Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:24
Chris had his blood retested four years after his lifesaving bone marrow transplant. The donor’s marrow had provided what was needed to cure him but had left a surprise: the DNA in Chris’ blood was that of his donor, not his own. It makes sense, really: the goal of the procedure was to replace the weakened blood with a donor’s healthy blood. Yet even swabs of Chris’ cheeks, lips, and tongue showed the donor’s DNA. In some ways, he’d become someone else—though he retained his own memories, outward appearance, and some of his original DNA.
Chris’ experience bears a striking resemblance to what happens in the life of a person who receives salvation in Jesus. At the point of our spiritual transformation—when we trust in Jesus—we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus encouraged them to reveal that inward transformation, to “put off [their] old self” with its way of living and to “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22, 24). To be set apart for Christ.
We don’t need DNA swabs or blood tests to show that the transforming power of Jesus is alive within us. That inward reality should be evident in the way we engage with the world around us, revealing how we’re “kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave [us]” (v. 32).
How has Jesus changed you inwardly? How does that inward reality show in the way you engage with those around you?
Jesus, thank You for making me new and giving me a new life in You.
In view of what God has done through Christ in choosing, redeeming, and predestining believers in Jesus to be His children (Ephesians 1:3–14), Paul exhorted the believers in Ephesus and us to “live a life worthy of [His] calling” (4:1). The apostle commanded them and us not to live ungodly and immoral lives that defined our past (v. 17). For now that we know Christ, we’ve been given a new life (vv. 21–24); we’re a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Reminiscent of Genesis 1:27, this new person is “created to be like God”—truly righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24). To live the new life is to “put off your old self” (v. 22) “and to put on the new self” (v. 24). We’re to “put to death . . . whatever belongs to [our] earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed” and to “clothe [ourselves] with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:5, 12).