Summary: A study on Ephesians 4:17-32, this is the first of a series on how to clean up our lives by stopping what’s wrong, changing our thinking, and starting to do what’s right.
This Friday, Lynelle and I finally got to go golfing for the first time this year. And guess what? I beat her! I also got my 2nd par ever!
This got me thinking. What if I played against Tiger Woods (the best golf player in the world today) and beat him? What if he had an off day, and I had a great day? What if I beat him, and instead of telling everyone, I went home as if nothing happened?
Imagine that the most important thing that could possibly happen in your life happens, but afterward, nothing changes.
You graduate from college, but instead of going out and getting a job, you just go home and continue to live with Mom and Dad, getting an allowance, and years later at the age of 40, still having a curfew.
Graduation day comes and goes – and nothing changes.
You finally get that promotion. But instead of going to your new office with its corner window and beautiful view of Biscayne Bay, you go to your same old cubical down in the basement.
Promotion day comes and goes – and nothing changes.
You get married, and after the wedding service, the bride goes home to her parents and the groom goes home to his parents.
It’s ridiculous to think that these things might actually happen, because these are events that change things.
Imagine Jesus being crucified. He is put in a grave. Buried. But then he is resurrected. He comes to life. He lives again.
It would be ridiculous to think of living through Easter and then having nothing change.
What would have happened if after Christ’s resurrection, Peter had gone back to his fishing boat and lived out his life?
What would have happened if all of the disciples just went back to their old way of life?
What would have happened if none of the Gospels had been written.
The resurrection of Christ was not the type of event that you celebrate once, but doesn’t change your life.
It demands a change in your life.
The Resurrection of Christ validates everything that the Gospel claims about Christ, and it verifies everything that Christ requires of us.
You cannot come in here and celebrate Easter and then go out unchanged.
It is possible to come in here and celebrate Easter and then have nothing change. But that is like graduating college, and then staying at home, getting the allowance, and living under Mom and Dad’s curfew.
It’s absurd, but it happens.
Easter makes a difference.
So why do we live as it doesn’t make a difference? If Christ is truly raised from the dead, that should make all the difference in the world.
The topic of today’s sermon is Spring Cleaning—Getting Rid of Your Old Junk. I have with me a genuine article of junk. (SHOW T-SHIRT). Every once in a while, Lynelle will go through my clothes and try and throw stuff out. Now I know that no one here has ever done that with their spouses clothes, have they? But there comes a time when the Old junk has to go. Yet we hold onto it—for some of us it holds a special value. Sometimes its just a comfortable t-shirt, or shoes. Sometimes its an old memorabilia item that’s fallen apart. Maybe it’s a piece of junk that you picked up somewhere in hopes of one day restoring it.
But when it comes to our lives, we hold on to the junk of our previous lives. We hold onto the sins and pleasures of this world, and we don’t let go. And even though we say that the cross and the resurrection make all the difference in the world, we still hold on to that junk. That old familiar sin, the pride, the hate, the fear, the worry, the pessimism. It’s all junk, but we don’t let it go. We hold onto the junk, when we can live so much better in our lives.
READ EPHESIANS 4:17-24
Let’s go back to verse 17. One translation puts it this way: “17With the Lord’s authority let me say this: Live no longer as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused.”
A mother and her four-year-old son were looking through an old family photo album. The boy pointed at a picture of a handsome young man with dark, curly hair. He asked, "Who’s that?" She told him, "That’s your father." The boy looked confused. "Then who is that bald guy who lives with us now?"
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.