote, "Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:11 NKJV). A way to reckon with Jesus is to recite key Bible verses about our condition. For example, using Romans 6:11 we can declare, "I am dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus my Lord. " Here are some other verses we can declare:
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 NKJV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
Romans 8:1-2 NKJV
1There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 NKJV
Romans 6:4 NKJVTherefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Stop letting sin dictate your actions: This is where we follow-up our faith with action. Since we believe ourselves dead to sin, we must no longer respond to its temptations. The two primary areas that we can focus on are our eyes and thoughts. For example, if we're watching a television show that we know contains tempting material, we can choose to switch channels or simply turn the TV off. Or, if a memory of a past relationship comes to mind, we can shift our thoughts to another topic instead of fantasizing over the memory.
Another aspect of this found in the ways that we have been making provisions to gratify lust. Paul wrote, "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:14 NKJV). Leaving unlocked doors for the enemy will likely lead us back into bondage at some point. The key is to remove the obvious things that could tempt us to fall back in sin. Solomon wrote, "A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless" (Proverbs 14:16 NASB). ( I will not be counted among fools)
I will take a moment to identify the ways that I'v been making provision for sin in my life. Next, I will consider what actions I can take to eliminate these provision. "Dear Lord, Please reveal the ways I've been making provision for sin in my life and show me how to take my thoughts captive. Thank you, Father. Amen."
I'm sharing this post from another blog because it spoke to me about something in my heart and thought life that needs to die...... I know God has something for me that is sooooooo much better.
heartofthehomeblog: Do you have something that needs to Die..: "Do you ever wonder why it seems like sometimes God is taking his sweet ole time to come and save us from a trial that is going on in our l..."