NEW SELF “in Christ”
The OLD SELF
The Bible describes the “old self” as deserving eternal condemnation, living under the law, a child of Satan, lacking the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and led by the sinful nature. Paul presents four main characteristics of someone who is still living under the old self.
- Mind is darkened.
- Heart is hardened.
- Separated from God.
- Insensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction.
The NEW SELF
The Bible describes the “new self” as deserving eternal life, living under grace, a child of God, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and led by Christ. When you are a Christian, you have the “new self” and the secret to living in victory is to have conviction in two areas.
- I am genuinely righteous before God.
- God empowers me to live in holiness.
Personal and Group Study
1. When is the last time you have felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit in your life? Is there anything in your life that you used to have a strong conviction against, but because of the influence of others, you have slowly faded into an area you used to believe was wrong, but now are tolerating?
2. Study Colossians 3:1-14. This passage parallels Ephesians 4:17-24 in many ways. Ask yourself: what is God asking us to “put to death” and what is God asking us to “cloth ourselves with”? Meditate on Colossians 3:10 where it tells us to renew our knowledge in the image of our Creator.
3. Read Romans 7:15-25. We have all struggled with “thinking” and “doing” what we do not want to, but sin is so strong in us that we still fail. What is our only hope to overcome the sin nature still living inside of us?
4. Study positional righteousness: Righteousness is a gift (Romans 5:17); we are righteous in God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Do you believe that God sees you as perfect because of Jesus?
Applying the Bible
5. How can you live in holiness, knowing that you will fall short time and time again, and balance that with the fact that you are already righteous in God’s sight because of the cross?
6. Live out Philippians 4:8 this week. Whenever you struggle with sinful thoughts (lust, anger, worrying), think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy. Go to a place in your mind that is positively focused on Christ’s goodness. You will find that it will be hard at first, but fight through the temptation to focus on the negative.