Ephesians 4:22-24 – In reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Jesus is Lord! The heavenly Father intends that the Lord Jesus Christ find His reign manifested in the lives of those He has redeemed through His blood and the work of the cross. Jesus’ Lordship is not abstract, but very specific as it relates to every believer. Jesus said, “He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:38). The strong implication is that we must die to self as He did and enter into His life through the power of His resurrection.
Paul is clear, in Ephesians 4:22-24, that we have a part in this new life that Christ has provided. We must “lay aside the old self.” The old self is corrupted because of “lust” that is rooted in “deceit.” Lust is a phrase which describes the emotions of the soul, the natural tendency towards things evil. Such “lusts” are not necessarily base and immoral, they may be refined in character, but are evil if inconsistent with the will of God. (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright ©, 1985 Thomas Nelson Publishers).
“Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:12-13). Sin is rooted in lust. Paul says, “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body.” The issue is who and what will reign in our life. The will of God is that Christ would rule in us, not sin which once had dominion. Sin is still in our members, but the body of sin has been destroyed through the victory of the Lord. “Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin” (Romans 6:6-7).
By the power of the Holy Spirit the believer can live free from sin by daily choosing not to let sin “reign in one’s mortal body,” choosing rather to let Christ reign through the power of the Spirit. Our salvation is to bring us to His reigning daily in our lives. His reign begins in the individual, from there to the family, and on into the community. The message of the gospel is for all men everywhere to repent. “Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:30-31).
Father, I give myself to the rule of Christ. I ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to govern in my life, that sin would no longer rule in me. I choose Your dear Son and His nature today.