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Summary: There are five areas of the Christian’s life that must be different from the world’s.

What’s the Difference?

Ephesians 4:17-32

I’m always amazed at deer hunters. It is my understanding that deer are color blind, right? If that is true, then why do you wear the camouflage clothes along with a large orange vest? I’ve asked many hunters this question and have been told that the camouflage enables you to blend in with your surroundings. If that logic is true, then as “hunters” of men, should we blend in with our surroundings when we are stalking our prey? What’s the difference? If we are to reach men for Christ, shouldn’t we be like them? Paul said, “I’ve become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.” Is this what Paul had in mind? I don’t think so. If our behavior is to match our belief, then we must be different, so different that the world notices. How are we to be different?

1. We are to THINK differently from the world.

a. The lost live according to the futility of their minds.

b. The unsaved man’s thinking is futile because his mind has been darkened—2 Cor. 4:3-6

c. They are ignorant—Romans 1:22

d. Their hearts are hardened to God—callous—Romans 1:23ff

e. The unsaved man is dead because of his spiritual ignorance—truth and life go together—just as belief and behavior

f. The saved person cannot pattern himself after the unsaved—we didn’t learn Christ this way.

g. Salvations begins with repentance—a changing of the mind—in the way we think

h. The whole way we think changes when we come to Jesus—the old self has been cast off

i. We are to be renewed in the spirit of our minds—putting on the new self, which is in the likeness of God—created in righteousness and holiness of the truth

j. Do you understand these things? If not, the Bible talks about you, 1 Cor. 2:14.

k. Physically you are what you eat; spiritually, you are what you think—Prov. 23:7

We are to think differently from the world if we are in Christ Jesus.

2. We are to TALK differently from the world.

a. The unsaved lie because they are children of the devil—the father of lies—John 8:44

b. Christians are to speak the truth—for we are members of one another—we wouldn’t lie to ourselves would we?

c. Christians should be known in their community as honest, reliable people who can be trusted.

d. Fellowship is built on trust, so falsehood undermines fellowship.

e. We are not to let any unwholesome word come out of our mouths—v. 29.

f. The mouth and the heart are connected. Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”

g. The word “unwholesome” literally means “rotten.” This doesn’t just mean foul language.

h. Sometimes we may join in when others are talking about things we know we shouldn’t be talking about.

i. Sometimes we may even say things around the unsaved in order for them to think that we are really different from them. “I go to church, but I’m really not religious.” “I leave that stuff to the preachers.”

j. Sometimes our words hurt, insult, divide.

k. As Christians, our words should edify or build up, comfort, encourage.

As Christians our talk should be that of grace and not the gutter.

3. We are to TRANSACT our lives differently from the world.

a. Paul began our text with the exhortation to not walk as the unbelievers do. Christians are to conduct their lives differently.

b. In verses 26-32 Paul tells us how we should transact our daily lives. He hits at the heart of where we live.

c. He allows us to be angry, but not sin. There is an anger that Christians are supposed to have.

d. Anger is an emotional arousal cause by something that displeases us. When our anger smolders it becomes malice. When malice explodes it becomes wrath.

e. Paul says that we are not to let our anger smolder. Jesus said that anger is the first step toward murder—Matt. 5:21-26.

f. Our anger gives the devil a foothold in our lives to destroy us. Anger is divisive

g. Anger than is unresolved brings about bitterness. Bitterness leads to clamor and slander.

h. What should we be angry about? Our sin. The sin of the world. Those that compromise their convictions.

In our anger, we are not to sin, not to let the sun go down on our anger, and not to let the devil have an opportunity to destroy our fellowship.

4. We are to TOIL differently from the world.

a. Do not steal is the 8th commandment. Just as Satan is a liar, he is also a thief.

b. Stealing hurts others, therefore as Christians, we must look to the opposite of stealing—working.

c. The way the unsaved person works, is to take care of himself and his family. This is not a sin—it is a noble thing to do.

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