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Read Introduction to Ephesians


22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts


which grows corrupt

The old man is in the process of being corrupted further than what it is. The present tense of “grows corrupt” indicates that the old man is on the course of corruption.

There is a contrast between the ongoing action of continual corruption of the old man and continual renewing of the mind of the new man (v. 23). The old man is in a state of ever increasing corruption, and the new man is in an ever renewing of the mind (2 Co 3:18; 4:16).

according to the deceitful lusts,

The “old man” is fueled by “deceitful lusts.” The “new man” operates under the “truth.” “Deceitful lusts” corrupt the old man, the self without God. These “lusts” are “deceitful” because they promise what they cannot fulfill and are lusts that come from deceit.


Salvation effects a fundamental break with the past.


The Christian does not work for his salvation, but works are the effect of his salvation. He is to continue to work out his break with the past. Christianity teaches a radical change in outlook on life. It contrasts the former life and the new life in Christ.

The Christian has been born into God’s family; he or she has been regenerated. This regenerated life is the life that he engages when he fellowships with God. We put aside the “old man,” our old fallen life in Adam, and put on the “new man,” the regenerate dynamic of our spirit. This is a radical difference. We no longer identify with the old life but the new life. We already have the new life; we need to engage with it.

“Putting off” and “putting on” in Colossians 3:9-10 relates to salvation, whereas 3:8, 12 relates to sanctification. The new man is not static, however, because as it improves (Co 3:10) the new man increasingly manifests itself in the believer as he grows in maturity. The improvement process leads the Christian to become more like “the image of the One who created” the new man. The image of Christ is not exactly the image of the believer, but God is in the process of fashioning the believer into the image of Christ (Ro 8:29).

Co 3:9, Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds