That ye put off - And this has been one especial part of our teaching, that ye should abandon all these, and live a life totally opposite to what it was before.
Which is corrupt - The whole of your former life was corrupt and abominable; ye lived in the pursuit of pleasure and happiness; ye sought this in the gratification of the lusts of the flesh; and were ever deceived by these lusts, and disappointed in your expectations.
That ye put off - That you lay aside, or renounce. The manner in which the apostle states those duties, renders it not improbable that there had been some instruction among them of a contrary character, and that it is possible there had been some teachers there who had not enforced, as they should bare done, the duties of practical religion.
Concerning the former conversation - The word “conversation” here means conduct - as it commonly does in the Bible; see the notes, 2 Corinthians 1:12. The meaning here is, “with respect to your former conduct or habits of life, lay aside all that pertained to a corrupt and fallen nature.” You are not to lay “everything” aside that formerly pertained to you. Your dress, and manners, and modes of speech and conversation, might have been in many respects correct. But everything that proceeded from sin; every habit, and custom, and mode of speech and of conduct that was the result of depravity, is to be laid aside. The special characteristics of an unconverted man you are to put off, and are to assume those which are the proper fruits of a renewed heart.
The old man - see the notes on Romans 6:6.
Which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts - The meaning is:
(1) That the unrenewed man is not under the direction of reason and sound sense, but is controlled by his “passions and desires.” The word “lusts,” has a more limited signification with us than the original word. That word we now confine to one class of sensual appetites; but the original word denotes any passion or propensity of the heart. It may include avarice, ambition, the love of pleasure, or of gratification in any way; and the meaning here is, that the heart is by nature under the control of such desires.
(2) those passions are deceitful. They lead us astray, They plunge us into ruin. All the passions and pleasures of the world are illusive. They promise more than they perform; and they leave their deluded votaries to disappointment and to tears. Nothing is more “deceitful” than the promised pleasures of this world; and all who yield to them find at last that they “flatter but to betray.”
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3. SD 300.1
Great responsibility comes to those who have been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Strive to understand the meaning of the words, “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” In the new life upon which you have entered, you are pledged to represent the life of Christ. Having put on the new man, “which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him,” “put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 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.” SD 300.2Read in context »
“Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Once they were corrupt, degraded, enslaved by lustful passions; they were drugged by worldly opiates, blinded, bewildered, and betrayed by Satan's devices. Now that they had been taught the truth as it is in Jesus, there must be a decided change in their life and character. 5T 172.1
The accession of members who have not been renewed in heart and reformed in life is a source of weakness to the church. This fact is often ignored. Some ministers and churches are so desirous of securing an increase of numbers that they do not bear faithful testimony against unchristian habits and practices. Those who accept the truth are not taught that they cannot safely be worldlings in conduct while they are Christians in name. Heretofore they were Satan's subjects; henceforth they are to be subjects of Christ. The life must testify to the change of leaders. Public opinion favors a profession of Christianity. Little self-denial or self-sacrifice is required in order to put on a form of godliness and to have one's name enrolled upon the church book. Hence many join the church without first becoming united to Christ. In this Satan triumphs. Such converts are his most efficient agents. They serve as decoys to other souls. They are false lights, luring the unwary to perdition. It is in vain that men seek to make the Christian's path broad and pleasant for worldlings. God has not smoothed or widened the rugged, narrow way. If we would enter into life, we must follow the same path which Jesus and His disciples trod—the path of humility, self-denial, and sacrifice. 5T 172.2
Ministers should see that their own hearts are sanctified through the truth, and then labor to secure these results for their converts. It is pure religion that ministers and people need. Those who put away iniquity from their hearts and stretch out their hands in earnest supplication unto God will have that help which God alone can give them. A ransom has been paid for the souls of men, that they may have an opportunity to escape from the thralldom of sin and obtain pardon, purity, and heaven. 5T 172.3Read in context »