The New Life17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: Off With the Old, On With the New Part 1 and Part 2
Accompanying David Legge sermon: Change Your Clothes
Accompanying Mark Driscoll sermon: I am New
In Chapters 4-6 Paul is mirroring practically what he wrote about doctrinally in Chapters 1-3.
Doctrinally, Paul said...
Ephesians 2:1-2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience
Practically, Pauls says....
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
As Christians, our walk, our lifestyle, the way we live our lives, needs to reflect our new nature.
Without Christ, we think foolishly which leads to darkness of understanding which leads to alienation from God which leads to blindness of ignorance which leads to numbness of sensuality and the impurity of lust. Total depravity, where sin is not only committed flagrantly, but it is celebrated! And it never ends, because lust is insatiable. It can never satisfy us. Sin blinds us to that fact, but it's true.
The only reason we are not currently living in a hell of our own making is due to the grace of God and the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit in the church of Christ. If it weren't for those two factors, the world would be in utter and extreme chaos.
When we receive the gift of salvation, that has to stop. We cannot continue living in that lifestyle. Salvation is instant, but it is also a growing process with Jesus Christ as our teacher. If we are not learning and growing, we need to question whether our faith is even genuine.
We need to consciously and proactively put away that old life, repenting of our sin - not just once, but every time we come under conviction by the Holy Spirit. Our minds need to be renewed - changed so that we think like Christ.
When we become Christians, we give Christ our sin and He gives us His righteousness. As Legge says, here Paul is crying to us to show the righteousness of God toward one another, and to show true holiness before God in our lives.
We need to....
ask God that He'll take us into His school - the school of Christ - and that He'll begin to take those things out of our hearts, and renew our mind, and enable us to live lives of righteousness and true holiness in His sight. For He can do it, for it is God that worketh in you to do and to will of His purpose.
Lord, we pray like old M'Cheyne prayed: God, make us as holy as sinners can be. Not for our glory, but for Thy glory and for the extension of Thy kingdom. In Jesus name, Amen.
Monday's scripture focus: Ephesians 4:25-32
Sunday's passage: Judges 7-8
Monday's passage: Judges 9-10, Psalm 79, John 11