Ephesians 4:22 “that, in reference to your former way of life, you are to rid yourselves of the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit”
If you have been born-again, you will realize a new life in Christ. This means you do have a former life. Business cannot go on as usual, meaning your former life is not to be lived or Paul wouldn’t have said “rid yourselves of the old self”. This means just because you have been born-again, a new life, that your former life goes off like a click. Sinful behaviors of your former life need to be rid of when they present themselves.
I often am presented with my former life at times, letters, items or photographs jog my memory. And the regret comes in quick. As time progressed the past 11 years, I look back and think “who is that person?” I lived a quite shameful self centered life, worldly in about every way, lustful in about every way while thinking as a Roman Catholic at the time “I am such a nice guy, a good person”. Upon the rebirth, the veil of my sins was shown by God and I never want to return to that former life! I shake my head at myself when the things of my former life are shown to me, I am completely ashamed of that former life actually. But I also appreciate and am humbled that God pulled me out of that DISGUSTING PIT by His grace alone, by nothing I did or I would STILL BE IN THAT DISGUSTING WRETCHED DARK PIT of my former life.
On Facebook, I will respond to someone at times “in my former life I would have” to indicate what I would have sinfully done honestly and to show a contrast of how now I behave in a new life. I do this to one, PROFUSELY thank God for my rebirth, and two as a witness to Jesus Christ, to His granted repentance.
I read old letters that were written to me in disgust for who I was. You see, God doesn’t erase our memories of our former life so that we appreciate our new lives all the more! I always find it odd when a Christian comes across as if they were never in that type of darkness or never lived a life of sin and then they are surprised when the person they are witnessing to views them as hypocrites. “If we say we have no sin” as 1 John 1 teaches us, we are deceiving ourselves. Every single Christian will have a former life!
And the flip side of the coin is the supposed Christian who claimed they were born-again, probably by a ritual such as baptism or by an altar call by a boasting pastor, yet continues to openly live in their life of sin, nothing new transpired. They have no shame, no regret for the sins they sent Jesus to the Cross for, they do not repent, they continue on, meaning there is NO former life, they are still entrapped in rebellion. The “lusts of deceit” are still very evident in this false conversion.
Praise God if you now have a FORMER LIFE! We regret the things of that former life, but if you do not have a former life, you do NOT have a new life in Christ! Don’t shirk the memories of that former life, it is the way you can RID yourself of that former life is by remembering those sinful things you were engaged in. Again, you will appreciate Jesus Christ all the more when you look back on that rotten wicked former life. The contrast will be clear if you have been born-again!