In Ephesians 4:17-24 Paul was reminding them of how they used to be: futile thoughts, understanding darkened, alienated from God, and past feeling in their debauchery. Verse 22 says, “That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”
While he told them to put off their former way of life, he said to put on something in its place. Verse 23 Amplified says, “And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind (having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude).”
Paul wrote something similar to the church in Rome. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Conformed is like being pressed into a worldly mold or mindset. It is like they did in Nazi Germany through propaganda. Beware.
I love the word ‘transformed’ because I love butterflies. They speak to me of freedom from the past. No longer bound by crawling and eating leaves, but free to flit from flower to flower–drinking life-giving nectar.
Paul said that they were to put off in order to put on. It is a divine exchange. Romans 13:14 says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts.” The butterfly doesn’t think like a caterpillar because it has been transformed through metamorphosis.
When we renew and saturate our minds with God’s truth, speak truth in our heart, we will walk in truth with others. That is the picture of the church. As we are united in truth, we will be a formidable force against the coercion of satan’s mold-forming tactics.