“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24
Since we have been redeemed by Christ Jesus and saved entirely of God’s grace from beginning to end, how should we then live as God’s redeemed children, as members of Christ’s body, the Church?
As St. Paul wrote to the church at Rome (Romans 6:1-4): “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Cf. Luther’s explanation of Baptism, Part IV.
That is why the apostle here also directs members of Christ’s Church to put off the old Adam – our old sinful ways and way of living – and put on the new Man, who “after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Though Adam was originally created in the image of God – loving God, trusting God and seeking to honor God in all His ways – all of us were born in the image of Adam after the fall into sin and, so, are self centered and sinful. Instead of seeking to walk in God’s ways and according to His perfect will, we seek our own ways and our own will.
Since the Spirit of God has regenerated us and brought us to trust in Christ Jesus as our Savior by means of the waters of Baptism and the faithful preaching of God’s Word, we now have a new spiritual nature dwelling in us which again loves God, trusts Him and seeks His honor and glory. The apostle urges us as believers, redeemed by Christ’s shed blood, to put off the old corrupt man and put on the new man which “after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Cf. Gen. 1:26-27; Tit. 3:3-7; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10; 2 Cor. 3:18; Ps. 17:15.
The apostle then lists specific sins to put off and commands God-pleasing behavior to put on as believers in Christ. Cf. Eph. 4-5.
Grant that we would repent of our sinful ways and look to You, O Lord, for mercy and forgiveness and for the strength to put off our old ways and put on the new man You have created within us. Amen.
[Scripture from the King James Version of the Bible]