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Summary: Paul draws a stark contrast between believers and unbelievers. I would like to look at these contrasts and preach on the subject “Removing The Old From Your New Life”

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Removing The Old From Your New Life -Part I

Ephesians 4:17-24

A story is told of a young girl who accepted Christ as her Savior and applied for membership in a local church. "Were you a sinner before you received the Lord Jesus into your Life?" inquired an old deacon. "Yes, sir," she replied. "Well, are you still a sinner?" "To tell you the truth, I feel I'm a greater sinner than ever." "Then what real change have you experienced?" "I don't quite know how to explain it," she said, "except I used to be a sinner running after sin, but now that I am saved. I'm a sinner running from sin!" -Source: Our Daily Bread.

Unfortunately, there are many who have not learned the lesson that this little girl grasped so well. They may no longer be running to sin, but they are not running from it either!

In our selected text Paul tells his readers to “Put off the old man” and to “put on the new man” There are many verses in the Bible that point to a change after salvation. ...The Christian life is a changed life!

John Newton (who penned Amazing Grace) once said “I am not what I might be, I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I wish to be, I am not what I hope to be. But I thank God I am not what I once was, and I can say with the great apostle, By the grace of God I am what I am”

In verses 17-23 Paul draws a stark contrast between believers and unbelievers. I would like to look at these contrasts and preach on the subject “Removing The Old Things From Your New Life”

Verse 17 begins with “therefore” ...This refers us back to the previous text.

There are some benefits mentioned in the first 16 verses of this chapter.

Verse 1 tells us that we have been “called by God”

Verse 3 tells us that we are “united in the Spirit”

Verse 6 tells us that the “Lord is over all and living in us”

Verse 7 tells us that He has given us “spiritual gifts”

Verse 16 speaks of the “unity in the body”

These are just a few of the glorious truths found in this chapter. But what is the “Therefore” … there for?

Paul is saying that because of these benefits we are not to live like those who are lost.

We are to walk in a manner that is different from the world around us.We are to walk in a manner different than we walked before Christ.

There are 2 subjects revealed in this text that I would like to consider:

1) The Condition Of Unbelievers - Part I

2) The Counsel For Believers - Part II

We will only have time to consider the first of the two this morning.

I. The Condition Of Unbelievers

Paul says the believer is not to “walk as other Gentiles walk”. There are some clear distinctions between the saved and the lost. Consider:

A. The Condition Of The Unbeliever’s Mind - v17 ¶This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them,

Let’s begin with the phrase “walk in the vanity of their minds.” - The word “vanity” means “futility, emptiness, that which is wasted on nothing.”

Have you ever noticed that the unbeliever lives an empty life? Their time is consumed with the superficial. You can tell a lot about a person by the subject matter involved their conversation. Matthew 12:34 …out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. The lost (and unfortunately many carnal Christians) are infatuated with the things of this world. The lost man has a void in his life and will see to fill that void with: Sports …Recreation …Hobbies & time with friends, etc. There is nothing wrong with these things but they will never fill that void in your life. Also, many believers will seek to attain treasures in this life.

Lost man is often consumed with building his own kingdom. (Matthew 6:21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.) The unbeliever lives an empty life because his mind is corrupted by sin that dwells within.

Notice the phrase “their understanding is darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them” - He is saying that the lost live in “a state of spiritual darkness and ignorance” toward the things of God.

The unbeliever is:

a) Unresponsive to the things of God.

b) Unmoved by the truth.

c) Unfazed by right and wrong.

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