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Put on the Heart of the New Man
Bible study on the heart.

In Paul's epistle to the Colossians he instructs them to "put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him" (Col. 3:10, NKJ).

Later in the epistle, he explains that part of putting on the new man is putting on the right heart.

  • "So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Col. 3:12).

Heart: The Seat of Emotion
The Greek word splagchnon is translated "heart" ("bowels", KJV) in Colossians 3:12. Literally the word denotes the physical intestines, but when used figuratively it denotes deep emotion such as tenderness and affection.

Splagchnon is used God.

  • "Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us" (Lk. 1:78).

And it's used of Christians.

  • "You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections" (2 Cor. 6:12).
  • "Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion" (Phil. 2:1).
  • "But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him" (1 Jn. 3:17)?

What is the significance of putting on the heart of the new man?

Let's answer this question by examining the context.

Baptized: Raised up with Christ
Before we can put on the heart of the new man we must be baptized as God commands, at which time we are circumcised with the circumcision of Christ, buried with Jesus in baptism, raised up with Jesus through faith in the working of God, made alive together with Jesus, and forgiven our transgressions (Col. 2:11-13).

Then we can put on the new man, and the heart of the new man, because we've been made new in Christ (Col. 3:10, 12).

  • We are born again when we are baptized (Jn. 3:3, 5).
  • We are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15).

Put aside Sin, and Put on the New Man
Now as new creatures in Christ (i.e., Christians), we put aside sin and put on the new man.

  • "Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry" (Col. 3:5).
  • "But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him" (Col. 3:8-10).

As Paul says to the Ephesians, we "lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit . . . and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth" (Eph. 4:22-24).

Thus, as new creatures through obedience to Christ, we are sons of obedience rather than disobedience (Col. 3:6).

Characteristics of the New Man
Now, Paul instructs us how to live as people who have put on the new man.

With the heart of the new man, we bear with one another, and forgive each other as the Lord forgave us (Col. 3:13).

With the heart of the new man, we put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Hence, we are unified with our brethren (Col. 3:14).

With the heart of the new man, we let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, and are thankful (Col. 3:15).

With the heart of the new man, we let the word of Christ richly dwell within us, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in our hearts to God (Col. 3:16).

With the heart of the new man, we do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to the Father (Col. 3:17).

With the heart of the new man, we subject ourselves to human authority, and exercise authority over others, according to the will of God, both in the home and with our jobs. Whatever we do, we do heartily as for the Lord (Col. 3:18-4:1).

With the heart of the new man, we devote ourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving (Col. 4:2).

With the heart of the new man, we conduct ourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity (Col. 4:5).

With the heart of the new man, we always let our speech be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so we know how to respond to each person (Col. 3:6).

When we put on the new man, and the heart of the new man, we are very different from people in the world.

As I think about this, I ask, "Am I different from the world, as one who has put on the heart of the new man?"