PUT ON THE NEW MAN
A. Introduction: We’re talking about how God’s Word brings us peace of mind. For the past two weeks
we’ve focused on how knowing our true identity, or who and what we are because of what Jesus has done for
us can bring peace to our mind.
1. Many struggle with believing that God will help them in times of trouble because of their shortcomings
a. But the Bible assures us that God has already met our greatest need—salvation from sin—and
compared to that need, everything else is a lesser issue. This fact brings peace to our mind.
b. Rom 8:32—Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God who
gave us Christ, also give us everything else (NLT).
2. People also struggle with believing that God will help because they don’t understand their created
purpose or the process by which God qualifies them for this purpose. Once again, facts from the Bible
bring us peace of mind because it explains why we were created and what God is doing in us.
a. Almighty God wants a family and He created human beings to become His sons and daughters.
However, sin disqualified us from our created purpose. Eph 1:4-5; Rom 3:23; etc.
b. But Jesus, through His death on the Cross, made it possible for unrighteous, unholy sinners to be
transformed into holy, righteous sons and daughters of God through faith in Him.
1. Jesus’ sacrifice at the Cross so completely cleanses us from the guilt of sin that when we believe
on Him (acknowledge Him as our Savior and Lord), God can indwell by His life and Spirit, and
we become literal sons and daughters of God by birth, born of Him. John 1:12-13; I John 5:1
2. This new birth takes place in our innermost being (our spirit). The entrance of God’s life
produces a tremendous change in us. Our nature or spiritual condition is changed.
A. II Cor 5:17—Therefore if any person is (ingrafted) in Christ, the Messiah, he is (a new
creature altogether,) a new creation; the old (previous moral and spiritual condition) has
passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come (Amp).
B. We are made new in our spirit (our innermost being). The Greek word that is translated
new (kainos) means new in quality, superior in character.
3. The condition of our spirit is the basis of our identity (John 3:6). We were dead; now we are
alive. We were sinners; now we are sons and daughters of God. We were unrighteous; now
we are righteous. Rom 5:19; Rom 5:10; Eph 2:1; Eph 5:8; etc.
c. This new birth does not directly affect our mind and emotions (our soul) or our physical body. The
unchanged portions of our makeup (mind, emotions, body) are sometimes referred to as our flesh.
1. What we do does not yet fully match what we are. But what we do doesn’t change what we
are—holy, righteous sons and daughters of God by birth. What we are will ultimately change
what we do. God deals with us on the basis of what we are because He is confident that His
plan and purpose will be fully accomplished. Phil 1:6; I John 3:2
2. The new birth is the beginning of a process of transformation that will ultimately transform and
restore every part of our being to what God always intended us to be—sons and daughters who
are fully glorifying (pleasing) to Him in every thought, word, attitude, and deed.
3. Last week we began to talk about our part in this process of transformation and have more to say tonight.
As part of the process of transformation we must learn to put on the new man. Eph 4:24
a. The expression “put on the new man” comes from Paul the apostle. He became an ardent follower
of Jesus when the resurrected Lord appeared to him three years after the crucifixion. Acts 9:1-6
1. Following Paul’s conversion, Jesus appeared to him a number of times and personally taught
Paul the message that he preached throughout the Roman Empire. Acts 26:16; Gal 1:11-12
2. Jesus revealed a number of mysteries to Paul which he then taught and wrote about in the New
Testament. A mystery is a previously unrevealed aspect of God’s plan to have a family.
b. One of those mysteries was the believer’s union with Christ. Col 1:25-27—For this revelation
means nothing less than—Christ in union with you, your hope of glory (20th Cent).
1. John 3:16—When a person believes on Jesus, he or she believes into union with Christ. That’s
the idea in the original Greek language. The Holy Spirit unites our spirit to the eternal life in
Jesus. Eternal life is not live forever life; it’s a type of life—the uncreated life in God Himself.
2. The New Testament uses three word pictures to illustrate our relationship to Jesus once we
believe on Him. All convey union and shared life—vine and branch (John 15:5), head and
body (Eph 1:22-23), husband and wife (Eph 5:31-32).
c. Paul wrote extensively about the fact that God is in us to transform and restore us, to strengthen and
empower us. Christianity is more than a moral code or a set of beliefs—although it has both. It is
a living, organic union with the life and Spirit of God through faith in Christ.
