Read: Ephesians 4:22-24
Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life (Ephesians 4″ 22, R.S.V.).
Put Off The Old Man
One of Paul’s figures of speech as translated in the Authorized Version has caused some merriment and a little ludicrous misunderstanding. The first and clearest statement is in Romans
6:6: “Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” The same figure is used in Ephesians 4:22 and Colossians 3:9. The misunderstanding is due to our American slang in which a father is sometimes discourteously referred to as “the old man.”
Almost all the new versions show us the true nature of the “old man” of sin. Paul is talking about the old nature which went along with, and was a cause of the old sinful lives of these people — their lives before they became Christians. God’s Word exhorts Christians to “put off your old nature” (R.S.V.), “that old human nature” (New English Bible), “your old self” (Williams), “the old nature” (Berkeley and (Moffatt), “your former nature” and “your old unrenewed self” (Amplified New Testament), “your original evil nature” (Weymouth).
It is clear that in the experience of entire sanctification some change is to be made inside of us. We are to have new natures which are as well adapted to the new life as the old sinful nature was adapted to sinful conduct.
How are desires for evil to be rooted out of my conscious experience? How can I be changed so that I want the things that God wants? How are good inclinations born? How do temptations to sin wither and die before they become so much a part of me that they are really my sincere desires? These are the real questions involved when we speak of carnality being destroyed. It is a big assignment — but we have a big God!