October 4

Today’s Bible Reading
     I Kings 7
     Ephesians 4
     Ezekiel 37
     Psalms 87-88
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
            “That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
 
FROM GRAVE CLOTHES TO GRACE CLOTHES
            In this passage, Paul is talking about our walk with the Lord. In chapters 4-5, the word “walk” is used five times, and describes the daily conduct and behavior of the Child of God. Paul is telling us here that the Christian life is a radically different life than that of an unbeliever. If we have received the wealth of the Lord Jesus, then our walk will be changed. He gets this across to us in two ways:
Paul uses a comparison.  He pictures the “takingoff” of an old garment and the “puttingon” of a new garment. When Jesus called Lazarus from the grave, he had the old grave clothes on. Jesus said, “loose him and let him go.” The emphasis here is that we put off our old graveclothes, and put on our new graceclothes.
Paul then teaches them by way of a contrast. The contrast is between the oldmanand the newman. The Child of God must recognize the corruption of the old man. There are young people who call their dad the “old man.” I've even heard wives call their husband the “old man.” But, in Scripture, the “old man” refers to an unregenerate son of Adam, as we were before we were saved. That is the phrase used in Scriptures like Romans 6:6 and Colossians 3:9.
            When we are in Christ, the old man is positionally dead. I am reminded of two boys playing Cowboys & Indians. The cowboy shoots the Indian, and he continues to writhe and shake on the ground as if he has died. Finally, the cowboy walks over and says, “Are you dead?”  The Indian replies “yes”.  The cowboy says, “Well, why don't you act like it.”
            Our old man is dead, yet on a daily basis we have to deal with him. Now some say the old man can be eradicated and put away completely. They say they have no problem with the old man. I've had a different experience. The old man, the flesh, continues to give me a problem. 
            A failure to recognize the truth of this Scripture and to deal daily with the old man will grieve the Holy Spirit. (Verse 30)  The Holy Spirit is grieved byunrepentantsinners, backsliddenChristians, and a deadchurch.
            Is it possible that it is time for you to change clothes? It could be that today you need to take off the grave clothes and put on the grace clothes.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            As with radio ministry, the follow-up of distant converts from the web presents a problem; however, the web allows easy two-way e-mail discipling and counseling. There is much on-line material for new Christians. There is a growing international cyberspace community of believers that is a great help to those who are isolated. Even the chat rooms that can be a problem for some provide an opportunity to share Christ on the other side of the globe. Pray for the use of this ministry.