Monday, March 1, 2010

Old Man - New Man

The author of Victory Over the Darkness recounts his Navy years when he references a two year period where the captain of his ship was a particularly gruff, codgery, old sea captain, "the Old Man". He harassed his junior officers and belittled his crew. But then a time came when he was transferred to another ship and they were given a new Captain; a "New Old Man".

bad attitude in the flesh!

"The old "Old Man" no longer had any authority over us; he was gone-completely out of the picture. But I was trained under that "Old Man". So how do you think I related to the new Old Man? At first I responded to him just like I had been conditioned to respond to the old skipper. I tiptoed around him expecting him to bite my head off. But as I got to know the new skipper I realized that he wasn't an old tyrant like my old Old Man....he was a good guy, really concerned about us. But I had been programmed for two years to react a certain way. I didn't need to react that way any longer, but it took several months to recondition myself to the new skipper."

Once we also served a cruel self-serving master; our old sinful self with our old sinful "Nature". The admiral and leader of that ship would be Satan himself, the prince of darkness.

Version: NAS

Colossians 1:13
For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, ...

Now we have a new Captain, and our new self which is infused with the divine nature of Jesus Christ. We are no longer under the control of the old master the old Man. The "old Man" is dead and gone.

Then if the Old Man or Old Nature is gone, why do we still behave and react like he is still in control of our "ship"? Because while we served under "the Old Man", our old self was trained and conditioned in actions, reactions, emotional responses, thought patterns, memories, and habits. These are all what we call "the flesh". The flesh is that tendency within each of us to operate independently from God. Our interests are totally on ourselves.

When we were born again, our old self died and our new self "in Christ" came to life. We were made a partaker of Christ's divine nature. But our flesh remains. Before we came to the commitment of salvation, our lifestyle and mindset was formed in the world, apart from God, and centered upon ourselves. Our worldly experiences programmed our brain with thought patterns, memories, responses and habits, all having formed without God in mind.

Romans 8:8-13
8. and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10. And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. 12. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- 13. for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Living "in the flesh" is different from living "according to the flesh". "In the flesh" refers to our life before Jesus. "According to the flesh"  refers to the fact that we still may choose to walk as the world or before we knew Jesus; big difference.

Because of our old conditioning and mind set we may still choose to live as though we are independent of God, but that is where we begin to let God "transform" our thinking, behaviors and viewpoints.

Our old nature is dead and gone, nailed to the cross with Jesus. We are now in Christ. This is such great news. We are no longer under the authority of Satan, we are now able to walk in the authority of Jesus Christ. We are no longer subject to sin, we are now walking in Freedom and Truth.

Next we'll talk about the beginning of our transformation; our road of sanctification in our new life in Jesus Christ.

I love this analogy of the Old Skipper. Not fun taking orders from the character above. But there have been times that I'm sure my family saw me like that!!

Hope you have a great week. Visit my other blog, Common Ground, for my Birthday Celebration Give-Back.

love, in Jesus,

(concepts and quotations taken from
Victory Over the Darkness
by Neil Anderson)


  1. Ahoy, Mateys! The Captain has just given orders to swab the deck and walk the plank! That was the 'old' captain. The 'new' Captain says "We're setting sail for Glory Land, all hands on deck!"

  2. Hey Debby, so glad you "get" me. Love your comment! Aaaaarrrggh!

  3. Hey Debra
    I keep that old man nailed to the deck but every once in a while he gets loose then I have to stomp on him :)
    Praise God I am not under sin but live in God's grace

  4. I love how you use stories to explain things! You are able to make complex subjects very easy to digest! Thank you!

  5. The old skipper represents those things in our lives over which we believe we have no power.

    And rightly so-
    We don't-
    God does.


  6. another great analogy. wonderful insight.

  7. Another Great post.Thanks Debra....
    Blessings, Ella

  8. Great post!

    Praise God that we have been transformed unto our Divine Nature in and through Jesus!!!

    Sweet Blessings!

  9. Deborah Ann,
    Ditto... thanks Debra... you are a breath of fresh air... and Happy Birthday... you and Miss Rose...lots of luv...Lee

    I have a new blog...cause blogs are free and website aren't...

  10. Hi Ya'll. I'm so glad I made it back today and didn't miss this post. What an absolutely wonderful way to look at it. This is so true. It seems that we accept and believe the negative about ourselves so quickly and then it takes so much longer to replace that negative with the positive. At least this is true for me. This was a timely message for me. Well they all seem to be. Oh' goodness I hope that not narcissistic of me.

    I loved all the comments too. Debra Ann, I love the thought of: The 'new' Captain says "We're setting sail for Glory Land, all hands on deck!" Excellent picture in my head.

    Debra.....Thank you for always giving so much of yourself to feed us the word.
    Love, Tracy :)

  11. great theology - liberating too I'm helping youth workers in Canada to get clarity in this, bec otherwise students live in the discouragement of being the "old ME" still. I've linked your article to an email I just sent out, bec you're so clear. PJ


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