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The new man

There was once a market where everyone would go to sell their wares. One particular old farmer had brought a flock of quails to sell, and kept them from flying by tying a string to each of their legs, and connected the string to a ring that was staked in the ground. These birds would walk around the stake in a monotonous manner, circling the stake for hours. A particular merchant, who had a love for animals, saw the poor birds and asked to buy the entire flock of quail.

After the merchant bought the quail, he asked the farmer to cut the strings and let all of the quail go free. The old man just shrugged at the strange request, and without arguing, cut the strings. One-by-one he cut the strings off of each quail and then released them.

Surprisingly, the quails just continued to walk around the stake as if nothing had happened.

The merchant shooed away the quail, but they would only fly a few feet, land, then quickly form a circle and begin walking around like they did when they were tied to a stake.

This story highlights how difficult it is for us to break bad habits.

This is especially true for Christians, who have been freed from these habits by Christ’s payment for us.

Galatians 5:1 states, “For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage.”

We have a new nature, and our strings to slavery have been cut. It is time for us to fly, and God is telling us to go. But unless our mind is renewed, we are stuck in our old nature, our old habits. Nothing is more important than to be renewed in spirit of our mind (Ephesians 4:23).

Our old nature is constantly trying to tell us that we are still bound to that stake of sin. Our old nature tells us that we can’t go very far and are going to sin. When this happens, we must lean on I John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Now here is some food for thought. How long do you think we can go without sinning? Is it a few minutes or a few days? The answer will shock you.

We have been taught all of our lives corrective theology, which makes us think that we cannot go without sinning for more than a few minutes, but where did we get this idea from?Romans 6:12-16 tells us to “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body.”

We must remember that we are no longer tied to that stake; we have been freed from what once bound us. According to Romans 6, we can go days without sinning. As Christians, we can see sin coming, ask the Lord to help us and admit to the Lord that our old nature is trying to keep us bound.

We have fallen into the mindset of the quail: we think that we must do the same things we did when we were bound. Paul asked the Galatians, “Who has bewitched you to believe that?” (Galatians 3:1).

God’s hope for us it to be free and to realize that we are no longer tied to that stake. We have been delivered. God wants us to put on the “new man” that is not tied to the strings of old nature (Ephesians 4:24).

Paul mentions four things that the Ephesians use to struggle with in their old nature: lying, anger, stealing and foul language.

The new man can keep from these things, but it takes the power of the Holy Spirit. The process to overcome these “old man” tendencies can still be overcome by Christians today, but we need to have a renewed mind and trust in the Holy Spirit within us.

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