New Spiritual Realities and Specific Responsibilities Ephesians 4:17-32
- A futile mind leads to a futile life. (4:17-19)
Ephesians 4:17 (NASB), ”So I say this, and affirm in the Lord, that you are to no longer walk just as the Gentiles also walk in the futility of their minds, 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 up to indecent behavior for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.”
- A renewed mind leads to a renewed life. (4:20-24)
Ephesians 4:20 (NASB), ”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, 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, 23 and that you are to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
- Specific Do’s and don’ts for believers. (4:25-32)
Ephesians 4:25 (NASB), “Therefore, ridding yourselves of falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, because we are parts of one another.”
Therefore – introduces 11 specific commands for believers with renewed minds. Each command has a do, a don’t, and a reason why to obey.
• DO – Speak truth. • DON’T – Rid yourselves of falsehood. • WHY? - Because we are parts of one another.
Ephesians 4:26 (NASB), ”Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.”
• DO – Be angry. • DON’T – Do not sin, or let the sun go down on your anger. • WHY? - Do not give the devil an opportunity.
Ephesians 4:28 (NASB), ”The one who steals must no longer steal; but rather he must labor, producing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with the one who has need.”
• DO – Work and produce with your hands what is good. • DON’T – Do not steal. • WHY? - So you have something to share with those in need.
Ephesians 4:29 (NASB), ”Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
• DO – Say good and timely words to build up people. • DON’T – Do not speak unwholesome words. • WHY? - Good words give grace. Abusive words grieve the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:31 (NASB), ”All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
• DO – Be kind, compassionate, forgiving. • DON’T – Remove bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice. • WHY? - Be gracious to others as Christ is gracious to you.
“But there must be a real giving up of the self… to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him.” - C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity