Put Off—Put On

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Ordained Chaplain
Oct 12, 2011
United States
“Put Off … The Old Man” (Eph 4:22)

God always takes the initiative in salvation. Before He asks or expects man to act, He has acted. The work of the Lord Jesus in salvation is a completed work.

What the Father has made true for us positionally, He longs to make real in us experientially. This requires our intelligent cooperation in willing consent and in active choice, as the imperative “that ye put off” clearly shows. Therefore we should learn what our responsibility is, and seek to fulfill it. May we consider three practical ways in which we may “put off the old man”?

Reckon On The Crucifixion Of The Old Man

Such reckoning means simply believing what God says in Romans 6:6, and knowing it as a fact in one’s own salvation (reckoning doesn’t effect truth which God has already established, but believes on it—NC). This demands a definite act of faith, which results in a fixed attitude toward “the old man.” We are to see him where God sees him (it)—on the Cross crucified with Christ (we left the Cross but the old man is still there, restrained – “is crucified” - KJV—NC). Furthermore, it involves our consent to God’s condemnation of that old “I” as altogether unworthy to live, and as wholly stripped of any claim upon us (Ro 8:9—we are separated from the sin nature—NC).

Recognize The Presence Of The Self-life

While God makes it perfectly clear that identification with Christ in His death and resurrection takes us completely out of the position of sin and in the flesh, He nowhere says that sin is taken out of us in our earthly life. All the verses of Romans Six tell us of God’s perfect provision for deliverance from sin’s power (rein v12; dominion v14—NC), but not one verse teaches us that we are here and now delivered from sin’s presence (the old man indwells the saints and continues its attempts to delay spiritual growth – Ro 7:17, 20—NC).

As we walk in the light, the Holy Spirit will perform an ever deepening work of conviction as to the self-life. This will lead to honest self-judgment (1 Cor 11:31), and confession (1 John 1:9), as sins are brought to our consciousness.

Renounce The Old Man In Its Entirety

“Put off” calls for unconditional renunciation. “Henceforth walk not” (Eph 4:17). The Christian has begun a walk on a new road in a new sphere leading to a new goal. He should in time be prepared to turn from the old life in its entirety. To put off the “old man” is but the negative side of a holy walk.

This is followed by a definite attitude toward the “old man” that will ensure refusal of his claims as soon as recognized (the old man’s power was to cause us to desire sin, which we no longer desire; and is one way God “deliver’s us from evil” - Mat 6:13; 2Th 3:3—NC). When we consign our entire old life to death—as God has already done, in Christ—we can trust the Holy Spirit to give us a hatred for every individual expression of the life. Thus, we are choosing in line with God, and against ourselves.

“Put On The New Man” (Eph 4:24)

This is the new creation in the Lord Jesus (it’s not Jesus Himself but a new nature created after His – Eph 4:24; Col 3:10—NC); the saint possessing a new, spiritual, divine nature; the human personality with Christ at its center, crowned as its Lord, and indwelling as its Life (Col 3:4).

The Christian is patterned after the Lord Jesus in the perfection of His character in its twofold expression: righteous, in relation to man; holy, in relation to God. Paul’s appeal is for us to become what we are, in Christ. But again we must do our part in putting on “The New Man.” May we consider three suggestions as to how we may do this?

Claim Your Position In Christ

In Ephesians 2:4-6 God states a fact of salvation which is true of every saint, whether he ever knows the fact or not. It is true that every believer was united with Christ in His death and resurrection the moment he believed, and is in Christ who is seated in the heavenlies at the Father’s right hand. This new position in Christ is the very foundation of our sanctification and of a walk in newness of life (Rom 6:14).

To take our position in the Lord Jesus, daily, by a definite act of faith, and to see ourselves above all, is to begin the day in victory—fortified against the power of the world, Satan, and the flesh (flesh or old man, our greatest enemy—NC). We have the advantage, but we are called upon to use it!

Covet Your Possession In Christ

Every believer is the possessor of every spiritual blessing by virtue of being in Christ. Perhaps our desire for spiritual treasures is at a low ebb. To claim these effectually we must covet eagerly. To “Put on the New Man” will mean seeking after spiritual riches, and setting in the affections primarily and preeminently upon heavenly things, rather than earthly. Co-resurrection with Christ lifts one into a sphere where only Christ and His things can ever satisfy. “If (since) ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:1, 2).

Count Upon The Power Of The Spirit

To take our position in the Lord Jesus, and to covet our possessions in Him, cannot be done by dependence upon anything in ourselves. God made provision for just such impotency. The Holy Spirit is resident within us to make Christ a living reality to us, and in us (See Rom 8:2-14 for the Spirit’s ministry). It is His work to conform us to the image of Christ (2 Cor 3:18). Our part is to count upon the Holy Spirit both to keep the old man in its place where God has put it, and to manifest the life of the Lord Jesus. This is true growth in Grace.

Remember, God has dealt with the “spider,” not only the web!

- Ruth Paxson (1889-1949)

MJS daily devotional for January 18

“You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings. God gives us promises in a quiet hour; He seals our covenants with great and gracious words. Then He steps back and waits while we believe; then He lets the tempter come, and the test seems to contradict all that He has spoken. It is then that faith wins its crown. Then is the time to look into His face and say, ‘I believe, Lord, that it shall be done as it was told me.’”

“Without trials of faith we should all be ruined. These trials give us opportunities of linking on to the mighty promises of God and finding through the trials come blessing that wonderfully glorifies Him, or else, missing God, turns the blessing into a burden that fills the heart with weariness and pain.” - George Winslow (1833-1923).

Randy Kluth

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2020
Pacific NW
United States
I agree with the basic spirit of this message. However, to be perfectly balanced I think the admission that we are not yet there should be developed a little more. Just because our position is "in Christ," and we choose to "focus on him," does not mean that we can thereby exterminate sin, death, and Satan in our lives.

Access to Christ is access to the means of "overcoming" the sin that is in us, indicating that we are not going to get a perfect performance just by "relying on Christ." We will still be imperfect even as we succeed in reflecting Christ in our lives.

I think this was at least in part being said. It's just that in my own experience, pastors preach "overcoming through Christ" and "sanctification" as if Christ is a "shiny object," or a panacea. We're not like Green Lantern who can make his magic ring doing anything simply by choice of mind. ;)

We cannot, by choice of mind, turn to Christ and exterminate all negative things in our lives. There is always going to be some negative in us until we are glorified in the resurrection.

But thanks for the good words. It is encouraging to know that Christ completed the work and the sanctified life for us, and we can now draw upon that life, spiritually, to imitate him, to let him testify to himself through us. :)


Active Member
Nov 10, 2023
United States

Put Off—Put On​

Put Off = transgression Ez 18:28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Put On = Isaiah 59:17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.