25
Sep
2014

EPHESIANS 4:30-5:1 GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT AND IMITATE GOD

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Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.

 Why be concerned about putting off the "old man" and putting on the "new man"?

When Christians act like the "old man", it grieves the Holy Spirit

By the Holy Spirit we were sealed for the day of redemption - cf. Ep 1:13-14

Did you know that the Holy Spirit can get sad? That's what grieve means.

We are to exchange natural vices for supernatural graces

Eph 4:31 Negative Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

Therefore, we ought to put away those things befitting the "old man" (bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, malice)

It's all relational here.

He's not talking so much about your relation to God in this whole passage, it's how you relate to people because the body is the concept here in this book.

Eph 4:32 Positive And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, Reason just as God in Christ forgave you.

You say - Oh man, but you don't know what they did to me, I have a right to be angry. They've never changed and I'm bitter. And when I see that guy I'm going to clamor (yell). And meanwhile I'm going to evil speak (speak evil about them). And I've got a right. Look what he did to me.

And that's just why verse 32 ends the way it does. "Even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Look at Ephesians 5:1 now, it's a command, be imitators of God, it's not a suggestion, it's a command. And sure you have to start from the point of sinfulness and sure you have to start from the fact that you can't do it, but that doesn't change the command. You've got to be what you can't be. That's where the Spirit of God comes in.

The whole of the Christian life could be summed up in that one statement, be mimics of God, that's it. Reproduce in you everything that is true of God. In other words the whole of the Christian life is summed up in this, be imitators of God, be like God. If you're fumbling around trying to get a handle on what God wants out of you it's that.

CONCLUSION

1. What a contrast there would be if all those in the church truly carried out the admonition to "Walk In Truth And Holiness"!

2. Brethren, are we "grieving the Holy Spirit of God"?

18
Sep
2014

EPHESIANS 4:25-29 PUT OFF THE OLD MAN AND PUT ON THE NEW MAN PART 2

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Eph 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. 26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Number one, you exchange lying for speaking truth.

Eph 4:25 Negative Therefore, putting away lying, Positive"Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," Reason for we are members of one another.

      1. The "old man" thinks nothing of lying

      2. The "new man" puts away lying, and in its place speaks truth with his neighbor (especially to those who are members of the same body)

The "old man" gets angry and lets it linger, or get out of control

The "new man" may get angry, but does not...Let it linger ("do not let the sun go down on your wrath"

Reason Eph 4:27 nor give place to the devil.

Allow it to prompt sinful behavior ("nor give place to the devil")

"Horace was right when he said, 'Anger is momentary insanity.' . . .

"'Anyone can become angry,' wrote Aristotle.'But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way—this is not easy.'"

Second, you exchange unrighteous anger for righteous anger.

Eph 4:26 " Positive Be angry, Negative and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

3rd you are to exchange stealing for sharing.

Eph 4:28 Negative Let him who stole steal no longer, Positive but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, Reason that he may have something to give him who has need.

1. The "old man" is willing to steal

Instead of stealing, work so you can give to other people. In other words, be a Robin Hood, only without the stealing part. Instead of stealing to get, work to give. Great thought.

Three features of the speech of the new man, verse 28.

You can tell a lot about somebody's heart by what comes out of their mouth.

Psalm 141:3 says: "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth and keep the door of my lips? Listen, if Jesus Christ is the doorkeeper of your lips, then He'll be the one to determine what comes out.

The "new man" not only avoids "corrupt communication", but seeks to speak that which is uplifting to those who hear

First, it should be edifying which is good for edifying. Whenever you talk if the Lord is keeping watch over your lips and you open your mouth, whatever comes out should build other people up, edifying means building up. It should build them up.

Secondly, it ought to be necessary. It says in verse 29, the little phrase - to the use. And literally it means as it fits the needs. Listen, my mom used to say to me when I was a kid, I'd start to say something - Hey, mom, do you know what so-and-so, And she'd say - Now is that necessary? If we just said what was edifying and necessary people would flock to be near us.

Third, gracious, the end of verse 29: "That it may serve grace to the hearers." It's coming out like water And giving them a feast of grace. Is there sweetness in what you say that blesses and currys favor. You know, every time you open your mouth it should be building, it should be fitting and it should be gracious. That's the way we ought to talk. That's what ought to come out of our mouths, not filthy communication. We have a new heart and out of the abundance of a new heart should come a new speech.

I love what it says in Luke 4:22: "And everybody bore Jesus' witness and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth." Oh, I love that. When Jesus opened His mouth graciousness came out. And when He spoke it was edifying, it was necessary and it was gracious.

