72 The fact of the matter is that most of what Jesus taught was not understood by anyone until after His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, and the coming of the Holy Spirit (see John 14:25-26; 16:7-15). What he is about to say is the instruction of the Lord Himself. 1:22) and as they continue in their rejection of God, He eventually gives them over to a “depraved mind” (1:28). To use a computer analogy, you have a new operating system, but you still have to get the old junk off the hard drive. Ignorance, as Paul uses the term, refers to the “knowledge” which unbelievers possess, in which they place their trust, and from which they base their actions. As I understand Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:20 and 21, Paul assumes that those who have come to Christ have already learned much about Him, and about the nature of the Christian life which should result from trusting in Jesus as Savior and Lord. They were still like babies who needed to grow up. Away they walked with their find. In most instances, the devil exercises control over lost men by means of the external pressure of the world and corresponding internal inclinations of the flesh. They may even know Greek and Hebrew and spend their lives in the study of theology, but the truths of Scripture just do not become reality to them, so eventually they come up with their own philosophies in the vain effort to try to make sense of life apart from a personal relationship with the God of the universe. Here in our text this morning we find not only a good description of this living death but also the reason that people remain in that state. Let us act on what we know to be the truth as revealed in the Word of God, more than on how we happen to feel. The way a man thinks does bear heavily on the way he acts. It is by His power that we are both motivated and enabled to live in a way that pleases God: 1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Our text in Ephesians 4:17-24 describes in very general terms the changes in our thinking and behavior which being in Christ requires. Why do you think it is so hard to argue with an unbeliever. By putting off and putting on the things Paul identifies, we conduct ourselves in accordance with our calling. In chapters 4-6, Paul exhorts us as Christians to carry out our calling as Christians. Do you really want to get back into that coffin with all the decay inside it? In the same way, if you have been made alive in Christ, why put on those old grave clothes and go back to hanging out at the cemetery. 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in [the likeness of] God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Contact & Service Times. Ignorance here surely does not refer to one’s intelligence. For the last several weeks we have been dealing with the structure and responsibilities Jesus Christ has given to His body, the church. But before he deals with the “old self” and the “new self,” Paul will remind his readers that what he is teaching them is not really new at all, but rather the reiteration of what they had already learned. It was even true of the Lord’s disciples, who could not understand what He was teaching them (Mark 6:52; 8:17). Previous. He claims that his words are not his alone. But you have not so learned Christ, The word But points us back to what we saw previously in Ephesians 4:17-19. These are not commands to be carried out, but rather statements of fact. We lay aside the “old self” and the former manner of life that we lived before we came to Christ. Christianity, Paul implies, often runs across the grain of our culture, and thus we must determine to follow Christ and to cease to march to the drum of the world in which we live. You were given a moral capacity that those without Christ cannot have regardless of their intelligence (1 Cor. Verses 1-6 . Furthermore, the thinking of the believer is based upon the revelation of truth in the Scriptures, while the thinking of the unbeliever is based only upon the individual’s subject perception of truth and reality. Evolution is a classic case of this. This is what Paul urges every believer to do in 4:17-19. Just as bad thinking leads to wrong conduct, so wrong conduct leads to bad thinking. They are the living dead awaiting death. They profess to be wise, but they become fools (Rom. God’s blessing comes to those who walk in the counsel of the godly, not the ungodly. Our fight against sin is real and will continue throughout our earthly life. You delete the old programs and install the new ones. Paul called them “carnal” in 1 Cor. Ephesians 4:17-24. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus. If there is no struggle, there is no new nature. It is only by understanding our past that we can live as we should in the present. The aorist tense indicates that Paul is referring to what happened when you came to Christ. The Lord can do the same work in them that He has done in us. Ephesians 4:17. What we believe affects the way we behave.71. I have read more than one report that established that fact that people who do not receive “professional” treatment actually have a higher recovery rate that people who do. True love is always bound by truth and is always looking to build up and edify. This is the renewing of the mind which Paul calls for. But as we stressed last week, as important as these offices are, the real work of the church is not done by evangelists and pastor-teachers, but by the people in the pew. Paul’s command is Christ’s command. At times we may become weary in the battle, but the Holy Spirit is present to empower us to continue on. It takes very little intelligence to go out and look at creation and understand that this was no accident, and the deeper you look into real science, the more this conclusion is solidified. 