[Column] Put off Your Old Self

Put off Your Old Self

Written By Rev.Dr. Joshua Hong

Senior Pastor of Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

People bathe when their body gets dirty and launder their clothes when they are stained. Failure to do so will create foul odor. Man has an outer self as well as an inner self. An inner self also gets dirty and tainted. Yet it cannot be washed with water. Ephesians 4:22-24 read, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” We must put off our old self tainted with old habits, lust and corruption. Milk and fish go bad if left alone. Similarly man’s heart become corrupt if left alone. Jeremiah 17:9 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Without the change of heart and repentance, an old self cannot be put off or our soul cleansed. We clean out heart by taking the medicine of the Word, praying and repenting.

When asked by the disciples about the end time, Jesus Christ said, “For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together” (Matthew 24:28). What is carcass? It is a dead body. It cannot answer when questioned; it cannot move; it does not cry. When there is no reaction or response even amidst the preaching of the Word of God, it is the time of judgment. Tears must not dry from our eyes. As we look at our transgression and weakness, we must be sorrowful and repent. Let us remember that the end time of our life comes when there is no penitence or prayers. The proclamation of the Word of God must be responded with penitence.

In the movie “Mission,” Mendoza, a wealthy Spanish slave trader, lives through moral and spiritual suffering after killing his brother. Jesuit priest Father Gabriel suggests that Mendoza undertake suitable penance for his sin and he agrees. Mendoza accompanies Father Gabriel and another Jesuit priest on their journey to the Guarani camp climbing up stiff cliffs and penetrating through thick rainforest. All along he is pulling a sack filled with swords, armors, and other objects he used in the past as a slave trader. As the priests arrive near the entrance of the camp, Guarani Indians come out to greet the priests and stand aghast at the sight of Mendoza, who hunted and abducted their families. A Guarani man walks up to Mendoza. Mendoza kneels as the sack containing the burden of his guilt weighs upon his shoulders. He lifts his head up as a way of expressing his assent to suitable punishment. The man standing next to him lifts a sword. Instead of cutting off Mendoza’s head, the man cuts the ropes of Mendoza’s sack. The sack falls on the ground and rolls down the hill. As the scene changes, so does the image of Mendoza. He who once knelt as a wounded sinner now rises as a healed saint.

How is your “self” today? Does it bear any trace of an old, scarred, and corrupt self laden with sin and transgressions? We must put off our old self. We must repent. We must put on a new self of righteousness and truth in Christ. Moreover, we must arise as a new creature full of grace, life and love to walk the remaining path of life.

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