Summary: As Christ followers Paul instructs us how to walk and life a Christ honoring life. There are certain things we are to "put off" and certain things we are to "put on."
The Lifestyle of Christ Followers
For all Christ followers the Bible sets certain standards of living. Ephesians 5:15 says, “Be careful how you walk – not as unwise but as wise making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”
When walking it is important to see where you are going. To not get off the path you need to have your mind engaged. How you ever been traveling and lost track of where you were? Carollyn and I will often be talking while on an expressway and before we know it we have gone past our exit. We forgot to focus and pay attention to the highway signs.
I recently read about a prosperous executive whose work required frequent travel. He decided to buy his own plane. He took flying lessons and was soon quite comfortable with his more convenient transportation. After a few years he decided to purchase a pontoon plane so he could fly back and forth from his beautiful summer home on the lake.
On his first flight in his new plane, he forgetfully started to head for the airport landing strip, just as he had always done. Luckily, his wife was with him and when she saw what he was doing, she chirped, "Pull up, George, pull up! You can’t land on a runway. You have pontoons! You don’t have wheels!"
Looking flushed and humbled, the businessman quickly hit the throttle and veered off toward the lake. Landing safely in the still blue water, he shook his head ruefully and said, "I don’t know where my mind was. I just wasn’t thinking. That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done."
Then he opened the door and stepped out into the lake.
Actually if you are a bit absent-minded, pat yourself on the back. It simply means that you are preoccupied with great thoughts. Albert Einstein was so absentminded that he once used a $1,500 Rockefeller Foundation check as a bookmark and then lost the book. Just tell people you are another Einstein if they wonder why you have misplaced your glasses, keys or cell phone for the thousandth time.
As a Christ followers Paul instructs you on how to walk and live your life. When you honor Christ in your life Paul says there are certain things you put off and certain things you put on. Paul says in II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
Ephesians 4:25-32 the Apostle Paul lists the lifestyle of Christ followers. He first lists the things that you put off.
I. Put off the lifestyle of this Godless world.
Don’t live like the Godless Gentiles. (Ephesians 4:17-19)
All people including Gentiles who separate themselves from God drift farther and farther from God and become calloused and spiritually dead due to the hardening of their hearts. Hard hearts spiral downward until people lose all sensitivity to spiritual things and give themselves over to sensuality to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
When people have a hardness of heart they refuse to respond to the truth of God.
Spiritual blindness and darkness is seen in the life of occult leader Shirley MacLaine when she stands on Malibu beach with her arms reaching up to the sky shouting, “I am God! I am God! I am God!
Paul declares that this old lifestyle of sensual living with all its self-centeredness, corrupt and deceitful living is put off.
Put off Lying and all falsehood. (Eph. 4:25) Why do we lie and not tell the truth. We start by telling little white lies to cover up our mistakes. We don’t want to admit the truth because the truth may make us look stupid. Exodus 20:16 the commandment is given, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Eph. 4:15 says we are to “speak the truth in love.”
There are some things better left unspoken. To “speak the truth in love” means you are careful what you say. When you speak the truth to hurt rather than to help then you need to not say any thing at all. As Christ followers we are to put off all lying and making false statements and speak the truth in love.
Put off sinful anger. (Ephesians 4:26, 31) All anger isn’t sinful. “In you anger do not sin.” Jesus has his anger under control as he made a whip of cords and drove out the merchants who were desecrating the temple area. He said they were making the temple of God a den of thieves when it needs to be a “House of Prayer.”
You need to get angry and disturbed against injustices and sin. God doesn’t want you to retreat and hid away in some little cabin. God wants you to fight the good fight of faith. Get involved in fighting sin and injustices.