Summary: A study on Ephesians 4:17-32, this is the third in a series on how to clean up our lives by stopping what’s wrong, changing our thinking, and starting to do what’s right.
We have been in a series of messages on Spring Cleaning. In keeping with that tone, I would like to offer for your amusement this morning a letter I received to help with your spring cleaning. Do any of you have cats?
How To Clean A Cat
1. Thoroughly clean the toilet. 2. Add the required amount of shampoo to the toilet water, and have both lids lifted. 3. Obtain the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom. 4. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids. You may need to stand on the lid so that he cannot escape. CAUTION: Do not get any part of your body too close to the edge, as his paws will be reaching out for any purchase they can find. 5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a ’’powerwash and rinse’’ which I have found to be quite effective. 6. Have someone to open the door to the outside and ensure that there are no people between the toilet and the outside door. 7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids. 8. The now-clean cat will rocket out of the toilet, and run outside where he will dry himself. Sincerely, the Dog
Just as we need to clean our houses, and our pets, we need to clean our lives as well. We’ve seen that it is easy to keep and store a lot of junk—and it all has to go. Lynelle is going to be grateful when this series is over so we can finally get rid of this t-shirt, but remember? We keep a lot of junk, and as we’ve seen in the first two messages, it all has to go!
I like the Message paraphrase of Ephesians 4:22—“Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything--and I do mean everything--connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it!”
But last week we saw that it isn’t enough to just get rid of something. You see, not only do we need to get rid of the junk of the old life, we’ve got to fill it with the treasure of the new life. Verse 24 tells us to “Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
We can do this because of the Holy Spirit, who works in us. Romans 8: 12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. We cannot do it on our own—we need the help of the Spirit. And all of those who are sons of God have the Spirit of God in their lives.
Someone once wrote, “The children of God have the Spirit of God to help them become like the Son of God.”
How do we accomplish this—by renewing our mind. Verse 23—“Be made new in the attitude of your minds.”
You say that this seems to be impossible. You can’t do it—you don’t even know where to begin. Well, God has not given you an impossible task and then left you to do it on your own. Remember 2 Peter 1:3-4?
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.