Ephesians 2:11-22; Colossians 3:1-11
We live in a world and are exposed to elements in our environment that seeks to conform and shape us to the mold and the image of the world in which we live and currently have our existence. Almost a month into a New Year and already the things of the previous year are spilling over and overlapping the events and situations of a new and vibrant year. This is the very reason we should start the new year not only in prayer but also in Scripture. There are countless devotions and Bibles that have reading programs within them to help Christian to chart a successful reading pattern to read through the Bible in a year. And all of these are meant to keeping us focused on the truth of the God’s Word, the relevance of His Word for us in this day and time, and to develop us in the spiritual growth that the Holy Spirit desires to work in us. But stay in the world long enough and away from the Word of God and any good Christian will ultimately fall back into the old patterns of the world around us.
It is so easy to conform ourselves to the patterns and the molds that just seem natural to everyday life. And so, when we come to faith in Christ if we don’t begin with new habits of reading and studying the Bible, getting connect with other believers in a NT Church, or even disconnecting ourselves from our non-believing friends. Then unfortunately we never truly set a pattern or establish any credibility to the world we live in or to other Christians that we have ever come to faith at all. This is precisely what Paul declares in Ephesians 4:21-22, he opens up with the statement that “if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught Him, just as truth is in Jesus” then as such your life should demonstrate the truth that has been received, and believed, and begin to show some sort of evidence to the nature of the truth of Jesus Christ and what He is able to do.
The Holy Spirit living in each and every believer who has ever trusted Christ for forgiveness and salvation has the promise of Him residing in each and every one of us forever (John 14:15-17). Jesus reminds us that He will, the Holy Spirit that is; will teach us all we need to know and will remind us of the words of the Lord (John 14:26). And one of the things that the Holy Spirit wants to do in us is to change our life from the inside out from what we used to know, how we used to be, as well as how we lived our life; to one that is now new and reveals the glorious work of God in and through our life. Paul reminds us in Ephesians that if we are what we claim we are then we need to begin by taking off the old clothes we are used to wearing and begin to wear the clothes from our new wardrobe that reflects the holiness of God and His work in us. We can’t do this on our own but rather we have to get into the Word of God to further see what God desires from those whom He calls His children. Paul tells Timothy to be diligent, or rather work hard in getting yourself in the word of God in order that Timothy would not find himself in a position to be ashamed or to be shamed for a lack of knowledge (2nd Tim 2:14). The world wants to get us tangled up in worldly affairs for one purpose only and that is so that we will be just like them, ungodly.
Therefore, we need to be in the Word daily saturating ourselves with the word of truth if we expect get welcomed, accepted or receive God’s blessings in this life. Second, we have to get into the habit of acting like what we say we are. Again, in Colossians 3:9-11 Paul says that we must take off the old man and his worldly habits and put on the new image or person who has been remade in the image of Christ. The Greek word in Colossians that Paul uses renew literally means that there is a transformation taking place in you that will be revealed on the outside. The Holy Spirit wants to pull back the curtain in order for the world around you to see the Light that is living in you that will hopefully attract those around you to see the work of God in you (Matt 5:14-16; 2nd Cor 5:20-21). And lastly, we should be in the word and allowing the Spirit to move and work in us like a tailor to fit us to His glorious image because this world really is no longer our home. Paul and Peter, both reminds us that we are no longer citizens of this world but rather are fellow citizen with all the saints of God’s House (Ephesians 2:19; 1st Peter 2:11; Phil 3:20; Heb 11:13). In other words, we are now part of the family of God and so therefore we no longer represent our own interest but rather the interest and the image of God and His heavenly city. And if this is the case as Paul says, “if indeed this is the case” then we should clothe ourselves daily in our “new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24, NLT) .