2 Cor 5:17 says, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” When we get saved, we truly are new creatures in Christ. Our old man is crucified [Rom 6:6] and he is dead [Rom 6:7-8, 8:10] and buried [Rom 6:4]. Our new man is alive [Gal 2:20; Rom 6:11] and is walking [Rom 6:4]. The old man is to be put off [Eph 4:22] and our new man is to be put on [Eph 4:24]. While our baptism in Christ is performed by the Spirit at the time of our salvation, the putting off of the old man and the putting on of the new man is deliberate. These are things that we must do continually.
The new man enjoys and must be nourished by the Bible, preaching, teaching, prayer, fellowship with the Lord, and communion with the Spirit of God. He seeks to please and glorify God. When he is in church he sees the Lord and has his affections set on things above. The old man does not delight in these things. When the old man is in church, he see the people, his affections are down here and he cannot commune with God.
It is impossible for the old man to live the Christian life. There is no reforming him, no cleaning him up, or making him holy that makes him suitable to God. He must die and be buried and put off. The Christian life must be lived by the new man. He is the only one who can do it because he is alive and walking when you put him on.
The old man must be on the cross for the new man to live. Like Amos says, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” The old man never looks at things the same way the new man does. The new man sees them right and the old man sees them wrong every time. There is as much difference between the new man and the old man as there was between the resurrected glorified body of Jesus and the body that was laid in the grave. The new man is hardly recognizable to those who have only seen your old man.
At any moment you could be living with the old man or the new man. It just depends whether that old man rises up out of his tomb. You can tell when he has raised his ugly head. Like Martha said about Lazarus after he had been in the grave for four days, “Behold, he stinketh.” He’s a stinker. One time a preacher friend popped off in a small group with something that really surprised me. I asked him, “Where did that come from?” He replied, “Old man, Brother.”
You can always tell when the old man is roaming around. According to Eph 4:25-31, he lies, he gets angry and justifies it, he gives place to the devil, he steals, he lets corrupt communication come out of his mouth, he grieves the Holy Spirit, and he is bitter. The new man is kind, tenderhearted and forgiving [Eph 4:32]. So, put on the new man!!