Putting Off & Renewing Our Minds…

...put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
Ephesians 4:22-23 [ESV]

This passage has always been important to me but it is taking on a whole new weight and equipping as it pertains to Biblical Counseling and Discipleship. Paul’s whole teaching on ‘putting off’ and ‘putting on’ is so good. That former manner of life was such a way of life that is to be set aside, put off permanently, like a change of clothes in a closet to be left behind.

This is why Paul described it as the life of a former lifestyle. That way was left behind in lieu of the choice to pursue God’s ways and embrace the forgiveness and cleansing Jesus has given us. The old life in Adam involved a corrupted way of living, driven by deceitful desires. As with all of Paul’s descriptions of the pre-believing life, the view is pretty negative, meeting the earlier description of the pre-conversion life as involving walking death.

​ And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Ephesians 2:1-3 [ESV]

‘To be renewed in the spirit of your minds’ is a force that speaks to a continuing renewal as the transformation of the walk with God is an unending process of sanctification that brings us closer to God until the goal is completed at our glorification. The human spirit is the focus here because to speak of the Spirit of the mind needing renewal makes no sense. The Spirit is the agent that makes it possible, but our renewed thinking must be driven by a desire to change our behaviors as the Spirit gives us the strength to do so. Paul exhorts the Ephesians to be open to what God is doing in them. Although not directly mentioned in 4:23, it is the work of the Spirit that enables our spirit to do this, as the Spirit is referred to in other places in this letter.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16 [ESV]

The verse above says that the body may be dying but our inner person is being renewed. A constant walk with God is a walk in consistent response to Him so He can do His work in us.


As my sanctification process develops, my holiness will go up, and my disgust with sin will go up with it. I have to ask myself, “Ben, do you have places in your life where there is sin that is what someone might call civilized unrighteousness?” A good example of this is the corporate mentality of covering your rear or making your team and what you do look better than what they actually are. There was a time about 8 years ago that I was confronted with this in my sanctification. These ways of operating had become respectable…but to God they were flat out sinful behavior because it is dishonest and self-serving. Tonight I am praying for God to reveal to me more of these areas in my life so that I might ‘put them off’.

Todays’ Psalm:

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!

Psalms 37:7 [ESV]

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