Ephesians 4:17-32, September 15, 2019
Old Man, New Man, & Conduct
4:4-6 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
4:11-12 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
4:15-16 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. ESV
4:17-19 OLD MAN. Are you ashamed of your faith, your belief? Are you embarrassed? Do you hide your faith, your belief? Do you avoid talking about it? Even when asked? Do you try so hard to fit in you are indistinguishable from non-believers?
If this is you STOP. You are different. Your faith, your belief makes you different, very different. You are a rebel! You know you will die and you will go to heaven. That is your faith, your belief … all driven by a man on a cross who died for your sins and then rose from the dead on the third day. A man we owe a debt to so enormous we cannot pay it back. We can only accept it with great humbleness. And if anyone asks – His name is Jesus.
4:20-24 NEW MAN. You know you are a new person and you can no longer behave the way you used to behave because that is not the way of life you learned! Because of what you heard about Christ and were taught in Him you have died to your old life and are now living a new, brand new, life. Paul reminds you that You were taught, to put off your old self and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
You must go through the process of getting rid of the old you much as you would get rid of old clothes that were part of the old you and put other clothes on reflecting the new you.
Jesus embodied this very idea after He raised Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11:44
4:25-28 NEW MAN’s CONDUCT-1.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. No more lying!
26 “In your anger do not sin”* Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. (*From Psalm 4:4a Tremble and in your anger do not sin)
No more acting out in anger. No more harboring anger looking for ways to cause hurt … giving the devil a foothold.
28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, No more stealing. No more!
but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Work, be useful, not simply to get, but so you can share, you can give. What a change for a thief!
4:29-32 NEW MAN’s CONDUCT-2.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
We know what unwholesome talk is. Beyond often being filthy it often consists of hurtful gossip. Change!
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
The Holy Spirit testifies about Jesus, does your behavior?
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Do not let your emotions control you and take you places you do not want to go.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Jesus is the standard we seek to emulate. We should be ashamed when we do not forgive.
Remember my questions last Sunday? 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. How in the world am I supposed to do that? How am I to live a life worthy of the calling I have received? Paul has provided the answer, simple and straight forward. We are to put the old man to death by changing our conduct as the new man.