“Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
-Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV
No one ever said this life was going to be easy. In fact Jesus tells us quite the opposite.
I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
-John 16:33 MSG
Yet the Word of God makes it clear that there is a certain way He has called us to live that not only minimizes the drama and stress of this world (plenty of which we bring about ourselves due to disobedience, reckless living, and sin) but allows us to live our best lives. Here are 3 steps to living your best christian life
1 . Put Off The Old Man – (Remove the tattered Rags)
So you may be wondering what is the old man? Well, the old man is anyone who wears the ways of the world thinking, acting and believing as the world does. His mind is not set on Christ nor the ways of God. He is always seeking his worth, value, riches, satisfaction, and pleasures from the world (Colossians 3:1-3).
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices
-Colossians 3:5-9 ESV
The character of the old man is fueled by his carnal passions. From promiscuity and lies to anger and lust, he gives into whatever he feels whenever he feels like it with no regard to God. However, when we come into the salvation of Christ we give up and surrender these tattered behaviors (taking off the old man). We no longer give in to our old desires that are contrary to the will of God but we strip away our former practices, mindsets, and behaviors.
2. Renew your Mind – (Cleansing)
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
-Ephesians 4:17-18 NIV
Once we have accepted Christ and stripped away our old ways; before we can put on our new selves we must first wash away the residue of our old ways, thoughts and behaviors through the renewal of our minds. We do this by changing the way we think and how we behave by aligning our thoughts with the mind of Christ and our behaviors with the will of God. As believers we are constantly in the process of renewal, in fact,
“The christian life is a (continual) restoration to the image of God” – Dan Mohler
A renewed mind is always receiving new knowledge according to God and no longer according to the thoughts and ways of this world. So, instead of saying, “I can’t!” A renewed mind says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”(Philippians 4:13) Instead of saying, “That’s impossible!” It says, “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) Instead of saying, “I’m not worthy enough or good enough.” A renewed mind says, “I have been made the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
3. Put On The New Man
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
Now that you have removed the tattered rags of the old self, renewed your mind and spirit through the cleansing of the word and wisdoms of God, you must now put on the new man by clothing yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, thankfulness, encouragement, constructive instruction to others, and most of all unselfish love; doing everything to the glory of God.
As believers we no longer fit into our old self and our former ways. The new man has no need to go back into the closet of the old man and put back on the ways of the world. While none of us are perfect we strive to continuously be remolded more and more into the likeness of Christ.