Summary: Paul describes the inner workings of a person without Christ.
WHAT DOES A LOST PERSON LOOK LIKE?
· This morning we are going to continue in Ephesians 4, beginning with verse 17. Last week we looked at how important our role in the body of Christ is.
1) We looked at how God is has given to each of us at least one gift for the purpose of ministry in the church.
We saw #1 We are gifted by the Holy Spirit,
#2 Given a Ministry by Christ’s call upon our lives, and
#3 Empowered in the ministry by the hand of God.
2) Last Sunday night we looked at 4:11-16 and saw how God has given special gifts to the church for a purpose of bringing growth in the church. Growth in 4 specific areas:
UNITY KNOWLEDGE MATURITY STATURE
· This morning we are going to consider the condition of a lost person and Paul’s command to the church that we live lives different from the world.
What’s Your Heart Condition?
In 1998 459,841 people or one in every 5 deaths in America were attributed to Coronary Heart Disease. That is how many die. A vital key to defeating heart disease is to determine how many are LIVING with heart problems. That is also key in defeating sin in the church.
1) Paul is writing to a church when he says, ‘WALK NO LONGER JUST LIKE THE WORLD”!
(17) So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk,
· The first thing you notice is that Paul reminds us that this message does not just come from him but from ‘the Lord’. Every wonder what Jesus would say if He came to an average church this Sunday morning.
STOP LIVING LIKE THE WORLD!
1) This is the GREAT PHYSICIAN diagnosis the church’s condition.
· Bible was written to be obeyed and not just studied, James says that we are to be ‘doers of the Word and not hearers only’(1:22)
· GENTILES is Paul’s way of describing the inhabitants of the lost world we live in. We may have so many things in common with them: same office or school, job similarities, family ties but what we live for should be radically different because of our relationship with Christ.
A father of college girl was riding up in the elevator of her dorm to visit her room. While they were riding up, a few other girls in the elevator began to talk about certain girls living with their boyfriends, abortions that had taken place and other forms of depravities that caused the father to blanche.
What type of place had he delivered his daughter to?
When they stepped off the elevator, the daughter spoke to his distress: "It’s ok, dad, they’re just talking about their favorite soap operas."
Those college girls may not have “lived like Gentiles” but they were thinking like Gentiles.
Notice where these college girls were spending their time: In the company of twisted people acting out tales of perversion & self-centeredness. God tells his people: Don’t spend your time with folks like that.
God told His people: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers." Psalms 1:1
Don’t spend time with the WICKED, the SINFUL or the SCORNFUL because you become like the people you spend time with. You learn to think like they do. Or as 1 Corinthians 15:33 says: “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’”
Young boy caught a sparrow and decided to teach it to talk like a parrot. He put in a cage already inhabited by 3 other parrots and waited.
After a day or so he checked by and found that the sparrow had learned a thing but the 3 parrots were now chirping like a sparrow.
· What does Paul say is so bad about a lost person? What is so negative?
THE CONDITION OF THEIR MINDS (17) ….walk in the futility of their mind, (18) being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them,
· Interesting that Paul does not start with their actions but with their thinking. The place for a Christian to recognize his similarities with ‘the gentiles’ is by the way he thinks. The thought life.
1) Am I adopting the world’s philosophies for life
2) Am I holding the same system of values
3) Am I working for the same goals, motivated by the same motivations?
Criminals come from all walks of life: rich, poor, black, white, educated, uneducated. Background makes little difference. However the common link between them all is a thinking pattern
1. PAULS SAYS THEIR THINKING IS EMPTY walk in the futility of their minds