Summary: Study in Ephesians about how our life needs to change when we encounter Christ.
Note: This is a study through the book of Ephesians as done in 1995. One of the main sources I used at the time was Beacon Bible Commentary vol. 9.
Title: Changing clothes
Theme: Cleaning out our lives is important
Text: Eph 4:17-32
Materials needed: Old T-shirt, work pants, overcoat, running shoes
In the early church when a new convert would get saved tradition says that they would be taught for a little while then they would be baptized. They would be taught the truths of the church and the Christian walk and if they still accept it they would be baptized. Now the way they were baptized was different than today. First they would find a stream, lake or pond (obviously they didn't have the nice, clean, warm baptismals we have in some churches) then they would stand at one end and prepare to be baptized. Upon their turn they would take all their clothes off and enter into the water. The rite would be preformed and they would climb out and put on new clothes. Now I don't know if this applied to all the churches but I want to use it tonight as an illustration.
I want to talk about cleaning out our closet. But first I would like to pray.
Many of us have closets that need to be cleaned out. We have old clothes that either don't fit or just plain worn out. But we also have spiritual closets that we need to clean. The closets in our lives that need to be redone. Let us look at some of these.
I. Old over coat.
How about that old over coat that you may have? The one that you have been keeping for years although you never wear it. Maybe it is full of memories but it don't fit. Many people pull out this over coat. The world pull out this over coat even Christians if we are not careful can pull out this overcoat.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.
The overcoat represents lying. Not begging truthful of the situation but covering it over with something. Maybe sugar coating it or total deception.
Now most of us would say we don't lie. Generally we don't. Even the world knows it is wrong and feels it is better to tell the truth.
But what about the philosophy of the non-Christian. Isn't it a lie. Let us see if we can sum it up in this statement: "Life is supposed to be fun and entertaining for me; anything that makes it easier or more fun is good, and anything that makes it harder or more boring or less fun is bad." If you don't believe me look at the commercials that we see or hear. Ie mentioned one Wednesday night that had to do with the Georgia lottery. We see it from pants to perfume to panty hose to popcorn. From beer to beverages to . And it sells. It tells you how much fun life is if you take care of yourself. "Eat, drink and be merry".
As we know it is a lie that covers up the truth that will eventually happen. All is unless we follow Christ.
And as I said it can affect the Christian. We can get caught in the money trap, in the pleasure trap, in the fun trap, in the entertain me trap. Forgeting all about what we are here for and the purpose of it all.
Paul’s instruction is: speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Speak the truth. Listen to your fellow brothers and sisters we are in this together and against each other but for each other.
II. Old running shoes
They say that running or walking shoes after a while they get worn down and it is time to replace them. It is important that we replace the old shoes if not it could make our feet or may cause other problems. I think that this is similar to what Paul is saying here in verse 26 of Ephesians 4
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
We are to be angry. Anger is good under certain circumstances. As I told you Wednesday night about all the martyrs that were killed for the cause of Christianity if you were to read the book and see the heartless people who passed judgment on these innocent people you would probably be angry. How about the serial murders? or Drive by shootings or even that guy who cut you off in the parking lot. That makes you angry. Some of it may be reasonable and justifiable and Paul does not say it is wrong. But he does give us guidelines.