Putting Off / Putting On

Transgenders: Putting off the old man, and putting on the new.

For those of us with transgender struggles, we understand the concept of putting off one set of clothes and putting on another set. It’s something that seems to come naturally to us. The Apostle Paul uses the same kind of language when he talks about our need to shed the old and put on the new.

In Ephesians 4, Paul says, “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 …” So, as Christians, disciples of Jesus, we are to “put off … the old man”. Who is “the old man”?

We need to go to Romans 6, where Paul says, “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His (Christ’s) death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” The “old man” is our old sin nature, which is described in Jeremiah 17: “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with the point of a diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart.” But, when God took away our heart of stone (see Ezekiel 36:25-27), He gave us a heart of flesh, on which He says He has written His law (Jeremiah 31:33).

If we are supposed to “put off … the old man”, then what are we to “put on”? The Apostle Paul tells us, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:14

We need God to help us in this. As part of my morning prayer, I say out loud, “LORD God, I put off the old man, and I put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” This is an act of the willing spirit within me, that I make in faith upon God’s grace at work in me. I also put on “the whole armor of God” (see the page “God’s Armor”). This is not something magical, but an act of faith and obedience.

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness …” Isaiah 61:10