Summary: We want to change – our selves, our lives, our circumstances, but we can’t seem to find the right change that works. We are constantly seeking to change all the things that seem to be so full of promise but empty of real or lasting results.
THE SUPREME MYSTERY – THE BODY OF CHRIST
ACT II: The Mystery of The Body Unveiled
5. HIS BODY IN MOTION (Eph. 4:17-32)
“Flushed Away.” How true of so many lives! Downward spiral. Starts slowly, builds up speed and suction until a destiny in the sewer becomes unavoidable.
Friends, this is not just a possible scenario, it is the normal scenario that is being played out all around us. Perhaps, even us here this morning feel like we are drowning amidst the pulls of life. We wish we could stay afloat, but there are just so many pressures grabbing us and pulling us down. Our lives spin and spin around until we become disoriented and eventually feel like we have no choice but to just give up and let the swirls of life take us wherever they will. I know that I have felt like that before and remain susceptible to that attitude if I am not careful and grounding myself in Christ.
We want to change – our selves, our lives, our circumstances, but we can’t seem to find the right change that works. We are constantly seeking to change all the things that seem to be so full of promise but empty of real or lasting results.
Turn on the TV or look at the bulletin boards and magazines and time and time again we are inundated with the false message that if we just change our appearance somehow, then everything else in our lives will positively change as well. Experience tells us just how false and even potentially dangerous this lie can be. But the Good News is that there is a “spiritual wardrobe” that we in Christ may put on and everything in our lives really will change for the better! This is the very practical and powerful message of our text this morning.
THE WORD: READ EPHESIANS 4:17-24
I.) DISCOVERING A NEW WALK (4:17-24)
People known by distinctive walks.
Walking requires motion, movement, initiative and action.
A.)POVERTY OF THE OLD WALK (vv. 17-19)
Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts . . .. (v. 17a-b)
Don’t continue to unnecessarily live according to the empty illusions of life and the deception that there is any satisfaction or advantage attained through sin.
Rather, we must remember that, as people who have believed in and committed our lives to Christ, we are born again. The old is dead, the new has come!
Therefore, as we have been changed and transformed, so our attitudes, impulses and behaviors should radically and continually be changing to greater conform to the character of Christ Himself, in whom we have been made new. Quick Testimony: fool to fired for Christ
The old walk (without Christ) is a downward spiral that begins with (vv.17-19):
(1)Hardness Of Heart (vv. 17b-18):
To be without Christ, is to have a heart of stone.
This is an inability or unwillingness to understand and/or respond to God, His Spirit or His truth. There is no feeling of wrongdoing or personal guilt. Hear, hear . . . nothing.
A hard heart inevitably leads to . . .
(2)Darkness Of Heart (v. 18a):
At best, one may able to see “shadows” of the truth, but not the truth revealed in its true and full form. Blind. Unaware. Disoriented and without direction. An inability to perceive moral values. Looking, looking . . . nothing. The result . . .
(3)Deadness (v. 18b):
Without Christ, all are alienated from God, His light, truth and revelation, and His discerning Spirit. Anything is then possible! Darkness becomes light and light becomes darkness. Good becomes evil, and evil becomes good. See Isa. 5:20.
This deadness then births . . .
(4)Recklessness (v. 19):
The imagery is that of one’s skin becoming so callous as to no longer be capable of feeling pain. As an illustration, think of leprosy. Leprosy creates a neurological interference that deadens one’s nerves so that they are incapable of feeling pain in the affected areas. All of the rest of the symptoms are really just the complications that result when one does not feel pain (excessive scratching, scrubbing, burning; ignoring the body’s natural warning system of other problems; open sores left alone, etc.). So it is spiritually to be apart from Christ and His Spirit in our lives!
Nothing hurts, so everything is acceptable. Warning signs are disabled, so dangers go unnoticed and/or ignored. The pain and consequence of sin is no longer felt and, so, there is no restraint. We “live and let live.”
B.)PROSPERITY OF THE NEW WALK (vv. 20-24)
But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, assuming you heard Him and were taught
by Him, because the truth is in Jesus; (vv. 20-21)