Process of Self-Denial


Sunset over Mountain RangeFrom Pastor’s Desk:

Ephesians 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

***

God’s help is always available, but the responsibility lies square on the individual in “putting off your old self.” It takes much self-discipline, and it is of such significance that nothing else will suffice.

Self-discipline is the hardest of disciplines. In all other disciplines, there is a shared responsibility of effectiveness. Self-discipline, however, is shared with no one. It is totally incumbent on the person to exercise it within the realm of his/her own individuality.

No one, usually, is with you every moment of every day. Therefore, it is up to each person to be filled with enough integrity to make the right choice when confronting something that prohibits the putting off the old self. Deceitful desires will run rampant in the flesh if we don’t purposely “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and…run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1 NKJV). The neglect of presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, and the renewing of the mind (SEE Romans 12:1-2) will prove to be a tremendous detriment to getting rid of the old self.

The first words of Eph. 4:22 are “You were taught…” Jesus said, at the end of the last supper He had with His disciples, “Now that you know these things, happy (blessed) are you if you do them” (John 13:17). J. B. Phillips translates it, “Once you have realized these things, you will find your happiness in doing them.”

Our ultimate goal is “to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” There is no other way to do that if we do not put off the old self. There is no way to put off the old self without exercising self-discipline!

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