Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their thoughts. They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more. But that is not how you came to know Christ, assuming you heard about him and were taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus, to take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth. Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the devil an opportunity. Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
Reflection: Have you ever tried to change your walk permanently? It is so hard to do, because how we walk is part of who we are. When our identity changes, our walk must change, too. You can see this when the leader of the Federal Opposition becomes the Prime Minister – who they are changes, and so must the way they live life. The problem is that, under all sorts of pressure, we can often find it easier just to walk the old way. Paul states that this must NOT be the case – in verse 17, this way of walking is no longer appropriate for the new identity God has given his people – it is the way of ‘futility’, ‘darkness’, and ‘exclusion’ (vs.17-19). They are now ‘in Christ’, in God’s mob – and their walk must show this. Their lives must show how their old self is gone (vs.22), their minds are changed (vs.23), and their new identity is clear (vs.24). And this new walk is clear – just look at how simple the eleven commands are in verses 25-32.
Question: Look through the eleven commands in vs.25-32. Pick one that is particularly relevant to you. Using the lens of verses 22-24, unpack what this new walk might look like (e.g. What was the old way? How has God’s Word renewed your mind in this area? What is the new way of walking?)
Prayer: Dear Father, you have brought me into your household, into community with you and the rest of your people. Please change my walk, creating in me new habits that reflect the new identity you gave me ‘in Jesus’. Please help me to express this new walk within this new community. Amen.