Religion always tries to change man from the outside in: make the skirts longer, make the dresses looser, add something to the border, put something on your head, take off the makeup, lengthen the sleeves, cut the hair, or whatever it is. God always operates in the opposite way. He changes man from the inside out. God begins with what we think. He says, “If there is going to be any effective change, you have to think in another way. Another Spirit has to have access to your mind. You have been under the deception of Satan; now, you must open up to the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit.” As a result of doing that, we are able to put on the new man—the opposite of the old man.
Ephesians 4:24 says, “Put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” This new man was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness. He was created according to God’s plan; he is the product of God’s purpose, God’s standard, God’s pattern. The old man is the product of Satan’s deception; the new man is the product of God’s truth.
It is significant that Satan came to the human race in the form of a serpent. By its very nature, a snake is a crooked animal, and I think that is a vivid picture of the devil—he is a very crooked being. He never comes out with full truth. The distinctive word that describes the old man is corrupt.
We have to put off the old man and put on the new. The distinctive words that describe the new man are righteous and holy.