Summary: Knowing Christ means a change from the way things were or would be without him. Putting off the old man and putting on the new man applies to us as both as individuals and as part of the household of faith.
Trading in the Old Man for the New Man
1. This story teaches us a lot about our nature.
A retired man moves near a junior high school. He spends the first few weeks of retirement in peace and quiet. However, when a new school year begins, three young boys beat on every trash can they encounter every day on their way home from school.
Finally, the man decides to take action and walks out to meet the boys. He says, "You kids are a lot of fun. I'll give you each a dollar if you'll promise to come around every day and do your thing." The kids continue to do a bang-up job on the trashcans.
After a few days, the man tells the kids, "This recession's really putting a big dent in my income. From now on, I'll only be able to pay you 50 cents to beat on the cans." The noisemakers are displeased, but they accept his offer.
A few days later, the retiree approaches them again. "Look," he says, "I haven't received my Social Security check yet, so I'm not going to be able to pay more than 25 cents. Will that be OK?"
"A measly quarter?" the drum leader exclaims. "If you think we're going to waste our time beating these cans around for a quarter, you're nuts. We quit." [source: jokes.com]
2. These youngsters got frustrated with the old man & gave up their ways as a result.
3. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do the same with our old man?
4. The term “old man” refers to our “natural man,” our human dispo tainted by sin.
Main Idea: Knowing Christ means a change from the way things were or would be without him. Putting off the old man and putting on the new man applies to us as both as individuals and as part of the household of faith.
I. Individually: A New MAN
In a sense, we are called to do right what Adam did wrong. We are to live lives surrendered to Jesus Christ.
A. We put on the new man, symbolically, at BAPTISM (cf. 2:12)
1. The new man is who we are, technically. But, in another sense, it is who we are becoming. We then choose to put him on (or not) repeatedly
2. The commands are in the aorist tense in Greek, the normal voice of command; whereas the aorist does not demand repeated action, it does not forbid it, either.
3. Adam & Eve donned fig leaves, & mankind still does this by trying to hide sin; we are called, in contrast, to put on the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
B. This man is in the PROCESS of being renewed
• “Renewal” suggests this is progressive and may sometimes go backward.
• Like downloading some long programs online… may freeze up & have to start again. Viruses or computer errors may force us to uninstall and reinstall.
2. A DIRECTION toward a goal
We are betrothed to Jesus Christ, which means legally married, but the marriage is awaiting consummation at the wedding feast of the Lamb.
C. Founded on KNOWLEDGE
Adam and Eve sinned by eating at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In Christ, we are to eat of the tree of godly knowledge.
1. NEW spiritual truth
2. REVIEWED and RECONTEMPLATED truth
3. The Romans 12:1-2 PATTERN
“an ignorant soul cannot be a good soul” (Matthew Henry)
The first thing God created was light; the same is true as a starting point for becoming mature in the Lord, it begins with light.
D. The Direction of Renewal: Being RESTORED to God’s Image
1. Not just a change in character, but being restored to the IMAGE of God
2. Transitioning from the race of the First ADAM to the Second Adam
The first Adam was a “new man,” created in God’s image, but that image was distorted and he became the “old man;” we are born as that old man and are told to put him off. Jesus is the Second Adam, in the image of God without distortion, and we are in him; we are thus to let him transform us into a new man.
Since Christ is in the perfect image of God (1:15), his character is the prototype — not his person or mission. We do not want to imitate his life, but his godly behavior.
II. Corporately: A New HUMANITY
A. All in Christ have equal STATUS before God
B. It is wrong to discriminate on the basis of race or BACKGROUNDS
Jews are the genetic descendants of Jacob plus followers of Judaism
Greeks speak of gentiles, esp. the cultured ones
Barbarians was a term Greeks used for the non-Greek speaking (uncultured from their view)