Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Believers are alive in Christ not dead in sins; so here in the scriptures say, that we are to "Put aside the old man – who is ruled by the flesh, and by sin. Then we are to put on the new man who is ruled by God. Or as one commentator says, “take off the

Opening illustration: A young boy knocked at the studio door of an Italian artist who had died. When it was opened, he explained, “Please, madam, will you give me the master’s brush?”

The boy, who had a passionate longing to be an artist, wished for the great master’s touch. The woman placed the brush in the boy’s hand and invited him to try.

He made a supreme effort but soon found he could paint no better with that brush than with his own. The woman then said, “Remember, you cannot paint like the great master unless you have his spirit.”

So too, people who have never been born again are doomed to disappointment and failure when they attempt to live in a way that pleases God. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit, they cannot do it.

Perhaps you have experienced the new birth and you have Christ’s Spirit living within you, yet you feel so powerless. The reason may be that though you have all of His Spirit, His Spirit does not have all of you. All your ambitions and desires must be submitted to His control.

The greatness of the power and effectiveness of your service for Christ is in exact proportion to the measure of your surrender to Christ.

Let us turn to Ephesians 4 in God’s Word and see how we could pursue to be in the likeness of our master.

Introduction: The Bible was written to be obeyed, and not simply studied, and that is why in this second half of Ephesians the Apostle Paul takes what he told us in the first three chapters and tells us - what to do about it. Follow his flow with me. First he says "Here is what Christ has done for you.” Then he says: “In the light of this, here is what we ought to do for Christ."

The bible says, we are to be doers of the word, and not hearers only. So in our text today the Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians: “Because of what Jesus has done, you need to live differently than the world.” “You need to walk in purity / you need to live in purity.”

Believers are alive in Christ not dead in sins; so here in the scriptures say, that we are to "Put aside the old man – who is ruled by the flesh, and by sin. Then we are to put on the new man who is ruled by God. Or as one commentator says, “take off the grave-clothes and put on the grace-clothes!”

How can we be like our master?

1. Unlike the World (vs. 17-19)

(a) Faith in Christ demands a radical change in the lifestyle of the believer from the way he once behaved. The words “no longer” and “also” indicate that Paul’s readers once lived the way they are now to renounce and reject. Paul’s command is to cease living the way they used to live and to live in a way that glorifies God.

(b) This command deals with the Christian’s new relationship to the world. Once, as a part of the world system, we were alienated from God and strangers to His kingdom. Now, as those in Christ, we are citizens of God’s kingdom and members of His body, but we have become strangers and pilgrims to this world (see Hebrews 11:13-16; 1 Peter 1:1; 2:11).

(c) This command deals with the Christian’s relationship to the culture in which they live. While the Ephesians saints once lived like Gentile heathen, their fellow-Ephesians still do live this way. This may very well result in the persecution of the Gentile saints, since their godliness poses a threat to the sinful ways of their peers (see 1 Peter 4:1-6). But in addition there will be considerable pressure on the Gentile believers to continue to live as they used to.

Paul does more than to simply command his readers to cease living like unbelievers; he commands them not to conduct themselves as their unbelieving Gentile peers. Why didn’t Paul command the Ephesian saints not to live like the unbelieving Jews? Because these Gentile saints were a part of the Gentile culture. It was this culture which threatened to influence them to live as they formerly did. The “world” is, to a great extent, the culture in which we live, which seeks to pressure us to conform to its values, standards, goals, and conduct. The “world” which most influences us is the culture in which we have grown up.

Christianity, Paul implies, often runs across the grain of our culture, and thus we must determine to follow Christ and to cease to march to the drum of the world in which we live. Peer pressure contrary to God’s will and His Word is to be expected and rejected by the Christian, in order that he or she may walk worthy of the calling with which we have been called (4:1).

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