In Christ we have a new nature. In Christ we have clean fresh clothes of righteousness and holiness designed by God himself for us to wear.
When we were without Christ, it was like we lived blindfolded in a world of illusion cut off from the life of God through ignorance and insensitiveness (Eph 4:18 – Phillips). This old sinful nature is like comfortable old clothing, which Satan tempts us to put on again. Unfortunately this old clothing is rotted through and through with sin.
The choice is yours – will you fling off the dirty clothes of the old way of living? Will you put on the new clean fresh clothes made by God’s design?
Even though we are in Christ we face a continual choice. Do we let the Holy Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes or do we allow the prince of the power of the air (the devil) to influence our minds?
Satan’s influence on our minds
When the devil is at work in our minds our thoughts wander toward corruption, lust and deception. The devil seduces us to pursue falsehood, sinful rage, dishonest gain, unwholesome speech, and hateful attitudes. Satan would like us to believe that there can’t be anything wrong with harboring bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander and malice because successful people all around us are living this way. But he is wrong. Lying destroys the intimate relationship and unity that we have in Christ. Anger gives the devil a foothold in our lives. Dishonest gain keeps us from helping other people. I don’t need to remind you of the effects of foul and abusive language because you have experienced hurtful words yourself. These behaviors hurt other people who are created in God’s image, who are so precious that Christ died for them. Choosing to behave this way grieves the Holy Spirit who is God’s personal pledge of our eventual redemption.
The renewing power of Christ
The sacrificial love of Christ beckons us to sacrifice ourselves so that our neighbors grasp the truth of God’s love. The blood of Christ offers healing for our wounded pride and cleansing for when our temper threatens to get out of control. The generosity of Christ who blessed with our skills and abilities offers inspiration to make an honest living, not just for ourselves, but so that we can be outrageously generous with those in need. The words of Christ, filled with grace and hope provide the wisdom we need to control our speech so that we can impart grace to the hearer with words that are good, helpful and edifying. The transforming power of God enables us to choose loving attitudes and actions which are pleasing and acceptable in God’s sight. Loving as Christ loved, caring for others as Christ cared, forgiving as Christ forgave delights the Holy Spirit.
Choose fresh clothes!
Today, keep your mind fixed on Christ, not the sensual desires, addictions and greed whispering distractions in your ear. When you consciously choose to put on God’s fresh clothes of holiness and righteousness the knots in your stomach will be released and you will be free to be the person God created you to be.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6)