Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering…
Place yourself into these verses for a little while. First of all they say you have, “put off the old man*,” and have, “put on the new man.” You may wonder, what does that mean? Well, this passage helps us a lot. Let’s look at the results of putting off the old man. The results deal with the way we treat people — “Do not lie.” It’s as if the old man meant an old way of interacting with people. The old man is the old system. It’s the system into which everyone is born.
Now let’s turn to the new man. This verse describes the new man as a place where there is neither Greek nor Jew — no racial or distinction between peoples. It is a place where Christ is all and is in all. Putting on the new man means a different set of rules governs our interactions: tender mercies, kindness, humility etc.
Putting on the new man is not simply a personal Christian revolution. It is becoming a part of a new community where the old distinctions of race, and status do not stand. Rather, our relationships are based on Christ being all and in all. It is a new community with new rules of interaction. It is Christ in every part of the new man and lived out in every part of the new man.
This, my friends, is church. It is not just a collection of individuals trying to, “be spiritual.” It is a whole new community where Christ is all and is in all. Is this your view of church? It is God’s aspiration for his loving people.
* Note: These verses are addressed to men and women. They use the word “man” in the slightly antiquated sense meaning just person.