Let’s look a little more fully at the exchange that takes place between the old man and the new man. The old man was the product of the devil’s lie. He was the product of deception. His whole nature is deception and corruption. He is the product of the serpent. The old man is just as crooked as the snake that brought him into being. There is no truth in him—he is crooked to the core. The more he tries to be straight, the more crooked he becomes.
What is the solution? The old man was crucified so that the new man might be brought forth. Ephesians 4:22 instructs us to “put off…the old man”; then, in verse 24, we are exhorted to “put on…the new man.” This is the exchange. The old set of clothing goes; the new set of clothing is put on.
Ephesians 4:24 goes on to describe the new man as having “true righteousness and holiness.” I would like to restate the verse in this way: “Who, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness.” More literally, “Who, in accordance with God’s plan [God’s standards, God’s thinking, or God’s purpose, however you would like to understand it], was created in righteousness and holiness of truth.” The new man is the product of the truth of God’s Word concerning Jesus Christ. The truth, received into our hearts by faith, brings forth a new man, which brings forth righteousness and holiness. The new man was created in accordance with God’s standards, or purpose, in righteousness and holiness, which are products of the truth.