In a recent lesson in Ephesians 4, my Bible community teacher concluded the lesson with a thought-provoking challenge. His discussion centered on the differences between the practices of the old nature compared to the ways of the new nature. He asked, “How does futile thinking lead to corrupt living?” Extremely important in the mind of Paul, he commands us to diligently remove the attitudes resulting from the old nature and be engaged in rightful and godly thinking. Paul exhorts, “…be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:24). We all are given the challenge to be in a pursuit of godly thinking. When our minds are harnessed by the Word of God, the result will be a life of holiness and righteousness. On our own strength, we are incapable of living this life. It involves realizing who we are in Christ. The Word of God tells us that we are indeed new creations in Christ:
2 Corinthians 5:17— Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
So why do we continue to struggle with our sins? If our old nature has been crucified with Christ and we have been given the new nature, then why do we so often resort to our old condition? J. Miles Sanford (The Complete Green Letters, 147) helps us with a few considerations:
1) to reveal the depths of sinfulness from which we were saved.
2) to teach us to count ourselves dead to the old ,and alive in the new.
3) to teach us to abide in the Lord Jesus—above.
4) to teach us to walk in the Spirit—below.
5) to glorify the Father and manifest the life of the Lord Jesus despite a fallen nature, body, and world.
6) to give us good cause to watch His appearing.
7) to give us a greater appreciation of eternal glory.