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Summary: 25th in the Ephesians Series dealing with putting of the old life and putting on the new

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“Done with the Old Life”

Ephesians 4:17-24

I. Our Wealth and Worth In Christ 1-3

Paul broke out in exuberant praise in his prison cell. He had been incarcerated for preaching the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. With time on his hands, he contemplated the wonder of God’s work not only in his own life but around the known world. The outcome of that contemplation is a most amazing doxology that touches on a host of blessings.

He blessed God for blessing us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.

Specially chosen

Purposefully adopted

Freely redeemed and forgiven

Spiritually enlightened

Surely deemed God’s inheritance

Securely sealed for the day of redemption

At this point Paul broke out in a pray asking that they fully understand the wonder of God’s blessing.

Especially…

The Hope of their calling

The glory of Christ’s inheritance in the saints

The surpassing greatness of His power demonstrated toward the saints

That power was demonstrated in…

Making us alive, raising us up, and seating us with Christ

Bringing us out of alienation through the sacrifice of Jesus into full citizenship in His kingdom, cherished sonship in God’s family, strategic placement in God’s temple

Paul expressed his deep love for the Ephesians and shared his heart for ministry.

Paul broke out in another prayer for the empowerment of the spirit to live in God’s fullness and finishes with another doxology or statement of praise to God.

The second main division in Ephesians begins with chapter 4. He exhorts the Ephesians to live a life worthy of the high and holy calling.

II. Our Worthy Walk in Christ 4-6

A. Walk in Unity 4:1-16

Walk in humility, gentleness, long-suffering forbearance and preservation of the unity.

This new community is inseparably linked and unified in one body and one Spirit, one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father energizing the whole thing.

Within that unity there is a diversity of function or gifts supplied and empowered by Jesus.

Last week we talked about the interrelationship between gifts, ministries and effects as described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12. Paul wanted to be sure we understood clearly that as important God’s special gifting of each follower of Jesus may be; love is the essential element that makes them function properly.

1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels (speaking gifts), but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,(speaking gifts and ministries) but do not have love, I am nothing.

3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, (serving gifts) but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

B. Walk in Newness of life 4:17-24

Paul transitions to a different subject in verse 17.

The new subject has connection to the previous thought as indicated by the “therefore”.

In regard to this maturing and growing up into Christ and becoming one according to the measure of the stature of Christ through the proper exercise of each member of the body…

Paul emphatically and authoritatively issues a prohibition.

Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord:

He doesn’t just “tell” them but solemnly “testifies”. The word “testify” refers to a legal testimony in a court of law or an emphatic declaration. The use of both words points to the importance of emphatic nature of what he is about to say. It is similar to his exhortation to the Thessalonians.

11 just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, 12 so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

Even beyond that, Paul adds “in the Lord” which was intended to be sure they understood that this was not just a personal opinion on the matter but was being issued by the authority of a duly appointed spokesman for God.

What was Paul’s instruction?

Scripture approaches instruction from two directions.

Prohibition – don’t do this. Directive – do this.

Paul will approach a subject from either perspective. Paul also alternates between doctrine (teaching) and application (doing) all through this letter. The application sections are almost always tied to a teaching section. The teaching section provides the motivation or reasoning behind the behavioral application. Do this because…Don’t do this because…

Paul started with a prohibition and followed with a reason why they should comply.

The reason for obeying is not only included here but is also based on what has come before.

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