4. Paul wrote the Epistle to the Ephesians. From this letter we get insight into what it means to put on the
new man. In the rest of the lesson, we’re going to examine what Paul wrote. This information will
help you see your true identity and give you peace of mind as you are progressively changed by the life
and Spirit of God in you.
B. Ephesians is very systematic. The first half (chapters 1-3) lays out what God has done for us through Jesus
and what He has made us to be through Jesus. The second half of the letter (chapters 4-6) gives specific
instructions on how to live in the light of what we are because of what the Lord has done.
1. Eph 1:1-14—Paul began his letter with a clear statement of God’s plan to have a family restored to Him
through Jesus. The first three verse are his opening greeting. Then Paul stated God’s plan.
a. Eph 1:4-6—Before God created the heavens and the earth, He chose us for relationship with
Himself. His plan was that we would be holy and blameless (faultless, spotless). His motive was
love, and the plan was in accordance with His will. And this gave him great pleasure (v5, NLT).
1. The Lord decided before He made the earth to adopt us as children through Jesus. Adoption at
that time and in that culture was different than it is today. A prosperous man who had no heirs
would adopt a male adult to inherit his name and property. Gen 15:2-3
2. The Greek word translated adoption means to place as a son: In love having previously
marked us out to be places as adult sons (Eph 1:5—Wuest). The word translated children
(sons in the Greek) stresses the dignity and character of the relationship (Vine’s Dictionary).
3. Paul wrote that we praise the Lord for His grace through which He has made us accepted in the
Beloved. Accepted comes from the word grace. It means to bestow grace, highly honor, or
greatly favor. God has fulfilled His plan and greatly blessed us through Jesus, the Beloved.
b. Eph 1:7—Paul then reminded his readers that in Jesus we have redemption through His blood.
Redemption means to let go free for a ransom. We have been delivered from the power and penalty
of sin by the blood of Christ and have forgiveness of sins. Forgiveness means to release sins from
the sinner—to remit or dismiss.
1. The phrase in Jesus (along with numerous other such statements in the New Testament) carries
the idea of in union with Christ, and is translated this way in a number of reputable translations.
2. For by union with Christ, and through his sacrifice of himself, we have found remission in the
pardon of our offenses (20th Cent); the total cancellation of our sins (Eph 1:7, TPT).
c. Eph 1:9-10—Through Jesus, God has made known the mystery of His will (a previously unrevealed
aspect of His plan for a family) that at the right time He will gather to Himself and restore all things
(in heaven and on earth) through Jesus (many lessons for another day). But note one point.
1. Eph 1:11—Then Paul makes reference to one specific aspect of the plan that was achieved
through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Paul refers to an inheritance.
2. There is a double meaning in the construction of the original Greek. It can mean that we have
an inheritance through Jesus or that we are God’s inheritance. Both ideas are consistent with
the rest of the New Testament: In Him we also were made [God’s] heritage (portion) and we
have obtained an inheritance (Eph 1:11—Amp). Inheritance means to receive as one’s own.
A. Through our union with Christ we have also become God’s own Possession, having from
the first been marked out for this in the intention of him who, in all that happens is
executing his own fixed purpose (Eph 1:11, 20th Cent).
B. Through the Cross, God gained back what was lost to Him to sin—His family of holy sons
and daughters. Jesus came to save us and restore us to our created purpose. Luke 19:10
2. Eph 1:15-23—Paul described how he prayed for these people (many lessons for another day). But
notice, he prayed that God would give them increasing revelation and insight into three areas.
a. Eph 1:18—He prayed that they would know the hope inspired by God’s call to sonship and
relationship. He prayed that they would know: how rich His inheritance in the saints is—that is,
the wealth of God’s glorious inheritance that he finds us, his holy ones (TPT); what a rich and
glorious inheritance he has given to his people (NLT).
b. Eph 1:19—Then Paul prayed: (that they would) [know and understand] what is the immeasurable
and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe as demonstrated in
the working of His mighty strength (Eph 1:19, Amp).
1. Paul made it clear that this is the same power that reanimated Jesus’ dead body when it lay in
the tomb: which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead (Eph 1:20, Amp).
2. Paul reminded them that in Christ’s body (meaning those who believe on Him)—in that body
lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything
everywhere [with Himself] (Eph 1:23, Amp).