5:15). They were futile because they failed to produce anything of lasting or eternal value. Modern Psychology is not much different. Now that we have been born again, in Christ we have been raised from our dead state spiritually to newness of life. The “new self” would be our new “inner man” (Romans 7:22; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Ephesians 3:16), the “mind set on the Spirit” (Romans 8:6). One of the most foolish statements I have ever heard is, “I don’t worship doctrine, I worship Jesus.” Paul would never tolerate such mindless talk. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. The believer in Christ understands that he or she has been chosen for salvation for a purpose, to bring glory to God. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. The girls both looked over the throw-aways, and gave a momentary thought to making use of them. 17 This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. And so it is that Paul links evangelism and discipleship. When Paul speaks of the “hardening of their heart” he refers to the impact which the hardened heart has on the minds of fallen men. Let us consider them one at a time. Romans 1:16-17 – Good News – Good News Pt. Escaping punishment in Hell is a side benefit of our sins being dealt with and forgiven. They make no pretenses, but reveal their impurity and greed brazenly. 6. The mental condition of fallen Gentiles ultimately works itself out in the moral lives of these unbelievers. It is the Christian mindset of our text which works itself out in the conduct which befits our calling in Christ. Here it describes the heart that becomes petrified in sin and paralyzed to spiritual truth, and completely unresponsive to the things of God. “if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus.” The life of a believer is very different from that of the unbeliever and if your life is not different, then there is a question about your relationship with Christ. More obvious are those that reject even societal standards and give themselves fully over to sensuality with their practices done openly. (If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click here). 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:1-14). What we can be sure of is that there is a direct relationship between “lust” and “deceit.” I believe it is safe to say that “lust” is “deceitful,” and also to say that “deceit” is “lustful.” Lust is deceitful in that it does not produce what it seems to promise. Do not … First, faith in Christ demands a radical change in the lifestyle of the believer from the way he once behaved. Jesus is the truth: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me’” (John 14:6). I and the other elders are given to the church by God for the purpose of “equipping the saints for the work of ministry.” It takes every believer, everyone who actually a child of God, every person who is part of the body of the Christ, to be using the gift(s) the Holy Spirit has given you if the church is to do what the Lord has sent us to do and become what the Lord has designed us to become. Ephesians 4:17-24 - NIV: So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 3:7 saying they were “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”. Instead, Paul teaches us that what we now are, in Christ, is what should override and overrule our past thinking and behavior. The “world” is, to a great extent, the culture in which we live, which seeks to pressure us to conform to its values, standards, goals, and conduct. Related Topics: Regeneration, Justification, Sanctification, Robert L. (Bob)Deffinbaugh graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with his Th.M. It was this culture which threatened to influence them to live as they formerly did. In Christ we were made alive, raised from the dead and seated with Him in the heavenlies (see Ephesians 2:5-6). For this to occur, each member must speak the truth in love. I dare say that most Christians spend more time in front of their television sets, radios, magazines, and books than they do in their Bibles. They flagged him down, loaded the sink in the back, and gratefully rode the remaining distance to their dorm room, where the sink and cupboard became a planter. Those who are mentally blind become morally callused. 2). 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest (Ephesians 2:1-3). They decided the toilet was too grungy to try to carry and fixed their efforts on the kitchen sink. “you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (vs. 3), “you laid aside the old self” (vs. 9), “you have been raised up” (vs. 1), “you have put on the new self” (vs. 9). It is not a matter of intelligence because many if not most of the most intelligent people alive cannot comprehend spiritual truth. Neither I nor the other elders could possibly do all that should be done by the whole body, and if we could, what then would you do? False teachers will be confronted. Do not … They do not have to remain in their blinded, ignorant position. We long for the final redemption of our bodies when our position will be matched by our practice and we will be like Christ (1 John 3:2). The conduct which God requires of Christians should not come as a surprise to them after they have been saved. ” There is an ignorance that develops in them and they become hardened in that belief. 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? You were a slave to sin, now you are to be slave of righteousness (Rom. God has done something similar to every Christian. And so Paul describes the moral outcome of the Gentiles’ mental decadence: “And they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness” (verse 19). It is a message of the love of God in paying for our sins so that we would no longer be held in sin’s bondage. If, as may be the case today, some have not learned these general things of which Paul speaks in verses 17-24, then the gospel has not been fully or faithfully proclaimed. 1. But when God saves us through the person and work of His Son, He transforms us into something entirely new. