May the God of hope fill you with joy and courage as you trust in Him.

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; (Eph 4:6)

The NIV has some interesting language for this verse. Three things that I’d like to look at as we look at resetting, our way of thinking, as we repent.

One, “former way of life”                    Two, “Put off old Self”             Three, “Corrupted by deceitful desires”

Let’s start with “corruption,” which essentially means using something for something other than what it was designed or assigned to do. We were created to do what Jesus does and as he said he does “ only what the Father taught him to do.”  (John 8:28) Our lives are not about doing good, they are about being Godly, being obedient, there is always good that can be done that stands in the way of doing what God wants us to do. Repentance is learning what God wants from us, so that we are not corrupted.

“Deceitful desires,” these are the ones that we have been deceived into thinking are in our best interest and will gain us the most, but Jesus said  

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” Luke 9:25.

Repentance realigns us with our true purpose, and that is to love God and our neighbour and not just ourselves. Corruption is when we live for our own purposes alone, and being deceived is believing that our own needs and aspirations are what is most important in our lives.

But this is our ‘former way of life” this is sinful thinking. Selfishness is sinfulness. Now we have the task of changing our way of thinking and acting away from this selfishness to a sacrificial way of life. This requires us to put off our old ways.

Therefore scripture teaches us that there is a natural and well established way of thinking in our lives that we will need to resist and to turn away from and to repent of ” this putting off” that will make way for a new and godly set of thoughts and actions.

Repentance is the “how” we put off the old self. Our aim must be to repent as soon after the “Old Self” responds to any given situation! Sometimes it will take a long time for us to realise that what we are thinking or doing is “not of God.” It may happen as we read scripture or pray or perhaps some brother or sister will come and rebuke you in love. Sometimes it is even an enemy that points out your faults and you are able to repent and be transformed.

Do not worry how long it takes for your sins to be brought to your attention, but when they are be swift to repent and change. Ideally, we should be able to resist at the temptation phase, as Jesus did – Jesus was tempted but was without sin – because he could recognise sin immediately. We won’t always be able to do that, but immediately we recognise sin we should repent, otherwise it becomes wilful sin, and we don’t want to go down that road.


How open are you to correction? What sin, what thoughts and actions from your “former self” are corrupting your life and how will you “put them off?”


Search me oh God and know my heart today! See if there be any wicked way in me.                                                            Cleanse me from every sin and set me free.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Author: admin

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