[b]Putting on the New Man[/b]
Romans 5:12 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
Romans 5:15 "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."
Romans 5:19 "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."
Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."
Ephesians 4:20 "But ye have not so learned Christ;"
Ephesians 4:24 "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in
righteousness and true holiness."
Colossians 3:9 "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."
God says we must put off the old man. So often these words are used by us in a merely personal connection. We speak of our old man, by which, we mean the sinful nature which rises up under provocation. What we have here, though, is something much more than individual. Romans 5 explains that the old man is a racial order represented by a racial head; Adam. The corporate, collective Adam, having departed from God, can no longer be accepted by God. It is into this order that we were born and to which we all by nature belong. Not only is the body of Christ one, but the body of Adam is one.
It is the type of a man expressed world-wide. As new creatures, it is said that we have laid this man aside. We have laid him in a grave in the same way that we would lay a corpse. As believers, we have laid aside, put off the Adam type, and this one great collective Adam. We have put on the new man. This is also thought to be a personal affair only. Of course this is true, but it is far more than a personal life and nature. In Ephesians, we find that the new man is the church, the Christ as it is literally expressed in I Corinthians 12:12. Christ is one with all members, as the head joined to the body, making one new man. It is a collective corporate man, a man of a new order. Not Adam, but Christ. Where Christ is all and in all according to Colossians 3:11.
Before it was Adam who was all and in all. But in the new creation, it is Christ who is seen to be all and in all. This is what Paul meant by, "But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus." (Ephesians 4:20-21) It is the embodiment of divine truth in a person. It is our becoming truth. We are represented, as having divested ourselves of one body Adam, and having invested ourselves with another, Christ, becoming the one new man.
This putting off of the old and the putting on of the new includes many things. The primary thing in the new man is the embodiment of the love of Christ. This love must have an individual expression, for the body can express this love only to the degree that the individual members express it. To walk in love, then, is one thing involved in putting on the new man. The body is built up in love, constituted in love, and the body is the means of the expression of Christ's love. For a full expression of the meaning of the body, you must have the head and members all together, properly adjusted, and related. Christ cannot be love as the head, and His members viewed apart from Him. The body is one. Christ in full expression is inclusive of His members. That involves a nature, and that nature is love.
So we are commanded as beloved children to walk in love even as Christ also loved us. Love is not the only feature in this new nature. We use it to show that this nature implies a new body disposition. The disposition of this new man is love. When anything then springs up that is not of love, whether it be thoughts, feelings, criticism or judgment, love has been put off. When we criticize one another that is the old man, and he must be put off. There is, in this new man, a corporate consciousness. This new man being corporate and collective represents a life of fellowship. This, then, demands a corporate consciousness which is one of the most important things. The Lord can never reach His end by individuals. We can never reach that end as individuals. The old man in Adam is also a corporate union. Yet the consciousness of the old man is not a corporate consciousness, it is independent and divisive.
God's people must have a corporate consciousness. One of the tragedies of the church is, there are many who live in a perpetual state of spiritual immaturity. And the root cause of this immaturity is, they live unto themselves, independent of the body. Stunted spiritual growth is very often bound up with this lack of a corporate sense of life in a definite and positive way. The way then to spiritual enlargement is collective. That is the law of the new man. It is the corporate man that grows to the stature of the fullness of Christ. Individuals cannot so grow. We must beware of missing that very important law of spiritual enlargement. That is what is meant by putting on the new man. Have we put him on? It is disposition. The disposition is a setting aside of everything personal, individual, and putting on that consciousness of a relationship in which everything is for the body.
How will this affect the church? By this fellowship of the Spirit, the Lord then gains His purpose and you and I come to the Lord's purpose. For revelation, the Lord then must have the body spiritually expressed. All departmentalism is lost in ministry when you have the body in realized expression, when all members are occupied in some place of spiritual value of the Lord. The real test of this is the devil will be set against all who are coming near to God in this way. So we see then, God's quest is for a man. That man is represented by His Son, and the church is His expression as His body. The new man is the universal manifestation of what Christ is. One Lord, one life, one love. The new man is after God. He thinks God's thoughts, he desires God's desires, and he wills God's will. The new man then is secured in the new birth, but he must war against the old man to gain supremacy. Putting off the old man demands the cross. It cannot be other wise.