Summary: Paul in writing to the church located in Ephesus was interested in the way that they were walking as their walk revealed their attitudes, desires and relationship with Christ.
Stop Walking That Way
Have you ever noticed the difference in how different people walk? Some walk daintily, some slouch, others shuffle their feet, some walk tall, some sprightly. Assuming that the feet and limbs are in good condition, a man's walk will generally reveal his character. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they walk. Paul in writing to the church located in Ephesus was interested in the way that they were walking as their walk revealed their attitudes, desires and relationship with Christ.
"There is a story of the old gardener of Versailles, who was distressed because the courtiers from, the palace constantly tramped over his flower beds and ruthlessly destroyed his seedlings. He went to the king, Louis the Fourteenth, and confided his trouble to his royal master. The king ordered that little tablets--"etiquette"--be neatly arranged along the sides of the flower beds, and a state order was issued ordering all his courtiers to walk carefully within the etiquette. "And so the poor old gardener not only protected the flowers that he loved from the pitiless feet of the high-born vandals, but he enriched our vocabulary with a new and startlingly significant word. The art of life consists in keeping carefully within the ways marked out by the etiquette. (copied)" In Ephesians, Paul tells us that there is a Christian etiquette that God has laid out in His Word that we are to walk within and a way that we are to stop walking.
I Stop walking like the world of unbelievers. vs. 17-19
A Let me paraphrase what Paul is saying in verses 17, "Stop continuing to walk like those who do not believe, whose thoughts are worth nothing."
B In other words stop going along with the crowd.
C Wayne Barber commenting on this verse said that Paul saying ""I have just raised you up to the highest level of understanding that you could possibly get to. Now I am warning you. Don’t you go back and live like you used to live. When you do, sin will take you further than you ever wanted to stray, keep you longer than you ever wanted to stay and cost you more than you ever dreamed you would pay."
D When you become a true Christian, not one just in word, you begin a walk on a new road in a new world leading to a new destination.
E The unregenerate man, the one who has never put his faith and trust in the Lord walks, pursues, and regulates his life and conduct according the dictates of his heart and mind. The only problem with that is according to verse 18-19a "They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous..."
F The unsaved world focuses on empty things which do not matter in the eternal scheme of things rather they focus on things that are self indulgent and self gratifying.
G Paul says that the unsaved walk "in the futility of their mind". The word used for futility in the Greek is the word "mataiotes" which describes the state of being without use or value, empty, futile, purposeless.
H The way the unregenerate world thinks is totally foreign to the way God thinks.
I 1 Corinthians 2:14 "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
J Psalm 1:1a "Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly."
K As in the Newt Testament the word walk in Psalm 1 metaphorically means, “to go along with, follow a course of action,” or “to live, follow a way of life.” It has the idea of “go along with, use, follow.”
L Sadly numerous past Gallop polls which compared those churched individuals claiming to know Christ with the unchurched revealed there was basically no difference in the way they lived their lives.
II Stop acting like we did before we came to Christ
A Ephesians 4:22-23 (ESV) " But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
B Before we came to Christ we based our lives on what we wanted, what satisfied us, what met our needs, what made us feel good, what gave us pleasure.
C Ephesians 2:2 "...you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience"