Sermons

Summary: This is the 13th sermon in the "Accounting" series from the Book of Ephesians.

Series: Accounting [#13]

BANKRUPT OR RICH?

Ephesians 4:17-24

Introduction:

Statistics show that 80% of millionaires earned the money themselves. Only 20% of millionaires inherited the money. Many of those who earned the money started with nothing. 2nd generation millionaires tend to not end up with much money at the end of their lives; therefore, having nothing to leave their children.

This morning, I want us to look at the attributes of those who are spiritually bankrupt and those who are spiritually rich.

Ephesians 4:17-19 (NIV)

17So 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. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

Spiritually…

1. Bankrupt.

Simply said, “Those who are without Christ as Savior are spiritually broke”. They have no idea what they are missing out on. In our text, the Gentiles Paul is referring to, are those who are not saved. Paul tells them to not live like the Gentiles any longer. My 1st question to you this morning is, “How does the Gentiles live”? To ask the question a different way, “What are the attributes of an unbeliever”?

The unbeliever has a…

? Dark mind.

Their thinking is always about themselves. They are blind to the truths of God. They do not understand the things of God, nor do they want to. Everything they believe and do is opposite of the truth. We live in a time, where the thinking of unbelievers appears to be the popular thoughts. Issues such as, being for abortion; but shutting down our State’s economy to protect 116 endangered and threatened species. The idea that it is ok to kill a baby; but not kill types of lizards, snakes, salamanders, toads, snails, bats, mice, etc…; is insane; but fits with the mind of an unbeliever.

The unbeliever has a…

? Dead heart.

The unbeliever has hardened their heart due to their separation from God and are ignorant of the truth. They are dead in their sins.

The unbeliever has a…

? Defeated life.

No matter how wealthy, famous, or important an unbeliever is will change the fact that they are eternally defeated. Their life will never have true hope without Jesus as their Savior.

Ephesians 4:20-24 (NIV)

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Spiritually…

2. Rich.

As I prepare this sermon, I remembered the contrast between the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man had every physical thing he ever wanted and Lazarus was eating the crumbs off of his table like a dog. Once they both died, the roles were reversed. The rich man was bankrupted in Hell while Lazarus was in Paradise. Christians, you are eternally rich through Christ. It is the truth of Jesus that you have been taught that has brought life and eternal riches to you. Jesus is the Truth, the Way, and the Life. So what is the way of life Christians should have learned?

The Christian should know…

? To put off your old self.

When you got saved, the old you died; and you became a new, resurrected person. Each and every moment of your life should be free of the old you. How you were before you were saved should be dead and gone just like the old you. Get rid of all of that old junk.

The Christian should know…

? To have a new attitude.

Your attitude should be the same attitude that Christ has. In fact, the text is talking about the attitude of you mind. So, even if you are only thinking sinful things and not acting them out; you are still living with the old you. Everything Jesus did was about seeking and saving the lost. That means your attitude towards others should be about lifting up Christ to them so that they will be saved.

The Christian should know…

? To put on the new self.

How many Christians even know how to do this? Everything that is selfish, prideful, evil, etc… is the old self and you are supposed to throw that person out and put on Jesus. Paul puts it perfectly, “and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”. You have been saved to be like God. You have been saved to be righteous. You have been saved to be holy.

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