3. Eph 2:5—Even when we were dead [slain] by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He
(God) made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ.—He gave us the very life
of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him (Amp)
c. The same power, the same life, the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead is in us now that we
are born of God. Paul made reference to this power a number of times as the power that works in
those who believe.
1. Eph 3:16—May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and
reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the (Holy) Spirit [Himself]—indwelling your
innermost being and personality (Amp).
2. Eph 3:20—Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work
within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly far over and above all that
we [dare] ask or think (Amp).
3. Paul made a number of statements about how and why God carried out His plan to save and transform us.
It wasn’t (isn’t) because we earned it or deserved it, but because of His love and grace.
a. Then Paul makes a clear statement about who and what we are because of what God has done for us
through Jesus: For he has made us what we are, because He has created us through our union with
Jesus Christ for doing good deeds which He beforehand planned for us to do (Eph 2:10, Williams).
1. Note two points. One, through union with Christ, made possible by the Cross, we are restored
to our created purpose. Two, it is God who has done this. We are His workmanship.
2. The Greek word translated “he has made us” (poema) means product or that which is made.
We get the English word poem from this Greek word. A poem is a work of art.
b. We aren’t saved from sin because of what we do, but because of what He has done. But what He
has done through the Cross and the new birth can and will change what we do.
4. Half way through his epistle, Paul shifts his emphasis from what you are because God is in you to this is
how you need to live, in the light of the marvelous transformation in your spirit (your innermost being).
a. Eph 4:1—I therefore…appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to
which you have been called—with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service (Amp).
1. God has called all of us to become sons and daughters like Jesus, fully pleasing to God in
thought, word, attitude, and action. That is your calling. Rom 8:29; Eph 1:18
2. The word translated worthy means appropriately. We are called to live lives that accurately
reflect the inward changes in us now that we are born of God.
b. Eph 4:22-24—In this context Paul tells readers to put off the old man and put on the new (kainos).
1. The new man is the new creation (creature), the inward man in union with Christ. Put off
means to put away your former behavior. Put on means begin to behave in a way that reflects
the inward changes. This is a conscious decision to turn from you old sinful lifestyle (repent)
and turn to God’s way. II Cor 5:15; I Cor 6:19-20
A. Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through
deceitful desires (v22, ESV)…And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in
God’s image (Godlike) in true righteousness and holiness (v24, Amp).
B. Notice also that in between urging them to put off and put on, Paul exhorted them to be
made new in their mind. Eph 4:23—And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your
mind—having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude (Amp).
2. Rom 12:2—Paul told new creatures that they must undergo a further transformation through
renewing their mind (anakainosis) or being made new in the way they think.
A. Our minds must be renewed because, since we grew up in world contrary to God, we don’t
necessarily, automatically know what good actions (holy actions) are.
B. Note, Paul had to tell new creatures to be kind and don’t lie, steal, or fornicate. Following
his wonderful statement about what God has made us to be through union with Christ, are
specific instructions on how to act (appropriate behavior for a Christian). Eph 4:26-32
5. Our part in the progressive process of putting on the new man (taking on outwardly the effects of the
inward change) includes making the decision to do things God’s way—even when we don’t want to,
even when it is difficult. That includes becoming a Bible reader. You can’t renew your mind without
regular Bible reading.
a. We read, not to earn points with God, but to find out what He has done for us and in us, as well as
how He wants us to live. God’s Word changes us and cleanses us in our mind and body by teaching
us what right (righteous) living looks like. II Tim 3:16
b. God’s Word changes us because it is a supernatural book inspired by God that works in us when
we read it. The Bible exposes thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that need to change (including
things we are unaware of) and imparts strength to change. II Cor 3:18; Heb 4:12; I Thess 2:13
C. Conclusion: We have more to say next week, but consider these thoughts as we close. We’re talking about
how knowing your true identity, because of what God has done for us through Jesus, gives us peace of mind
as we walk through the process of putting off the old man and putting on the new.
1. When you understand why God created you and what He is working to accomplish in you through His
Spirit and Word, it assures you that He won’t abandon you despite your shortcomings. Phil 1:6
2. God’s Word assures you that you have value to Him and that He will take care of you because you
belong to Him. Remember, you are His inheritance. Eph 1:11
3. When you learn to live with the awareness that God is in you by His Spirit and life—despite your
shortcoming—it will give you peace of mind. The Greater One is in you, and nothing can come against
you that is bigger than Him. I John 4:4