Let us look at a few of the things we as Christians are to put off with the corresponding things we are to put on.
Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” It is obvious that we are to put off corrupt words from our mouths. Corrupt words tear ourselves down and those around us. What we need to remember is to replace them with words that will build up those whom we talk to – words that will bring aid and good will to those who listen to us. Don’t forget the “put on”.
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” The list of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking and malice are all different ways that we demonstrate harmful feelings, words and actions to the people around us. We must recognize that as Christians these are things we work to get out of our lives. But we need to remember to replace them with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness. Don’t forget the “put on”.
Ephesians 5:4 “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.” Filthiness, foolish talking and coarse jesting are totally inappropriate for followers of Jesus Christ. People of the world may use these to make themselves look “bad” and elevate themselves in the eyes of their companions. But such talk needs to be replaced with words of thankfulness. There are many things we can be thankful for if we just look for them. God’s people are thankful people. Don’t forget the “put on”.
Ephesians 5:11-13 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.” Christians are children of the light. Therefore, how can we be light and have fellowship or share in the works of darkness – evilness and sinfulness? Instead, we are to expose the darkness. One way to expose the works of darkness is for us to be the light of the world Jesus wants us to be (Matthew 5:14). We do this by speaking the truth and doing deeds of righteousness. By being light, we are a great contrast to the darkness and thus are exposing the darkness for what it is. Don’t forget the “put on”.
Ephesians 5:15-16 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” A fool lives his life without goal or purpose, wasting his time on unproductive activities. Instead of being fools, we are to fill our lives with purposeful living, using our time in productive tasks since the time is short and the days are evil. Don’t forget the “put on”.
Ephesians 5:17 “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Being unwise is to be thoughtless and foolish in what we do and say. Unwise actions yield bad results. Instead, we need to seek what the Lord’s will is in all circumstances; we do this by studying the scriptures and praying for wisdom from God (James 1:5). Don’t forget the “put on”.
Ephesians 5:18 “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” Drunkenness is one of the works of the flesh that Christians must put off. Instead we must seek to have the Holy Spirit of God fill our lives, guiding us in the paths of righteousness. Don’t forget the “put on”.