Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Do we Believe What we say we Believe?

And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

(Ephesians 4:24 NKJV)

 

Are we putting on the New Man?

Christians are not sinless, but they should have a conscience about sin.  They should sin less than they did before they were “born again” as it says in John 3.  They have been brought into a new state called the new man. However, Christians must be admonished at times to act like the “new man” and not like the “old man.”  Putting off the “old man” must not be automatic or Paul wouldn’t have to admonish the Christian believers in Ephesus about this. 

 

What is the Characteristics of the “Old Man?”

The old man doesn’t tell the truth.  The old man gets angry and in getting angry, he gives Satan opportunity to destroy relationships.  The old man steals, that is he takes from others what is not lawfully his.  The old man uses language that is coarse and that tears down rather than building up or encouraging the hearer.  The language doesn’t have a graciousness to it but is critical and contentious and involves bullying. 

 

What should a Christian be Like?

Obviously, a Christian should strive to be like Christ.  The Lord’s most critical language was reserved for the religious people of his day that he called scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites.  See Matthew 23.  When he started His public earthly ministry, they marveled at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth.  When he met publicans and sinners, he showed grace to them.  When he met a woman who had committed adultery, he forgave her and charged her to “go and sin no more.”  He didn’t belittle people. He didn’t lie.  He met needs by healing people and by feeding people.  He forgave the soldiers that crucified Him.  He has offered forgiveness to every person who has been born into this world and who realizes that they have a sin problem. He has been reconciled to those who have received His forgiveness by faith.

 

Paul’s Conclusion

Ephesians 4:31-32, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” I realize that these verses were written to the Ephesians believers.  The argument could be made that believers are only obligated to show these graces to other Christians and not to the unsaved, but that is not the example of the Lord.  I think the context of the new testament would show that we should be showing these graces to all, saved and unsaved alike.  I can’t believe that lying and stealing and belittling others is ever right.  This is how the Devil, the great deceiver acts.

 

I personally want people to believe that I believe what I say I believe.  The only way that I am going to accomplish that is by showing that believing on the Lord Jesus Christ makes a difference in the way I think and act.  It also makes a big difference for eternity.  When people tell me that they are believers in Christ and show by the way that they act and speak, that they are not kind, or tenderhearted or forgiving, I think I have a right to question the reality of that person’s “so-called” conversion. And yes, salvation does involve a conversion.  There is a putting off and a putting on.  Let us be concerned about this in our own lives and be careful in our associations with those without a conscience. 

 

Bruce Collins

 

Meditation for the week of February 16, 2020

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