Volume. XXXII, No. 5
Sunday, 30 July 2017

The Transformation Of A Soul by ChristPuritan Insights


The redeemed life is justified by faith and will be sanctified by the Lord over a period of trials and testings over time. The old man of depravity gives way to the new man by the Spirit which is transformed by the renewal of the mind through the work of God (Romans 12:1, 2). We are told by Paul to put off the old man, put on the new man (Ephesians 4:22-24) and here are some practical examples as given by the famous Mathew Henry (1662-1714), the English puritan who wrote a large volume on the detailed reformed commentary of the whole Bible that ministered to so many. In his exposition of the Word of God on the practical aspects of it, he cited a number of things that as a Christian, we should put off and put on. Here it is expanded and highlighted below for us :   


1. Put off covetousness and put on contentment

We need to watch against greed and avarice (1 Timothy 6:6-10) which Paul say is the root of all evil. Do not be blinded by the inordinate affection for money and wealth which is a weapon of mass distraction by the evil one to draw away our focus on Christ, His Word and His Work.


2. Put off contention and put on peaceableness

Sadly, some are misled into being obsessed with personal strife and dissension that we fail to see that it is leading us to greater hatred, anger, resentment and malice against one another. Peter in 1 Peter 3:8 says, ‘Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:’ The evil one would like us to give attention to accentuate on strife and concentrate on destroying the unity of the church rather than preserving it which Christ has bought with His precious blood. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God’ (Matthew 5:9). Paul warns us in Galatians 5:15, ‘But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.’ How blessed it is to see the unity of the brethren in the Lord (Psalm 133). Paul in Ephesians 4:3 says, ‘Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’


3. Put off murmuring and put on thanksgiving and patience

Just like the Israelites in Numbers 11, we are prone to compare and complain and often we murmur against the Lord and our loved ones without any appreciation of them. Recently, I heard of someone complaining about the food that we are eating and another murmuring about the hotel we are staying and the service of one of the staff. Instead of being thankful to God and mindful of one another, we can be caught up in a spirit of ungratefulness and we fail to show our appreciation to God and men in secular work or in the service of the Lord.


4. Put off melancholy and put on cheerfulness

 Laughter is a good medicine. Solomon, the wise king says and how true it is often as Christians, we live with sadness on our countenance as if we are defeated by the world. But Paul says in Romans 8:37 that we are more than conquerors in Christ. Let there be Christian joy and a sense of jubilation as we live each day and interact with others for the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) and may uplift another soul who is depressed to seek the Lord.


5. Put off vanity and put on sobriety

 We are often caught up with vanities of this life, either chasing a worldly ambition, or fashion or excessive work, pursuit of pleasures or fame or wealth and one day we will learn that all these are but just emptiness in life as the preacher says in Ecclesiastes 1:4. Let us learn to set our affection on things above that are everlasting and not on temporal things here which will vanish away one day.


6. Put off drunkenness and put on temperance

 We were made aware that one of the favourite pastimes for young executives after work is to go the pubs and night spots to go dancing, smoking and have alcoholic drinks until the wee hours of the morning. There are some Christians who will like to make a case for drinking liquor as long as you do not get drunk but read Proverbs 20:1 which says, ‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.’ We need to be sober and not inebriated with strong drinks which Lemuel’s mother says it is not fit for kings who need to make sound judgments in Proverbs 31:4-6. Note that Galatians 5:22, 23 speaks of temperance as the fruit of the Spirit.

7. Put off hatred and put on the love of Christ

 The evil one often creates problems among people who first creating a deep sense of resentment, anger or hatred against another for whatever reasons. Let genuine affection and love for one another flood our hearts and let not the evil one plant evil thoughts and desires in us against one another in the Lord. Ephesians 4:32 says, ‘And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.’ Show forth the practical love that the Lord has given to us to others that they may see Christ in you and seek the Lord.


8. Put off coarse conversation and put on edifying speech

 We communicate with one another in different forms, from an email, WhatsApp, a phone call or handshake or through the social media or Skype or directly with an oral word of greeting or concern. Words can kill and words can heal. Be careful what you say and be not involved in spreading tales, gossip, rumours and falsehood. Let our words be edifying and our speech seasoned with salt and wisdom as Paul teaches in Colossians 4:6 and also in Ephesians 4:29 which says, ‘Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.’ Let our words by meaningful and edifying and not one that will discourage and undermine others in the Lord but be a blessing to all in our speech and conduct.


