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
- "So, as those who have been chosen of God,
holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience"
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
- "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.
- "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
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.
- We are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17;
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"
Thus, as new creatures through obedience to
Christ, we are sons of obedience rather than disobedience
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.
With the heart of the new man, we let the peace
of Christ rule in your hearts, and are thankful
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.
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
When we put on the new man, and the heart of the
new man, we are very different from people in
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?"