17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[a] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Have you ever tried to change your walk permanently? It is so hard to do, because how we walk is part of who we are. When our identity changes, our walk must change, too. You can see this when the leader of a political party becomes the Prime Minister; who they are changes, and so must the way they live life. The problem is that, under all sorts of pressure, we can often find it easier just to walk the old way.
Paul states that this must NOT be the case (verse 17), this way of walking is no longer appropriate for the new identity God has given his people. It is the way of ‘futility’, ‘darkness’, and ‘exclusion’ (vs.17-19). They are now ‘in Christ’ in God’s mob and their walk must show this. Their lives must show how their old self is gone (vs.22), their minds are changed (vs.23), and their new identity is clear (vs.24). And this new walk is clear; just look at how simple the eleven commands are in verses 25-32.
Look through the eleven commands in verses 25-32. Pick one that is particularly relevant to you. Using the lens of verses 22-24, unpack what this new walk might look like. What was the old way? How has God’s Word renewed your mind in this area? What is the new way of walking?
Dear Father, you have brought me into your household, into community with you and the rest of your people. Please change my walk, creating in me new habits that reflect the new identity you gave me ‘in Jesus.’ Please help me to express this new walk within this new community. Amen.