But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:20-24)
Learning About Christ
There is a change when the heart learns about Jesus Christ and accepts His teachings. The first thing that happens is realizing God’s love that He would grant sinful men to share in His glory. On Pentecost, the people were pricked in their hearts when they realized they had killed the promised Messiah. The man from Ethiopia responded to the preaching of Jesus when he realized his need to wash away his sins. When Paul and Silas were in the Philippian jail, and the earthquake opened the doors and released the chains, the jailor came trembling before them, begging to know what to do to be saved. The word of God changes hearts to obedience.
Salvation does not come only in the obedience of the gospel as hearts respond to the message. The three thousand on Pentecost continued in the apostle’s doctrine, learning about the new covenant of grace found in Jesus Christ. As the Ethiopian returned home, he learned more about the Jesus of Isaiah, and there can be little doubt the Lord helped to guide his mind in the teaching of the early church. Paul and Silas continued to teach the jailor and his household the good news of Jesus. Learning about Jesus first opens the heart to the teaching of Jesus and then instructs the mind of the disciple to follow after God’s will.
Paul explained to the disciples in Ephesus that learning about Christ involves many things. It begins with hearing the word that establishes faith. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Learning about Jesus is examining, questioning, searching out, and studying the word to know all that can be known. Truth comes from the word of God, but it has to be mined in a diligent effort of daily meditation. From these studies, the heart will change to be more like the Son of God. As one spends time in the message of Christ, one learns to put away the sinful nature and former ways of life. The heart of a Christian cannot beat to the world’s rhythm. Everything about the carnal mind is subject to deceitful lusts and vanity. Learning about Christ will empty the lusts of the world from the heart.
Putting off the former conduct is a necessary change that transforms the spirit of the carnal man into the devotion of a spiritual man. There are things God demands to be taken out of life. It is not possible to serve God and mammon. Whatever the heart desires will be the driving force in the life of the disciples of Christ. Learning about Jesus removes the carnal mind. Renewing the mind is to put on a new nature, created to be like Jesus Christ. The joy of being a child of God is learning how to look like the Father each day. The change that takes place is when the heart is filled with righteousness and holiness. Learning about Jesus creates a different spirit. Christians do not lie because they did not learn that from Jesus. Anger does not rule the mind of a child of God because they have molded their hearts with compassion. When the word of God changes the heart, many things are removed from the will of men. Learning about Jesus helps combat sexual immorality, stealing, cursing, bitterness, envy, covetousness, hatred, prejudice, and all the sins that shackle the soul. To be free from the wiles of the devil, get in the Book and learn about Jesus. It will change every part of your life. Learn. Change. Grow.