“Put off, renew, put on” is a simple way to remember a significant principle for change. It’s Sanctification 101. Here is one place we see the process most clearly.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
The verses following give a number of real-life examples for applying this principle. It’s earth shatteringly practical.
It’s not enough to stop lying, and you can’t in your own strength telling the truth. Renewing your mind often gets left out, but it’s not an optional part of the process. It’s crucial.
Last week I was reading Lou Priolo’s book Teach them Diligently, looking for anything he had to say about repentance. To my great pleasure, he discusses it, and said something I’ve been mulling over since then. He says
You may or may not have strong feelings of remorse or sorrow, but if you are repentant, you will at least regret the fact that you have sinned against God. But more importantly, if you are truly repentant you will start to see the fruit appropriate to repentance: a change that manifests itself in your lifestyle. (p52)
He goes on to explain that we must teach our children how to “put on” the fruits of righteousness, by showing from the Scriptures what their responsibility is. He encourages parents to be specific in these applications. In doing so, we help our children with the process of repentance. It’s worth thinking through. He does discuss the Holy Spirit’s role. I’d like to reread that and look up the Scriptures he discusses. “Put off, renew, put on” is not a new concept for many readers here (although it would help if we stopped to consider applying it to our own lives instead of simply storing the knowledge for a rainy quiz day). What’s new for me is that I’ve never thought of this passage as demonstrating a skeleton description of repentance. I may want to look at some related passages (I’ll get out the handy dandy Treasury of Scripture Knowledge) to see whether I can get a passage that is a little more concrete.
Thanks for this post. It’s something I was going to ask you about!
Right now Kelly and are dealing with a high school student not our child but this is helpful. Gives us something to think about and study more.
Shelley Gallamore says
Your posts on teaching repentance have been thought provoking for me lately. 3 our of my 4 kids were particularly soft hearted when they were younger and I would have said that we were achieving repentance on a normal basis. Now however, we seemed to have fallen back into “sorry” and then repeat behavior. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised as it is time for them to be on their own search for wisdom – I need to show them how to go about that search more personally.
Shelley– It’s interesting that you see a difference in your children as they’ve gotten older. I think you’re probably right about them needing their own search, their own spirituality, instead of you as the parent modeling the Holy Spirit’s role. What a challenge for those of us with younger children not to grow smug or complacent when we see our children responding well! (not that I’ve seen this yet, but I know I’d struggle with pride if my children were among the spiritual ones) I’m interested in your journey of teaching wisdom with your older children. I hope you write it down. 🙂
Maya– I find it fascinating how God is teaching us some of the same things. He marvelously gives us the help we need at just the right time.
Shelley Gallamore says
Michelle, I do see a tremendous difference just in the last year or so…and I think we (my husband and I) have gotten terribly complacent. We are for sure entering a time of them seeking out wisdom or choosing not to seek it. Yet, we are still in a huge teaching time as well. But, the issues we are teaching about are so much more complex…God has really convicted me about the need to spend active time teaching each day…therefore, family breakfast.