9. Put off evil company and put on godly friendship

There is a Chinese proverb that says if you mix with black you will be darkened and you mix with white you will be clean. It is true as we see it in our children or even ourselves. We make friends and they turn around and they made us the way they are. We need to be careful whom we mix with as birds of a feather flock together. Be with those who love and fear God and who cherish His Word and prayers and that you will do the same too.


10. Put off self-centred security and put on spiritual watchfulness

Often times we rely on ourselves, our families, friends or even the government, but Psalm 20:7 says, ‘Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.’ We need to trust fully in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:6-7). We need to vigilant against the wiles for the evil one, we are to be like a good soldier of Christ and an alert watchman of night for there is danger around. 1 Peter 5:8 says, ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’


11. Put off slothfulness and put on diligence

 We are all tempted to be lazy and indolent. Thomas Watson says idleness tempt Satan to tempt us. Slothfulness is a curse in life and let us cast of sloth but let us be diligent and hardworking in the work of God as there is reward for our labour. Our model is the hard working ant in Proverbs 6:6-7 and not the indolent pig. Let us not cease or be weary in the sharing of the gospel, works of comfort and encouragement to others in well doing for the glory of Lord. Paul exhorts us in 1 Corinthians 15:58, ‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.’


12. Put off worldly folly and put on spiritual prudence

 There is much foolishness in this world as we chase after a temporal dream which can turn into a nightmare overnight. Let us seek wisdom from God and let us live our lives prudently in the fear of God for without it, there is no true wisdom. Do not be deceived by the decadent fallen world but be seeking God and in His Word and in His will in prayer.


13. Put off phobia and doubt and put on trust and hope in God

 We live in a world of manifold fears and trepidations and the evil use this against us but 2 Timothy 1:7 says, ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’ For those who are in Christ, we are more than conquerors and let us not be fearful but courageous and bold for Christ in sharing the gospel in the saving souls and the exhortation of the saints. Psalm 56:3, 4 says, ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ We are people of a glorious hope, we trust in the risen Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ and He is coming again one day to rule and judge the world as the King of kings and Lord of lords. With Christ, it is an endless hope, without Him, a hopeless end.



 Above all, let us learn to put off sinfulness and depravity and put on the fullness of Christ in our lives. Let us show forth the beauty of Christ in our actions, words and conduct. Ask the Lord to transform our hearts and minds unto Christ and walk worthy of the Lord as He enables us daily.


Rev Jack Sin
Pastor, Maranatha B-P Church, Singapore
(This article was previously published in the Maranatha Messenger on 18 June 2017)

**Note from the editor: The article has not been proofread or edited, and have been published as written by its author.

More Lively Hope



  • Next Lord’s Day - The following are the candidates for Infant & Adult Baptisms, Re-affirmation of Faith & Membership Transfer:
Infant Baptism: Alexandra Tan, Joy Tan & Sophie Wong.
Baptism: Eric Lai
Re-affirmation of Faith: Natalie Gan
Membership Transfer: Alice Graham, Lucy Kim, Zach Liang & Jun Lin.
  • Annual Congregational Meeting – All members are expected to attend. ACM proxy forms available at the Sanctuary foyer or request from Elder Colin Gan. All members are encouraged to arrive at 7:15pm so that the meeting can start on time.
  • Activities resume – AFG, Adult Sunday School, LF, NBS, Sparks4Christ & Wednesday Bible Study resume in August. All worshippers are encouraged to attend.
  • Kitchen Duty helpers - This week: Team B. Next week: Team C.
  • Praise and Thanksgiving
  • New worshippers & church activities in the past week.
  • Journey mercies: Dn Boong & Sis Mariam Atijatuporn & family (Melb/Adl); Sis Lai Kheng Chiong (Adl); Sis Siew Ling Teh (Malaysia); & others arriving safely at their destinations.
Prayer Items
  • Healing: For the unwell.
  • Journey mercies: For those travelling.
  • Providence B-P Church – 3rd Anniversary Thanksgiving (13th August).
  • Jobs for university graduates.

A comprehensive prayer list is available at the Sanctuary foyer. Please take a copy for your personal or corporate prayer time.