Summary: What does a New Self in Christ look like? The New Self is Sacrificial; The New Self is a Servant; The New Self is Sanctified; The New Self is Spirit-led
The New Self
Text: Colossians 3:9 - 10
I think we can easily find Christians who don’t seem to be different from the rest of the world. I bet it would be difficult to pick them out as Christians at a party or a ball game. This is part of the reason that the world views Christianity with such skepticism. They ask, “What difference does being a Christian make?” We have the churchy words for them, but do we demonstrate the difference? My guess is that those who don’t appear to be different from the rest of the crowd are not living a transformed life; the life that Christ came to give all of us.
Colossians 3:9 - 10 (NASB) “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him”
Ephesians 4:21 - 24 (NASB) if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
The easy way to approach this lesson is to describe what makes up the new self. If someone is seeking a transformed life, what does it look like?
Being saved is great. It’s vital. But it’s not the end, it’s the beginning. There’s so much more that will fulfill us, complete us, satisfy us, and make us joyful. So, if we are renewed, why do we go through life as Christians and appear not much different than our non-Christian friends?
Romans 6:11 (NASB) Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let us consider 4 key characteristics to the new self which enable us to live a new life fulfilled in Christ.
I. The New Self is Sacrificial
The first of the four keys is to understand that the new self must be sacrificial.
Romans 12:1 - 2 (NASB) Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Now there’s a lot of complicated stuff in those verses. But, what we must see in there is that as Christians, we have a choice about how we live. If we look carefully at the passage, we see that we have a choice to make. The choice is whether to yield to God or to the world. If we yield to God, we will enjoy a transformed life. If we yield to sin, we will endure a defeated life.
But what does being a living sacrifice mean? It means we must give our whole selves to God, all of our heart, mind, soul, body and will. (The Greatest Commandment)
Christ is our great example and model for a sacrificial life. First, He yielded to the Father’s plan to leave His throne in heaven and take human form to endure the life of man. He subjected Himself to the world of man and was obedient to the will of the Father even to the point of being sacrificed on the cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)
II. The New Self is a Servant
The second key is that the new self lives a life of service with Christ as our model and example.
Read John 13:12-17 (Example of Jesus)
Philippians 2:4 - 5 (NASB) do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
(Second Greatest Commandment)
I can’t say that we will ever be called to be martyred for our faith in Christ, but there are many more ways for my new self to serve.
III. The New Self is Sanctified
The next key on our list is to understand that the new self is one that is sanctified.
Sanctification really means to be set apart for a purpose.
Hebrews 10:10 (NASB) By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
2 Timothy 2:20 - 22 (NASB) Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.