Summary: Christians should not be living like the rest of the world.
Walk This Way, Talk This Way
Text: Ephesians 4:17-19
By: Ken McKinley
A country farmer and his son came to the city for the first time. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but were especially awe struck by the elevator. Neither of them had ever seen one before. The boy asked his father, “What is that father?” The old man just shook his head as he continued to watch as an old lady with a cane walked into the elevator. The doors shut and a few seconds later a young, beautiful woman came walking out of the elevator. The farmer looked at his son and said, “Son, I don’t know what it is, but go get your mamma.” (Taken from a Sermon heard by Chuck Swindoll)
I think there are times in our lives when we would all like to change something about ourselves. There are at least 20 different brands of diet pills in the Woodward Wal-Mart pharmacy. Plastic surgery is a multi-million dollar industry, gym memberships are too. We live in a world that promises of change are often made, but they are rarely kept. Just watch a few TV commercials where you might hear someone promise to restore lost hair, remove unwanted pounds, hide wrinkles, and we won’t even get into some of the other things commercials promise. And so we live in a world that promises change, and many people want to change something, and they want to do it as quickly as possible. They want a magic pill that makes them whatever they want to be or do. But our desire for change isn’t just physical. We might have certain character issues that we struggle with, or financial issues, or marital issues, or even spiritual issues. Many people and I would even dare say that some within this church struggle with certain issues of faith and of living out our faith in a consistent manner.
Well if you remember; last time we talked about how God expects a change in us. He expects us to mature, to grow up. There should be progress in our Christian walk. But how do we do it? How do we get from where we are, to where we need to be?
Well; before we learn how change happens, we need to look at why it doesn’t.
Paul starts this passage with the command of the Law. He says, “You should no longer live like the rest of the world does.”
If you’ve been with us at the start of this study of Ephesians then maybe you’ll remember that the first half of the letter talks about what God has done, Paul focused a lot on God’s grace and mercy. Now in light of that, in light of the Spirit of God indwelling the people of God, here is how you are to live.
Now Paul’s command to no longer walk as the Gentiles walk assumes that we are walking as the Gentiles walk, it assumes that we do have struggles. So what is it that makes it so hard to live like Jesus? Verse 17 tells us that Gentiles walk in the futility of their minds. Paul doesn’t begin with external, outward behaviors. He doesn’t say that the problems in Ephesus have to do with the environment, or upbringing (like so many psychologists and sociologists would say today). No; he says the problem is with a persons mind. The word “mind” used here, literally encompasses the reason, the understanding, the conscience, and the affections of a person.