The Word of God teaches us in Ephesians 4:22-24 that we must get rid of “the old self.” That’s because to experience the reality of our salvation every day means to live in the process of being transformed. One of the realities to which the heart of the believer has not yet fully advanced is the process of being sanctified. Our tendency is to live in an individualist mindset that keeps us only aware of ourselves all the time, totally ignoring who is around us. The world celebrates this way of thinking and, what’s more, it motivates us to defend individuality at all costs.
But God invites his children to join his family, which is the Church, and to be one in Christ Jesus. That is why Paul presents the idea of a new garment for the believer, the garment of “the new man.” What does it mean to put on this new garment? It means living in Holiness. Let’s see this truth through the wonderful and perfect relationship of the Trinity.
The Father gives all things to the Son. The Son honors the Father and gives way to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit fills man with the conviction to adore the Father and the Son in Spirit and in truth. At the same time, each person of the Trinity has a distinct and clear place. God is defined in relation to each of the three persons, and this reality is expressed by the love that exists between them. Therefore, putting on the new man means adopting that same commitment to live in love and unity within the body of Christ. This is why Jesus invites us to take up our cross every day and follow him.
In the gospel of Mark 15:21-22 we see Simon of Cyrene heading to Jerusalem. He had no idea what would happen that day. He didn’t know that they would give him the Savior’s cross and force him to carry it to Golgotha. Surely Simon had other plans. But God allowed those plans to be interrupted so that Simon could carry out the good work that God had prepared beforehand for him to do. On the day of the Lord’s crucifixion, God’s plan for Simon was to carry that cross. Simon, whose name means “obedience,” could be part of the plan that God had designed for him. His path intersected with the path of Jesus and his path became the path of Jesus. May God help us so that each one of us has the perseverance and determination to do the same in our lives. May our paths intersect with those of Jesus. May we discern our call to walk towards “Golgotha,” to the death of our “I,” to leave the old man, to strip ourselves of the old self and walk in the new life that we have in Jesus.
In an increasingly individualistic world, Christ offers us a simple solution: to come and follow Him. This is living in Holiness.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.