Putting On the New Man
Romans 5:12, 15-19; Ephesians 4:13, 20-24; Colossians 3:9-11
Here the Word says we have put off the old man, or more literally, that we have laid down or laid aside the old man. The same word is found in Hebrews twelve, verse one - "therefore ... lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us..." We have laid down, or put off, the old man. So often those words are used by us in a merely personal connection. We speak of "our old man"; by which we mean this sinful nature of ours which rises up under provocation. That aspect, of course, is included in the initial act of faith's repudiation, but that is not all that is meant by the statements before us. It is included; but what we have here is something very much more.
The Significance of the Term "Old Man"
Romans five explains what is meant. The old man is a racial order, represented by its racial head, Adam. It is an order. That corporate, collective Adam as apart from God, having departed from God, is a kind of order which can no longer be accepted by God, which has passed out of God's thought and God's acceptance, and stands contrary to His mind. That is the order into which we are born, and to which all that we are by nature belongs, and it is spoken of as a corporate, collective entity. It is important to remember that, not only is the Body of Christ one, but the Body of Adam is one; that is, that all in Adam are also a corporate being. It is a man, a kind of man, a type of man expressed world-wide; and we are said to have put off that man, the old man; we have laid him aside, laid him down. We have laid him in the grave in the same way that we lay a corpse there. The body of one who has departed this life is laid aside. It is no longer the place in which he dwells. He has laid aside that body, and we follow up and likewise lay it aside. Now as believers we have put of, have laid aside the Adam type, the Adam order, the Adam system, this one great collective man of a certain kind, of a certain order.
The New Man
Then it is further said that in Christ we have put on the new man. That also is often thought to be a merely personal affair, an individual matter. That is to say, the new man in our conception is a kind of new personal life and nature. That is true, but it is far more than that. In the Letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle is speaking of the new man which is the Church, "the Christ" as it is literally expressed in First Corinthians, chapter twelve and verse twelve. Christ is one with all His members making one body, one new man. It is a collective, corporate man, a man of a new order which is NOT Adam, but CHRIST: "where ... Christ is all, and in all" (Colossians 3:11). Before it was Adam who was all, and in all, but not in this new creation it is Christ Who is seen to be all,and in all. The Apostle well expresses what is meant when he writes: "But ye did not so learn Christ; if so be that ye heard Him, and were taught in Him, even as truth is in Jesus" (Ephesians 4:20, 21). It is a great embodiment of Divine truth in a Person, and we are represented as having divested ourselves of the one body, of old Adam, and as having invested ourselves with this body of Christ, with the new man.
(continued with # 23 - (a. The Primary Feature)