For My New Year's Resolution!
I pray that God would teach us to practice endurance in whatever trials we are going through. May we come out of our trials with hearts full with patience, faith, gratitude and love.
To find out why this short prayer, read January 1 post)
"The Old Man Put Off—The New Man Put On " by J. C. Philpot
The putting off of this old man
The old man is to be put off much in the same way as we put off a dirty garment. How glad the workman is, say the mason or the bricklayer, at the end of a long, dusty, laborious week to get a thorough good wash on the Sunday morning, and put a clean shirt upon his back. How nice and fresh he feels with his clean skin and his clean shirt. Excuse the figure, for though homely it may not be the less true or less impressive. Our old man is like a shirt which has gone through all the dust and sweat and toils of the week. And he is put off when he is not allowed to stick any longer close to the skin, but is pulled off and thrown away with disgust as a dirty garment; worn unwillingly and put off gladly. The apostle, after speaking in another place, of some of the worst sins which have debased and disgraced human nature, adds– "And such were some of you– but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor. 6:11.) "You are washed," there is the washing of the person in the fountain open for all sin and uncleanness; "you are justified," there is the white clothing all bright and clean put upon the washed person; "you are sanctified," there is the presence and power of God's grace, the comfort of being thus washed and dressed; and all this "in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God;" for it is only by believing in his name, and by the power of the Spirit that there is any washing, any justification, or any sanctification.
But remember this, you can only put him off for a time. He is put off from time to time in his workings, in his defilement, in his filth, but alas! he soon makes his appearance again, and you will never put him off altogether until he is put off in death.
2. The other leading thought which strikes my mind as an interpretation of the exhortation to put off the old man is, to put him off his seat of authority and power. He is put off, then, when he is not allowed to have dominion. Put him, then, off the throne; don't let him reign and rule. Thrust him from sitting at the head of the table and occupying the arm chair; let him not be the master of the house. Get him into the place where Bishop Bonner thrust the martyrs– into the coal cellar. Mortify him, bind him, set your foot upon him, keep him down, and gag his mouth when he would vent his blasphemies and try to stir up deceitful lusts. He is to be put off; he is not to be cuddled and indulged, put in the best chair, fed upon the best food, kept close and warm by the fireside, handsomely dressed, and made the pet of the whole house.
He is to be treated with great rigor. The word of God bids us crucify him, and pronounces a sweeping sentence, which, if we take as a description of all who truly belong to Christ, cuts off thousands of 'splendid professors'– "And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Not they are going to do it, think about doing it, mean to do it some day or other, hope they shall do it before they die, but "have crucified the flesh;" that is, have already nailed it to Christ's cross. This is indeed a putting off the old man, for it is taking it and fixing it to the cross of Jesus. Now, crucifixion was a painful and lingering death. We cannot expect, therefore, to crucify the old man without his crying out against his crucifier. And yet the pleasure to the new man is greater than the pain to the old man, for we may rest well satisfied that the more we are enabled to mortify, crucify, and put off the corrupt old man, with his deceitful lusts, the more happy we shall be, the less cause there will be for repentance and sorrow, and the more we shall walk at liberty as seeking God's precepts.