Fundamentals Of Victorious Christian Living Part 10

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Ephesians 4:24

Paul tells us to put on the “new man”. He is referring to our new nature which is received when a person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

Paul is referring to the part of a person which is changed when they become a Christian. If we look at this in conjunction with Paul’s statement in Ephesians 4 we see that it is possible to be a new man but not walk in the benefits of what that means. 

He exhorted the Ephesians to “put on the new man”. They had become new creatures in Christ but evidently were not walking as such. A person becomes a “new man” but must then “put on the new man” to enjoy the fullness of their redemption.

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Ephesians 4:24

The wording in this verse is very important for anyone desiring to live the victorious life provided to us in Christ. We are not in the process of becoming righteous. A person who has received the free gift of salvation was made righteous at the moment of their conversion. There are millions of Christians who pray for God to make them righteous. They were “created in righteousness” at the moment they received Jesus as their Lord and Savior!

 Notice also that Paul tells us we were created in “true holiness”. This implies that there is a false holiness. These consist of our goodness and good works that are done outside of Christ. 

It seems that the majority of churches place an emphasis on becoming holy. If we are in Christ we are holy! We need to realize that holiness is not something we do because it is something we are as a result of being in Christ.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Isaiah 64:6

There is a false righteousness and there is a false holiness. Each one is born in our self nature and will be focused on self recognition. Isaiah tells that these are viewed by God as “filthy rags”.

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
Philippians 3:8

Paul achieved a level of success as a Pharisee prior to receiving Christ. He was trained by the best teachers, was well recognized for his achievements, and highly regarded by peers. In every sense he would be considered a very successful man by our standards today.

I want you to notice that Paul referred to his accomplishments as “dung” in comparison to what he had found in Christ. Some of us may have attained success just as Paul did. If we are in the place God has called us to walk this is not necessarily bad. We must always remember the source of our success is God alone and never attempt to take credit for what He is doing through us.

There is not a single person who has ever lived that came one step closer to God as a result of their works. Our standard of holiness is Christ alone. Good works and self effort will never be accepted by God.

Many Christians base their standard of holiness on how much they fast and pray. Other Christians base their standard on things like church attendance and Bible reading. These things have a place in our spiritual walk but they cannot make us holy or righteous. The only true standard for our righteousness is Jesus!

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