Summary: What does true holiness look like?
Exegetical Idea: Paul instructs the church on living in holiness.
Hook: Lindsay Clegg told the story of a warehouse property he was selling. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and strewn trash around the interior.
As he showed a prospective buyer the property, Clegg took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage.
"Forget about the repairs," the buyer said. "When I buy this place, I'm going to build something completely different. I don't want the building; I want the site."
Compared with the renovation God has in mind, our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse slated for the wrecking ball. When we become God's, the old life is over (2 Cor. 5:17). He makes all things new. All he wants is the site and the permission to build.
Ian L. Wilson
Reveal the need: By the show of hands how many of you this morning are satisfied with only just getting
to heaven. Is there an area in your life that you can maximize your potential living in God? Are you just satisfied with only being justified by faith? It seems carnality living is more profitable than living for God. The truth of the matter is many of us have struggle with fully turning our lives over to Christ. In fact, if we are not careful we can back slide into our old nature. As a result we limit our full potential for growth and development in Christ. I want to share with you this morning what the new life looks like, if we follow Paul’s practical observation concerning the new life, the new love, the new learning, and the new living. If we apply these practical instructions we too can experience true holiness in Christ. This morning we will expound on the new life in the believer.
So turn with me now to Ephesians chapter 4: let’s observe vs. 20-25
Now let me remind you that this church had no sense of their sin, or of the misery and danger of their case by means of it; whereupon they gave themselves over unto lasciviousness. They indulged themselves in their filthy lusts; and, yielding themselves up to the dominion of these, they became the slaves and drudges of sin and the devil, working all uncleanness with greediness. They made it their common practice to commit all sorts of uncleanness, and even the most unnatural and monstrous sins, and that with insatiable desires. So what Paul teaches in his exhortation by discovering what the new life look like?
I. The truth Vs, 20-21
Vs. 20, “You did not learn Christ in this way “It may be read, but you not so; you have learned Christ. Those who have learned Christ are saved from the darkness and defilement which others lie under. This may be understood two ways: either, "You have been taught the real truth, as held forth by Christ himself, both in his doctrine and in his life.’’ Or thus, "The truth has made such an impression on your hearts, in your measure, as it did upon the heart of Jesus.’’ The truth of Christ then appears in its beauty and power when it appears as in Jesus. They are obliged to live in a better manner than others. It is a good argument against sin that we have not so learned Christ. Learn Christ! Is Christ a book, a lesson, a way, a trade?
The meaning is, "You have not so learned Christianity—the doctrines of Christ and the rules of life prescribed by him. Not so as to do as others do. If so be, or since, that you have heard him (v. 21), have heard his doctrine preached by us, and have been taught by him, inwardly and effectually, by his Spirit.’’ Christ is the lesson; we must learn Christ: and Christ is the teacher; we are taught by him. As the truth is in Jesus! The apostle Paul exhorts them to lay aside everything pertaining to their former course of life, and to become wholly conformed to the principles of the new man. Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
II. The Change 22-25
VS. 22, that you put off the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; vs, 24-25. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Vs. wherefore putting away lying, speaking every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members on of another. The principles, habits, and dispositions of the soul must be changed, before there can be a saving change of the life. There must be sanctification, which consists of these two things :—( 1.) The old man must be put off. The corrupt nature is called a man, because, like the human body, it consists of diver’s parts, mutually supporting and strengthening one another. It is the old man, as old Adam, from whom we derive it. It is bred in the bone, and we brought it into the world with us. It is subtle as the old man; but in all God’s saints decaying and withering as an old man, and ready to pass away. It is said to be corrupt; for sin in the soul is the corruption of its faculties: and, where it is not mortified, it grows daily worse and worse, and so tends to destruction.