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; (Ephesians 4:22)
Recently, roofing crews showed up to do 25-year replacement of some of the roofs in our development. I saw a flatbed truck arrive, and on it were 6 porta potties and a vacuum unit to pump out what gets deposited in porta potties after they have been used.
The potty pump got me thinking about a similar process in our own lives. When Scripture talks about “putting off our old self” it is like getting what belongs to our old self pumped out.
We are quite unable to achieve this pumping on our own. Scripture teaches that we need a helper. It’s the Holy Spirit, who is a supernatural cleaning agent—indeed, scripture talks about the Spirit cleansing us of unrighteousness.
But even better than the cleanup, is that God gives us something wonderful to replace the slop with.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12)
Keep in mind that this clothing is also the work of the Spirit. The Spirit provides us with Christ’s compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
I’d like to return to today’s picture one more time, because there’s a scriptural parallel to the expression “not same truck”. Mainly, our earthly nature and what replaces it, our new self, cannot co-exist.
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:4b)
We are saved by Christ from the penalty of sin once and for all, but the process of putting off and putting on is not once and for all. No, it’s a daily lifestyle. Just as the pump needs to repeatedly come back to the construction site, we need to repeatedly be cleansed. And every day we can put on some more of Jesus. This is not complete for us until the day when the Lord returns or calls us home!