“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.”
“since you have put off the old man”
The figure of the “old man” is common in Paul’s writing (Rom. 6:6; Eph 4:22). It means the whole unregenerate life. This life came from Adam and therefore had corporate associations. We put away our old life and received a new life in Christ. This transformation causes us to embrace the cause of Christ. We, therefore, renounce lying and commit ourselves to the truth.
The words “put off” mean to take off or strip off clothing — to undress, to disrobe, stripping off.
“He stripped off the clothing of the rulers and authorities and made them a public spectacle” (Col 2.15).
This term is used at 2:11 as well. In both 2:15 and 2:11, it refers to the effects of the cross. This word is an intensive double compound (stronger than “put off” of verse 8). This word carries the idea of “strip off from oneself.”
“Put off” in Greek indicates that this stripping off from oneself took place at the cross. That is where the great change took place. This principle is the basis for all spiritual life in the New Testament. God never exhorts us to crucify ourselves. God wants us to utilize the crucifixion of Christ in our conflict with sin. This is the reason we are not to lie.
The words “old man” refer to what belongs to the past, i.e., the believer’s former self before his conversion. It is old because it has been superseded by that which is new Rom. 6:6; Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:9. “Old man” is an idiom for our former life — the old or former behavior pattern. This is in contrast to a new pattern of life given to us in Christ. God wants us to rid ourselves of the old life before Christ (Ephesians 4:22). The life in the old man is an obsolete model of life because the Christian has new life in Christ.
“with his deeds”
The word “deeds” denotes a doing or transaction–the action of which is looked upon as incomplete and in progress. “Deeds” is a function, implying sustained activity and/or responsibility. We stop acting upon our old life, and we start acting upon our new life.
The basis of putting off the old life is the cross.
There is a negative point of view in Christian living — we must “put off from” ourselves the deeds of the flesh. Our former outfit was the old corporate self-derived from Adam and his sin. This “hand-me-down” from Adam pulls our spirituality down.
Jesus gave us a clean life by the Cross, a whole new suit of clothes. God does not want us to clean the “hand-me-down” clothes. He wants us to divest ourselves from them and “put on” (v.10) a whole new set of clothes.