Colossians 3:8-9 (NKJV) But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.
The Apostle Paul was encouraging the believers in the church of Colossae to put off the “old man” and identify themselves in the “new man”. Paul depicts the “old man” as wild, blasphemous, ill-tempered, deceitful, unscrupulous, untruthful and vulgar, living a licentious lifestyle, prejudiced, void of genuine love, immoral, without ethics and values, and a slave to sin. The “old man” sees themselves as self-made, master of their own destiny until they are humbled by the hard knocks of life.
Galatians 2:20 (NKJV) I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
To a born-again Christian, their “old man” is considered dead the moment they accept Christ into our lives. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward conviction. Before being baptised, we already have the inward conviction that our old self is dead and crucified with Christ. During baptism, we consider ourselves symbolically dead and buried with Christ when we enter into the water, and we arise as a “new creation”.
Our “old man”’s identity is based on our sense of self-worth, which in turn is based on things like our family background, physical appearance, academic or career achievements and the size of our bank accounts. Our self-worth can subtly become a god in our eyes without us even realising till everything that we have crumbles. While there is nothing inherently wrong with these things, but because they are temporal, they are the wrong foundations for our identity. They are the “sinking sand” that the Bible refers to, and will not hold us up when the storm of life hits us.
Our old identity thrives on the praises and approval of men based on our achievements, including the number of our “likes” on social media. Unfortunately, everything that can be achieved by our own strength can also be overtaken anytime. Because the world operates on Phileo love, which is a conditional love, praises, affirmations, kindness, and respect that our old identity feeds on will one day disappear when we are down and out in life, or lose our position of significance.
To avoid feeling worthless, insecure, and rejected when that happens, we need to shift from identifying ourselves in the “old man” to the “new man” and focus from “doing” to being in Christ. The redemptive work of Jesus Christ has caused us to be accepted in the Beloved. Because we are hidden in Christ, God will always accept and welcome us. This positional truth doesn’t depend on what do, but purely on the grace of God and His love towards us.
Sermon Series: He Came to Give You a New Identity
歌罗西书3:8-9 但现在你们要弃绝这一切的事，以及恼恨、忿怒、恶毒、毁谤，并口中污秽的言语。 不要彼此说谎；因你们已经脱去旧人和旧人的行为。
旧的身份认同因人的赞美和认可而兴盛，这些赞美和认可是基于我们的成就，包括我们在社交媒体上收获的”点赞”数量。不幸的是，一切我们凭借一己之力所能达成的成就也能随时被超越。因为这个世界是以Phileo友爱来开动的，这是一种有条件的爱，在将来的某一天, 当我们落魄潦倒或不再位高权重时, 我们旧的身份认同所依赖的赞美、肯定、善意和尊重也将不复存在。
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