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.… 10 And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. (Ephesians 4:25-32) And to take heed of the sins practised among the heathen. He is already turning from the Christian and the world to the Christian and the flesh, from external temptation to internal temptation. Ephesians 4 auszuprobieren - sofern Sie von den günstigen Angeboten des Produzenten profitieren - ist eine weise Entscheidung. 4:4-7), Ephesians: The Glory of God in the Church. Reference: Ephesians 4:17-24; Series: Commentary on Ephesians; Teacher: Pastor Robert Furrow; I Recently Gave My Life to Christ. We are to 1) lay aside 2) be renewed and 3) put on. 20). The old is sinful, the new is righteous. 8:23). Being born again is meant to reverse the way we once were, apart from Christ. Men’s behavior affects the way they think. Once, as a part of the world system, we were alienated from God and strangers to His kingdom. Our Lord did not feel like going to the cross of Calvary, but He obeyed the will of His Father. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Christ also gave to the church evangelists and pastor-teachers who proclaim the revelation given to the apostles and prophets and by which people are both brought into God’s family and begin to mature within it. What we feel is often a far cry from what is true, and even from what we believe. Q. That is why Paul gives warnings in several places for us to “examine ourselves to see whether we be in the faith” (2 Cor. What results is a downward cycle. Faith, as I understand it, calls upon men to act on the truth God has revealed in His Word, not on how we feel. Often when I find something in the garbage, I do not use it for its originally intended use, but I adapt it for some other use. “Let them first get saved, and then let them learn doctrine,” is the way many Christians seem to think. The good news is that there is hope for any of these people because such were some of us before we turned to God and received His grace. Coming to Christ by faith is the result of learning about Him (see Romans 10:13-17), just as it is also the beginning of learning. To “lay aside” means to “strip off” as in the case of taking off filthy clothes. Christ gave us a new mind and now we have to use it and fill it with His word and learn how to put it into practice. In chapters 1-3 of Pauls epistle to the Ephesians, Paul has spoken of the change which God has brought about in our lives, for our good and for His glory. It most certainly is not the normal way of referring to conversion today. All of the body together becomes a stronghold by which the individuals within it will not be easy prey to our adversaries. 2), and you have been made part of the body of Christ (4:1-16). The truth sets a person free, but the truth is not found in the vain philosophies of men, but only in the revelation of God. His thoughts have been incarnated in Christ, the Living Word, and recorded in the Bible, His inspired written Word. In verse 17 of chapter 4, Paul introduces his teaching with a solemn reminder of the importance of what he is about to say: “This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, …” The term “affirm” means “to bear testimony” or “to serve as a witness.” It is used elsewhere in the New Testament only by Paul.69 In every instance Paul employs this term to convey a sense of importance and urgency. Let us ponder what we are, in Christ, and not what we were without Him. What we think and how we act, we are told, is the result of our past. Righteousness deals with our relationships with other people while holiness refers to our relationship with God. Do not men, on every side, walk in the vanity of their minds? 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. 7 and 8 finding that with our minds, our new self, we are striving to do God’s perfect will, yet still finding that the old sinful habits of our flesh and sinful ways of thinking keeps us from living as we ought, so we cry out longing for the redemption of our bodies as well” (Rm. After dinner, they once again passed by these same items, only this time the temptation was too great. When Jesus evangelized, He taught. We talk little of “learning” and we think that doctrine and evangelism are not closely related. EPHESIANS 4:17-24 – PUT ON THE NEW SELF. You’re a new creature and as you grow and mature they just are not going to fit the same. Now Paul lays down the command70 which all Christians are to heed: “That you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk …” Several things are implied or clearly stated by this command. He took away the blindness and gave you the Holy Spirit so that you might understand His word (1 John 2:27). To come to Him in faith is to come from death to life, from condemnation to justification, from sin to sanctification, and from ignorance to true wisdom. Fortunately the van was dispatched. He has begun to shift his attention from the Christian’s obligation to resist and reject the ungodly pressures of the world system. You cannot come to faith in Jesus Christ without changing your thinking. Note again what Paul says in verse 17 and 18. This does not mean there are not unbelievers who have high moral codes, but it does mean that since they are not based on the absolutes of God’s Word and a relationship with Him, they will not live according to those standards and so they will spiral downward. In chapters 1-3 of Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, Paul has spoken of the change which God has brought about in our lives, for our good and for His glory. 