Summary: The Bible is clear that righteousness can only be found in God.
PUT OFF, PUT ON
Col. 3:9-10(KJV), "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:"
"Put off...put on." A seemingly simplistic statement from the Apostle Paul in his writings to the Christians at at town called Colossae and, by extension, all Christians everywhere.
Put off, put on...easier said than done. With Holy Ghost enablements the saints can do all things through Christ who strengthens them. "...the source of all power in the Christian life---Jesus Christ himself."__Ray Stedman
Who is this "old man" mentioned in the text? He is the man that is lost and undone--without God or His Son. In other words one who is a sinner, a transgressor against the almighty God of the universe.
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6, NIV).
Folk sin because they are sinners. They are born with a sin nature because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve to God's straightforward, concise, and clear commands. Adam had enough sense to understand, after all, he named all the animals. He consciousnessly chose to disobey his Creator.
The first Adam was Adam the Loser. The last Adam, Jesus Christ, is in every way a winner! Christ, the God-Man won for us a way back into the good graces of the Almighty. Jesus always does the will of the Father. Remember Samuel's statement, "Obedience is better than sacrifice."
A brave officer said once to his soldiers in a day of battle, “Unless you kill your enemies they will kill you.” In like manner may it be said, “Unless we crucify the flesh, it will be our everlasting ruin.”
Now those that are in Christ Jesus can put on the new man. The new man is the redeemed man. He, Christ, who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:18-21).
"The Bible is clear throughout that righteousness can only be found in God. Absolute true righteousness was on display for the world in Jesus Christ..."__Grant Phillips
We are new creatures in Christ Jesus, therefore there are some characteristics we can now put on: Self-denial, Endurance of suffering, Service, Faithfulness, Love, Patience, Forgiveness of others, Gentleness and Humility, Purity, and Prayer. "God commands that we act with justice in everything. Justice, Biblically speaking, is that which is moral (right behavior) and ethically (involving or expressing moral approval or disapproval) right, consistent with God's Word and holy nature."__Author Unknown This list is not all inclusive, but it gives a general picture.
The term "put on" in this context means to acquire or instill. It does not mean to pretend.
The Christian has, in Christ, everything needed to become daily more like Christ . There is no ascension here, but impartation and imputation of these qualities by Christ through the Holy Spirit (James 2:23).
We, as free moral agents, can accept or reject these directions to put off and put on. It is to one's advantage to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Next is to continue to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior.