Summary: Doing life with God produces lasting change in the way we live (i.e. being gracious to others and traveling light, carrying no offense).
Doing Life with God
Intro: Earlier in Eph. we talked about the BC life & the AD life. Today we will follow a similar pattern. Paul is giving practical instructions on how to live a life that honors God. Paul started this chapter with a challenge to have a walk worthy of God’s calling – God’s calling to forgiveness and grace. He takes this idea further in our text today.
Main Idea: Doing life with God produces lasting change in the way we live.
TS: Let’s look at a few thoughts that will help us see what life with God is all about.
I. Don’t Do Life without God
[This is what life with God does not look like.]
17 So 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. 18 They 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.
19 Having 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.
-Darkened – a mental fog that blocks out God’s light
-Separated – cut off, or alienated from God’s life
-Ignorant – not innocently so, but willfully blind to what is right and true
-Hardhearted – calloused, petrified, unyielding, unbending
-Insensitive, unfeeling – can no longer respond to moral stimuli; conscience is dead
-Obsessed with Sensuality – preoccupied with physical & sexual gratification
-Continual Self-Indulgent Lust for self-fulfillment
-Paul says, “Don’t go there anymore! Get a life! Get a real life. Do life with God. So he goes on in v.20 saying that these characteristics are inconsistent with doing life with God. These things are empty, futile, hollow substitutes for real love and life with God.
II. Learning to do Life with God
20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
A. Dealing with the Self Life
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.
-When we come to Christ, there is transformation. Some of it happens quickly and possible dramatically. Some change takes time and teaching. There is a word we use that speaks of time and process and growth – it is called discipleship. Discipleship is the process of making disciples (students, learners, followers). So as we look at the new way of living, let’s keep in mind that these changes do not all happen immediately, nor are new believers expected to figure it all out for themselves. They need someone to come alongside them and teach them both by word and example how to do life with God. In another letter Paul describes the change that takes place in a person when they join their life with Christ and are in Christ.
-2 Corinthians 5:15, 17 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
-This is what life with God looks like.
B. Marks of the New Self
1. Honesty: Deal with Dishonesty
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
Colossians 3:9-10 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
2. Peacefulness: Deal with your Anger
26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
-Learn to resolve conflict in a healthy way. If you don’t control your anger, it will control you, and it does not make a good master. In fact, Paul hints that the lack of self-control in relation to our anger can give the devil a foothold in our life.
3. Generosity: Become a Giver not a Taker
28 He 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.