And have put on the new man - See on Romans 12:1-2; (note).
Is renewed in knowledge - Ignorance was the grand characteristic of the heathen state; Knowledge, of the Christian. The utmost to which heathenism could pretend was a certain knowledge of nature. How far this went, and how much it fell short of the truth, may be seen in the writings of Aristotle and Pliny. Christianity reveals God himself, the author of nature; or, rather, God has revealed himself, in the Christian system with which he has blessed mankind. Christianity teaches a man the true knowledge both of himself and of God; but it is impossible to know one's self but in the light of God; the famous γνωθι σεαυτον, know thyself, was practicable only under the Christian religion.
After the image of him that created him - We have already seen that God made man in his own image; and we have seen in what that image consisted. See the notes on Genesis 1:26, and on Ephesians 4:23; (note), Ephesians 4:24; (note). Does not the apostle refer here to the case of an artist, who wishes to make a perfect resemblance of some exquisite form or person? God in this case is the artist, man is the copy, and God himself the original from which this copy is to be taken. Thus, then, man is made by his Creator, not according to the image or likeness of any other being, but according to his own; the image του Κτισαντος, of the Creator. And as the Divine nature cannot exist in forms or fashions, moral qualities alone are those which must be produced. Hence the apostle, interpreting the words of Moses, says that the image in which man was made, and in which he must be remade, ανακαινουμενον, made anew, consists in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness.
Which is renewed in knowledge - In Ephesians 4:24, it is said that the new man is “created after God in righteousness and true holiness.” In this place it is added that to the renewed soul knowledge is imparted, and it is made in that respect as man was when he was first created. This passage, in connection with Ephesians 4:24, proves that before man fell he was endowed with “righteousness, true holiness, and knowledge.” The knowledge here referred to, is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of God. Man was acquainted with his Creator. He resembled him in his capacity for knowledge. He was an intelligent being, and he had an acquaintance with the divine existence and perfections; compare the notes at Romans 5:12. But especially had he that knowledge which is the fear of the Lord; that knowledge of God which is the result of love. Piety, in the Scriptures, is often represented as the “knowledge” of God; see the notes at John 17:3; compare the notes at Ephesians 3:19.
After the image of him that created him - So as to resemble God. In knowledge he was made in the likeness of his Maker.%%
“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth,” Paul wrote to the Colossians; “in the which ye also walked sometime, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.... Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” AA 477.1
The letter to the Colossians is filled with lessons of highest value to all who are engaged in the service of Christ, lessons that show the singleness of purpose and the loftiness of aim which will be seen in the life of him who rightly represents the Saviour. Renouncing all that would hinder him from making progress in the upward way or that would turn the feet of another from the narrow path, the believer will reveal in his daily life mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, forbearance, and the love of Christ. AA 477.2
The power of a higher, purer, nobler life is our great need. The world has too much of our thought, and the kingdom of heaven too little. AA 478.1Read in context »
To the careless, the indifferent, the unconcerned, those standing on the precipice of ruin, Christ says: Open the door of your heart; give Me entrance, and I will make you a child of God. I will transform your weak, sinful nature into the divine image, giving it beauty and perfection.... TMK 106.3Read in context »
There was a decided failure in your education and discipline during childhood and youth. You now have to learn the great lessons of self-control which ought to have been mastered in earlier days. God brought you where your surroundings would be changed and where you could be disciplined by His Holy Spirit, that you might acquire moral power and self-control to make you a conqueror. It will require the strongest effort, the most persevering and unfaltering determination, and the strongest energy to control self. Your spirit has long chafed under restraint, and your temper has raged like a caged lion when your will has been crossed. The education which your parents should have assisted you to obtain must now be gained wholly by yourself. When young and small the twig might have been easily bent; but now, after it has grown gnarled and crooked and strong, how difficult the task! Your parents permitted it to be thus deformed; and now only by the grace of God, united with your own persistent efforts, can you become conqueror over your will. Through the merits of Christ you may part with that which scars and deforms the soul, and which develops a misshapen character. You must put away the old man with his errors and take the new man, Christ Jesus. Adopt His life as your guide then your talents and intellect will be devoted to God's service. 4T 92.1
Oh, if mothers would only work with wisdom, with calmness and determination, to train and subdue the carnal tempers of their children, what an amount of sin would be nipped in the bud, and what a host of church trials would be saved! How many families that are now miserable would be happy! Many souls will be eternally lost because of the neglect of parents to properly discipline their children and to teach them submission to authority in their youth. Petting faults and soothing outbreaks is not laying the ax at the root of the evil, but proves the ruin of thousands of souls. Oh, how will parents answer to God for this fearful neglect of their duty! 4T 92.2
Brother G, you are willing to stand at the head and dictate to others, but you will not be dictated to yourself. Your pride fires in a moment at the attempt. Self-love and a haughty spirit are unruly elements in your character, hindering spiritual advancement. Those who have this temperament must take hold of the work zealously and die to self, or they will lose heaven. God makes no compromise with this element, as do fond, mistaken parents. 4T 92.3Read in context »
Those who truly believe in Christ sit together with Him in heavenly places. Let us accept the badge of Christianity. This is not an outward sign, not the wearing of a cross or a crown, but it is something that reveals the union of man with God. Let us “put off the old man with his deeds; and ... put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:9, 10). The beauty of holiness is revealed as Christians draw near together, blending in Christlike love. UL 233.3Read in context »
Will every soul before the old year closes put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new man, Christ Jesus? Let there be no great ambitious stress to buy presents for Christmas and New Year's. Little presents for the children may not be amiss, but the Lord's people should not spend His money in buying costly presents. UL 367.2Read in context »