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Summary: • We must guard our thoughts and words because they determine our heart’s attitude and, therefore, our choices.

INTRODUCTION

• SLIDE #1

• When we are baptized into Christ, we begin our journey into our new life with Him.

• When Jesus wipes our slate clean by cleansing us of our sin, and gives us the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, living our new life in Him is so easy, isn't it? ?

• If that were only true.

• There are some things from our old life that are not too difficult to get out of our lives; however, there are other things that are very difficult to overcome.

• I have found that one of the more critical factors in whether one will be successful in life is the factor of ATTITUDE.

• The way we think ends up being what we become. So, God helps us.

• SLIDE #2

Proverbs 4:23 (NCV) — 23 Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.

• God gives us access to a new attitude and a new way of life.

• We must guard our thoughts and words because they determine our heart’s attitude and, therefore, our choices.

• An ancient Chinese proverb says, "Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words, become your actions.

• Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.

• Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny”

• (Robert C. Jameson, “Be Careful of Your Thoughts: They Control Your Destiny,” Huffington Post, updated June 28, 2014, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-c-jameson/be-careful-of-your-though_b_5214689.html).

• In our passage today, Paul compares and contrasts the old carnal/fleshly way of living without Christ against the new way of living in Christ. He encourages believers to put on the new and take off the old (vv. 20–24).

• He emphasizes thinking differently in order to do so, saying we are “to be made new in the attitude of your minds” (v. 23).

• Today we will look at the contrast between the old and new pattern of life, a contrast between the way we were living outside of Christ versus the way we are called to live when we are in Christ

• Let’s turn to Ephesians 4:17-19 as we begin our exploration together today!

• SLIDE #3

Ephesians 4:17–19 (CSB) — 17 Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.

• SLIDE #4

SERMON

I. The pattern of the old life.

• Verse 17 begins with THEREFORE; this tells us that what we are about to read is tied back to the beginning of the chapter, where Paul talks about walking in a worthy manner.

• The main pleas that we see in this section from Paul are that when we are a part of the body of Christ, we are called to stop living as the Gentiles did, or for us today quit living as you did before Jesus.

• We all have to understand that getting someone baptized into Christ is only the beginning of the journey!

• We have to help teach them how to live for Jesus, we need to teach them how to develop their new relationship with Him.

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that when we are in Christ, we are a NEW creation! Here is an integral part of that blessing!

• THE OLD HAS PASSED AWAY, THE NEW HAS COME!

• Here are four things in verses 17-19 which are a part of the old, the old pattern of life!

• First!

• You should no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their thoughts.

• The old way of life was marked by living in the futility of our minds.

• The word FUTILITY denotes one whose mind is marred with no purpose, no real mission for living.

• This is how one lives when they are void of the revelation from God concerning one’s purpose for life.

• In the book of Ecclesiastes 1:2, King Solomon put it this way.

• SLIDE #5

Ecclesiastes 1:2 (CSB) — 2 “Absolute futility,” says the Teacher. “Absolute futility. Everything is futile.”

• We have a God-shaped hole within us, and until we allow Him to fill it, we will live with no real, everlasting purpose.

• This leads to the second problem with our old pattern of life.

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