Summary: A brief study of Ephesians 4:22-24, how one needs to get rid of their old sinful self, and become a new creation in Christ.
Message: Out with the Old and In with the New.
This morning we are going to take a look into a small portion of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. This letter is somewhat different than some of Paul’s other writing. This book has three main themes, the believers position through grace, the truth concerning the body of Christ; and the walk in accordance with our position within the body of Christ; the Church.
The portion that we are going to look at today is from chapter 4 verses 22 thru 24. I am also changing gears a little this morning, in that I will be reading this passage from the Good News Translation of the Bible. I chose this translation because of the plain language and it cuts right to the point.
Ephesians 4: 22-24
So get rid of your old self, which makes you live as you used to- the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new. You must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness, and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.
Lets look at this passage one verse at a time. Verse 22 starts off; “so get rid of your old self.” That is a pretty blunt command. Why do we need to do that? Then it goes on to tell us why; “which made you live as you used to- the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires.” WOW!!! It sounds like “old self” is a pretty bad actor. Well “old self” is pretty bad it the eyes of the Lord, lets take a look at the reasons.
Paul says our “old self” was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Why does “old self have these desires? The answer to that questions lies in the “Spirit of the World,” remember this “spirit” we will talk more about him later. I will tell you this, we all know this “spirit,” it is a new name, but the same old bad character, we all probably know him better as Satan. Our “old self” has known him ever since the Garden of Eden. Romans 5:12 tells us; “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Adam was the one that brought sin into a world near you!!! Seriously sin entered the world through Adam, and that sin nature has been passed on from generation to generation ever since. Sin is destroying our “old self,” and preventing us from having a relationship with Jesus Christ.
How can we beat this sin that is destroying our “ old self?” Some people think that they can do it on their own; some just think they never have done anything that would be considered a sin the first place. Here is what Paul had to say on that topic in his letter to the Romans, chapter 3 verse 10, “as it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one,” and he continues on in verse 23, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” I am a sinner, and if you think your not, you better stop and take a good hard look in the mirror, because I have some bad news for you!!!!
So how do we ditch this “old self,” and the sin it brings along with it? Here comes the best part, I just wish I could have saved it for last. Jesus took care of our sin on the cross 2000 years ago. (Silence…) Let me repeat that, our sin, mine and yours, died on the cross at Calvary with Jesus Christ 2000 years ago. Isn’t it amazing how much our God loves us? Some people have a hard time with this concept, but it is really quite simple, if you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then your sin is dead, period. We are dead to sin and alive to God.
Now we all know the nice woman up the road, she always has something nice to say, always supports the kids around town with fund raising, even cooks diner for the elderly gentleman next door. She lives a pretty “good” life; surely she is free from sin, especially because she works so hard. Paul also addresses this person in Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 and 9; “for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” We are saved from sin, saved from death, but only because God gives that gift to those who believe…
Okay now that we have this all straight, we are all sinners, we know that our sin died on the cross with Jesus, that takes care of that, so lets get rid of that sinful “old self.” The prophet Isaiah tells us in chapter 64 verse 6; “but we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteous nesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Our “old self” is an “unclean thing” a “filthy rag,” and there is only one way to become “clean” again, and that is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.