Summary: Walk like Christ

Ephesians 4:17-31

August 22, 2012

Why do we walk in humility with gentleness? Because we’re one body caring for itself. And in this way, we’re different from the Gentiles and from our old way:

17This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord,

This is a solemn testimony,

that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

Vanity means “devoid of truth.” We don’t want to make the mistake of thinking that walking like the Gentiles automatically only means hedonism. Hedonism is a fruit of their vanity, but they might also seem very religious. There’s a lot of “good Christian” philosophy and wisdom that isn’t of God. They have a form of godliness but they deny its power. To walk in vanity (error) is a contradiction to the truth which we claim to profess. They don’t know it because,

18Having the understanding darkened,

Their spiritual understanding is without light. They don’t know Christ. Consider these two verses:

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (II Cor. 4:1-6).

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (I Cor. 2:12-14).

We say that the word of the Lord is a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path (Ps. 119:105). We believe that we’re taught by God, and that He commands His light to shine in the darkness for us, but the Gentiles have their understanding darkened so that they grope around like blind men without knowing which way to go.

being alienated from the life of God

To be alienated means to be cut off from fellowship. I can’t help but think back to 1:4-12 and 2:1-22; look at what God has done to bring us near! But of them it says they are “being alienated,”

through the ignorance that is in them,

Now think about this: He’s building His body “till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (:13). The natural man doesn’t know God or His commands “neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (I Cor. 2:14). They are alienated from the life of God because they are ignorant; they don’t know the truth,

because of the blindness of their heart:

It doesn’t just mean blind; it means callused or stubborn: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (I Tim. 4:1-2). They don’t know God, and they don’t want to know Him. Peter describes them as being willfully ignorant (II Pet. 3:5).

19Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

They have no heart for God or conscience of morals. They happily throw themselves into sin and can’t get enough of it: For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4).

20But ye have not so learned Christ; 21If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

Whatever they say about God’s grace you know that Christ didn’t teach you that. Being free doesn’t mean ἄνομος (anomos; I Cor. 9:21)—we have the law of Christ and it teaches us the truth:

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