2:16) whereas before we did not “accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they were foolishness” to us. 5:17 states it. On the way, they observed a man carrying some items out to the street for the trash men. Does debt affect giving in modern times in light of the Israelite tithe and slaves? Lust promises pleasure, but it ultimately produces death (see Romans 6:15-23, especially verse 21). Good health and physical fitness can at best only last until you die, positions of power only last until some else usurps you, and fame lasts until you are forgotten with the passing of time. The spiritually dead await physical death and their coming final death, the second death, which will take place at the Great White Throne judgement (Rev. Paul assumes otherwise, perhaps because some of those to whom Paul was writing came to faith directly or indirectly through his ministry at Ephesus (see Acts 19). But here Paul is dealing with our manner of life in principle, in general terms. 71 The reverse is also true. The “gospel” of our day is not so clearly stated. In our study of Ephesians 4 we have learned that the apostles and prophets laid down the foundation by writing down the revelation God had given to them, and that revelation is the Bible, the Old and New Testaments. This expression, “lusts of deceit” is somewhat puzzling as to its precise meaning. 2 May it never be! Peer pressure contrary to God’s will and His Word is to be expected and rejected by the Christian, in order that he or she may walk worthy of the calling with which we have been called (4:1). “This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk…”. Ephesians 4:17-24. In each instance the imperative is preceded by the word “that.” See A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1931), IV, p. 539. They have not been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, they are not a child of God. 13:5). How did they walk and why? The old nature is being corrupted, the new is being renewed. It was still a good distance to their dorm room and so they called campus security and requested a ride. God’s says we should not lie, but they will allow a lie here and there for convenience sake. Knowing how far it was from their dorm room, they decided not to try to take anything with them. God choose us for salvation that we might be “saved from this perverse generation (Acts 2:40) and “be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom 8:29). They are greedy for fleshly pleasure. Nothing is pressed more earnestly in the Scriptures, than to walk as becomes those called to Christ's kingdom and glory. Is Christ only a man, or is He also God? The campus security guard radioed in on his way to the dorm. Let us listen carefully to these vitally important truths, which are foundational to our Christian thinking and conduct. You don’t learn Christ by sinning (Ephesians 4:20-21) Ephesians 4:20. Because of this, suffering is joyfully endured for Christ’s sake, with the assurance that we will eternally enjoy the glory which awaits us (see 2 Corinthians 4:13-18). He also ordained that men are to be informed of the gospel and of God’s standards of conduct, and that we are to act in obedience to His commands, not in our own strength, but in that which He supplies. Just as the Pharisees, who broke all of God’s laws, were able to reinterpret God’s law so they could believe they were living by them, so these will reinterpret their standards so that they will believe they are good and moral people. While the old nature is continually being corrupted by the lusts of deceit, the new nature is renewing us, in accordance with the nature of God and His righteousness and truth. You were a child of the devil, and you are now an adopted child of God (1 Jn 3). This may very well result in the persecution of the Gentile saints, since their godliness poses a threat to the sinful ways of their peers (see 1 Peter 4:1-6). How shall we who died to sin still live in it? You cannot take wealth with you, and your children may turn out to be fools who will squander it. 1:21 describes, “they [become] futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart[s] [are] darkened. In verses 22-24, Paul describes the Christian’s relationship to the flesh, our old nature. It was learning Christ. Too often the gospel message that is heard in our land leaves this part out, but it is the heart of the purpose of salvation. In futility, the gentiles pursue these. The fact remains that whenever you reject God and His commands as the basis for your understanding of the world and how it works, you will come to erroneous conclusions. How does one “learn Christ” without learning the doctrines which tell us who He is? Next. Their rejection of God drives them into even greater foolishness and they become hardened. They are, we would say, addicted to the pursuit of satisfying their fleshly urges. The NIV actually translates this a little better saying, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness,” with the emphasis being that is actual righteousness and holiness as opposed to being self deceived as is the old self (vs. 22). God is sovereign in the salvation and spiritual growth of those whom He has chosen. You are changed, and radically so. The Christian lifestyle will not be lived out by those with a pagan mindset. 12:2). Ephesians 4:17–32. Was andere Leute zu Ephesians 4 berichten. Die Erfolge damit sind teilweise voneinander abweichend, aber in der Gesamtheit genießt es einen ungemein guten Ruf. It is no wonder, therefore, that the mind set on the flesh is vastly different from the mind set on the Spirit (see Romans 8:5-9). 3:3. Such men are not merely overcome by strong fleshly passions, they actively engage in the pursuit of these passions. 70 In the original text, the imperative mood is not used, but most Bible students would probably agree that the sense is that of a command. Allow me to point out some of the inferences of Paul’s teaching in our text and its implications in our practical daily living. There, we saw that the mind is the core problem with all people. The Christian believes that real life begins with faith in Christ and never ends. But what is central to our study is what Paul has to say above concerning the unbeliever’s relationship to the world and to the flesh.