Summary: WE are called to live a life that is in agreement with who we say we are.
October 26, 2014
Text: Ephesians 4:17-32
Subject: Christian Living
Title: Children of the Light – Ephesians Part 9
As we continue in our study through Ephesians I need to begin this morning by asking you a question. How is it that so many people believe that you can have a “new life” in Christ without it resulting in a new lifestyle? Now in order to help understand the question let me explain. The “new life” is what one receives when they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior – when they turn from sin and invite Jesus to take control of their life. A lifestyle is, according to the dictionary - the way in which a person or group lives. This includes patterns of social relations, consumption, entertainment, and
dress. A lifestyle typically also reflects an individual's attitudes, values, or worldview. Would you agree with me that there are multitudes of people who claim Christianity as their religion who don’t really live like that is so?
There is a tendancy in the world today for Christians to show the world that they are not that different. This is usually done in an effort to gain respect or approval from the world. After all, don’t we want the church to be seen in a positive light? But it is your lifestyle that really defines who you are “In Christ”.
In our passage today the apostle Paul addresses these very issues as he instructs a predominantly Gentile church in an imoortant Roman city.
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, with a continual lust for more.
20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. 28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
I believe this is God’s word…
I believe it is for me…
I accept it as mine…
I appropriate it to my life today…
Today we want to see what it means to walk as Children of the Light.
I. Differences. 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. Now Paul is writing to this “Gentile” church, yet he does not see them as Gentiles any longer. Earlier in his letter he had shown that the wall of separation has been torn down. There is no difference between Jewish believers and Gentile believers. They are all children of Abraham by faith and not by lineage. In verses18 and 19 Paul defines the underlying differences between “gentile” and believers by using specific words and phrases. 18They are darkened… separated… the ignorance that is in them… the hardening of their hearts… lost all sensitivity… given themselves over to sensuality… every kind of impurity… and I think this last phrase describes the whole problem - a continual lust for more. How can there be a changed life without a changed lifestyle? The word “ignorance” in the original Greek goes beyond “not knowing”, but it refers to an unwillingness to know. In other words, unsaved people don’t respond to the gospel because their hearts are hard, their minds are darkened, and they just don’t want to know the truth. Ephesians 2:13, But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.