Eph 4:24-27 “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”
Paul has described to us in the previous verses the change that occurs in our behavior when we have learned Christ and have been taught by Him. As he continues this narrative, he tells us we are clothed or endued (put on) with the new man. We are plainly told here that this new man is not of our making or our doing. The new man is created.
This new man is created blameless (in righteousness) and in real (true) sacredness. We are, in this, made in God’s likeness (after God). The new man is created by God in Christ Jesus; we have no power in the creation of this new man. When the truth of Christ renews the spirit of our mind (v. 23), then we are capable of putting on the new man. Since the new man and the power to put him reside in God, there is no room for us to boast.
There is an expected outcome to putting on the new man. As a consequence (wherefore) of putting on the new man, we put away lying. We deliberately lay aside the pretense that God somehow needs us in order to work His will. If we think in terms of “God is sovereign, but…,” then we are not truly seeing that God is sovereign. When we are blessed to understand that He is completely sovereign in our lives, then we can speak truth with our neighbor.
Notice that it does not say we will speak truth to our neighbor but with our neighbor. We will experience a heartfelt closeness with others whom God has created after Him. There will be fellowship and reciprocal participation in our Godly conversation. Our truth will be spoken in word and deed, as we learn that we are members of each other. As members of each other, what affects one affects all. If our brother is in bondage, we are to be as though bound with him (Heb 13:3). When those around us who love the Lord have joy it will be as our joy (Acts 15:3).
As we are members of each other, we are to not err (sin) in provocation (anger). We should never hold on to rage or anger (wrath) until the darkness comes upon us (sun go down). To do so is to make a place for the accuser of our brethren (the devil) to take root. As human beings, we will find ourselves provoked from time to time even with those we care deeply about. When we have put on the new man, we can let go of our anger in the truth of God’s love for us.
May we, in the strength of His grace, put on the new man and lay aside anything that would make a place for our adversary (the devil) to disrupt our unity!