Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. - Ephesians 4:21-24
Truly righteous and holy. Created to be like God. Renewed thoughts and attitudes. A new nature. When we learn the life-giving truth about Jesus Christ, we don’t stay the same as we were before we embraced it. Praise God that, instead, He meets us where we are but never leaves us there. When we come to know God through Jesus, He changes everything.
From the moment we first meet Him until the day we’ll get to join with Him for eternity, knowing God transforms everything about us: our minds, our hearts, our perspectives, our ambitions, our sense of purpose. Once we are brought to life through Jesus, we are able to put off the old and allow the Holy Spirit to make us entirely new, to set us apart for God’s purposes, and to produce His fruit in our lives.
Maybe you know these things already. Maybe you’ve even seen this idea of heart and life transformation to be true in your life or in the lives of others. But do you ever wonder what exactly it looks like to be completely changed through a relationship with God?
Thankfully, the rest of this section of scripture (Ephesians 4:17-31), subtitled in the NLT Bible translation as “Living as Children of Light,” gives us a practical, convicting look at how our lives in the light of God's grace should be radiating His goodness. In straightforward terms, this passage contrasts the “old sinful nature” with the “new nature” Christians are called to:
Life Without God
Outside of a relationship with God, we...
Are hopelessly confused
Have minds full of darkness
Wander from the life God gives
Close our minds to God
Have hardened hearts
Have no sense of shame
Live for lustful pleasure
Are eager to practice impurity
Are corrupted by deception
Life With God
People who are changed by God...
Tell the truth
Use their hands for good hard work
Give generously to others in need
Do not sin under anger’s control
Are kind to others
Speak good and helpful words
Reflect God’s holy and righteous nature
How has knowing God transformed you? Are you able to identify similarities between this passage and your own story?
In what specific areas of your life might you be holding on to your “old nature” rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to renew you?
Lord, thank You for revealing Your truth in Jesus and for allowing me to know You through faith in Him. Thank You for giving me a new nature and continually transforming me. God, please forgive me for when I try to hold on to my former ways of life. As You renew my thoughts and attitudes, help me to live in Your light. Help me to be kind and tenderhearted, to forgive others as You’ve forgiven me in Christ, and to reflect Your truth and righteousness with every thought, word, and action that comes from me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.