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Morning Meditation
“THE OLD MAN. (Ephesians 4:22)”
by F. B. Meyer   
July 31st, 2009

The old man is the aggregate of habits and methods of life, which marked us before conversion. The phrase describes the impression which we produced as men and women upon our fellows. What we were wont to be, and say, and do. That form of character and life which was ours before the great change operated through faith in Jesus.

It is called the old man, as if there were but one, because the habits and tastes, the thoughts and acts of men, before conversion, have much in common. There is not much to choose between them. It is one evil nature; one likeness to fallen Adam; one type of evil, though its forms are slightly modified in different temperaments and by special circumstances.

It is under the control of deceitful lusts. In other words, it is shaped by the passionate desires which have their origin in the strong natural tendencies of our being. These were given us by God to be the motive-forces of our nature, but not to rule. For when once they are permitted to usurp this position, corruption ensues, and the nature rots piecemeal before their insidious action --as the body of the leper beneath the living death that eats away his flesh. Ah, deceitful lusts! promising liberty, and happiness, and joy, but resembling the Syren sisters, whose upper form was fair, but whose lower extremities were foul; whilst whose sweet songs allured the unwary mariner only to ruin.

We must not defer this "putting off." The tense indicates the sudden resolve of the will, inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be no longer under the dominion of these terrible passions. Once and for ever let us divest ourselves of them; as the beggar his rags, or as Lazarus the cerements of death.

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