Truth in Jesus. What is truth? Pilate asked Jesus that question, and the world, today, still asks it. Paul answers that question in these verses from Ephesians 4.
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:20-24, NKJV
Chiding the new believers because they still were walking in their past sins, he told them to find truth in Jesus. When we came to Christ, we put off our former conduct--our old man. Now, we are to be renewed in the spirit of our mind.
What does it mean to be renewed in the spirit of our mind? Jesus said that our fruit, or outward appearance, reveals what is truly in our hearts. In other words, changes in our outward actions must begin with changes in our hearts and minds. As new believers in Christ, the Holy Spirit enters our hearts and minds and guides us in the way of truth. As we read and study the Word of God and grow in our understanding of who God is and of what this new faith in Christ is all about, we find that our minds are being renewed.
It is true that the old man still exists in our hearts and lives while we live on this earth, but we also have a new man striving to gain control. It is also true that there is a battle between our new man and old man. So, if you sense a constant struggle in your innermost being to do that which is correct, you are testifying to the truth of these concepts as given to us by Paul here in Ephesians 4.
Where did the new man come from and how do we learn to obey him? The new man was created in us by Christ. This new man was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. How amazing is that?
The Lord Jesus Christ did not save us and then say, "OK, now you are a believer so go and live perfectly." Instead, Christ gave us a new man through the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us in true righteousness and holiness. Apart from God, it is impossible for man to even know or understand what that true righteousness and holiness are. However, as we read our Bibles, pray to God, fellowship with other believers, attend church and hear the true Word of God preached, we will find that our new man becomes stronger and stronger, while our old man becomes weaker and weaker.
In our day of scientific advancements, we forget the whole world which exists beyond our comprehension. We forget that there is a battle for the souls of men. Satan is ever so vigilant to keep men from hearing and understanding the simple truths found in the Word of God. And, when people do come to Christ, he is ever so vigilant to keep them from growing. He constantly seeks to divide the church of God and introduces errors to keep each church from being faithful to God.
Is Satan effective? Yes, he is. However, God promised to always keep a remnant of true believers, first among the Jewish nation, and now among all peoples of the world. Let us look beyond the world we see and hear and understand the greater battle that exists all around us between the forces of Satan and the angels of God.
By the grace of God, let us seek the truth in Jesus. Let us constantly read and study the Word of God that we may resist the wiles of the devil. Let us also look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. It is He who saved us, it is He who keeps us, and it is He who will one day usher us into Glory to live with Him forever!