Ephesians 4:20–24 – But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
The world embraces greediness, uncleanness, and darkness. “But you,” said Paul, “have not learned Christ that way.” Notice Paul doesn’t say, “You haven’t learned about Christ that way.” He says, “You haven’t learned Christ that way.” For instance, you can learn about George Washington. You can read books about him. You can go online and get endless information about him. This is the way some people learn about Jesus. They read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John fifteen times in a row and think they know Him. But in reality, they only know about Him. To learn Christ insinuates communion and intimacy with Him. First you put off the old. Then you’re renewed in your mind. This order is very important. You must decide you’re no longer going to walk like those who are involved in sin. And as you begin to put on a whole new way of speaking, acting, and behaving, your new lifestyle will eventually become who you are. It’s a decision you must make personally. People who are like Christ have made a conscious decision to put on the new man, to put on Christ. As a result, they become what they have chosen to become.
How does this transformation happen practically? As you spend time studying a Gospel, for instance, read a verse, then say to the Lord, “Your word is convicting me,” or, “Your word is confusing to me,” or, “Your word is a blessing to me.” As you speak to the Lord in this way, you will be communicating with Him personally rather than merely learning about Him intellectually. So whether you go to a coffee shop, or lock yourself in your room, or drive to a private location, find somewhere you can go to talk to the Lord as you read about Him. This will make all the difference in the world to you, for then you will be truly learning Christ. And as you learn Christ, you’ll find yourself changing your mind about everything as your mind is being renewed. Your challenge for this week is to take time to sit and talk with the Lord. You will find this difficult to accomplish at first. But over time you will come to cherish this time with God and do everything in your power not to miss your appointment with Him. Set aside uninterrupted time everyday to invest in your relationship with Jesus. God will bless you for doing so.