11
Sep
2014

EPHESIANS 4:20-24 PUT OFF THE OLD MAN AND PUT ON THE NEW MAN

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Ephesians 4:20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

1.  Eph 4:20 But you have not so learned Christ,- "If indeed"means "surely or since"

first contrast, the old, is self-centered, useless, the new, Christ centered, purposeful. – Jer 29:11

Every day to me is a fantastic adventure because I'm right in the middle of God's unfolding plan for the ages.

v21 as the truth is in Jesus

Second thing, instead of being ignorant of the truth like they are in verse 18 you know the truth,

Eph 4:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

Third And because we know the truth and because Christ thinks through us instead of being shameless, instead of having no morality, instead of having no basis for life we are sensitive to sin, verse 22, we are called to "put off concerning the former manner of life the old man, corrupt according to the deceitful lusts." Instead of not knowing what corruption is, we sense it in the smallest doses, don't we? There's nothing as miserable as a sinful Christian, wretched people to be around.

b.         Putting off the old man is needed because it is never content, but "grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts" (like addictive drugs, you always need more)

Lust means any urge or basic drive. We will get closer to the essential meaning of this word if we use the term urge. These deceitful urges are constantly coming to us as we react to various situations in which we find ourselves.

all these urges that arise out of the self life, the old man, are utterly valueless. They do not do anything for us, they are deceitful. They promise much, they deliver nothing.

Lusts are deceitful because they promise real joy but fail to deliver it.

2.  V 23 And to "be renewed in the spirit of your mind"

Fourth point. You learn Christ and when you learn Christ He fills you with His truth and when you have His truth you have a moral sensitivity, and so sin is a hated thing. And as long as you have Christ's truth and you know what is right and you know what is wrong then you're not going to have a reprobate mind but a renewed mind, verse 23, "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind." The only time in the New Testament “(renewed) ananeo” is ever used, it means to create again, to make new. When you become a Christian God gives you a new mind but you've got to fill it with new stuff.

That's why Philippians 4:8 says, "If there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things that are pure and just, holy, good report, honest." And so a renewed mind, not a reprobate mind. When you let Christ think through you you'll have a standard of truth, that standard of truth will give you a judgment on sin and it'll renew your mind to be the kind of mind that pleases God. What kind of mind? Verse 24, it will be a mind "created in righteousness and true holiness." Instead of being a reprobate, vile, lascivious, greedy, unclean mind, it'll be a mind filled with righteousness and a mind filled with holiness and when that's true in your mind that's the way you'll live. "So be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man." The new mind, the new thinking process that results in righteousness and holiness.

         a. Which is the key to true "transformation" - cf. Ro 12:1-2

Paul’s words indicate that our old nature and its deeds are not merely to be rejected, they are to be replaced

c.             V 24 and true holiness"

Now there is a word we squirm at, holiness. We usually think of some pious Joe. That is our picture of holiness. But let me use another word that is an accurate translation of this word -- wholeness. That means health of being, wholeness of personality, a whole man, as God intended man to be. Now, that results from the life of the Lord Jesus within. But the process to it is twofold: Put off, and put on. Our problem is that we are afraid to put off the old man, for fear we will be left with an empty husk of life. It never seems to dawn on us that the Holy Spirit is simply waiting for us to put these things off in order that he might rush in and fill us with the wholeness that is God's intention for man, the wholeness of Christ.

               Putting off the old man is like squeezing the water out of a half-drowned man's lungs. You do not do that because you want his lungs to be empty, you do it because you want the air to get in so that he can live. What the Scripture reveals to us is that this old egocentric life of ours, this old man, the self, has been suffocating us, killing us. It has been cutting off the breath which we were designed to breathe. The only air we were designed to breathe is God. Yet we find such difficulty believing this and therefore we do not experience it.

The implications of Paul’s teaching in our text and its implications in our practical daily living.

1.  Our pagan culture believes that the past is the key to the present. What we think and how we act, we are told, is the result of our past. It is only by understanding our past that we can live as we should in the present. In other words, the past controls the present.

The Bible reverses this. Paul teaches us that our thinking and conduct in the past was the outworking of our unregenerate thinking. Paul insists that we refuse to allow our past to control us in the present. Instead, Paul teaches us that what we now are, in Christ, is what should override and overrule our past thinking and behavior. What we now are in Christ should cause us to put away what we once thought and did as unbelievers. Our past should not be resurrected, analyzed and dwelled upon, it should be buried in an unmarked grave. It is not what we were that matters, but what we are. Let us ponder what we are, in Christ, and not what we were without Him.

2.  In our culture, what you believe seems to have taken second place to how you feel. The sensitive, intelligent, and probing thing to ask these days is, “How do you feel about that?” Paul would rather have us focus on what we believe. What we feel is often a far cry from what is true, and even from what we believe. Faith, as I understand it, calls upon men to act on the truth God has revealed in His Word, not on how we feel. Abraham did not “feel” like leaving his homeland and relatives to go to an unnamed place, but he obeyed God. Neither did he feel like offering up his son, Isaac, but he was willing to obey. Our Lord did not feel like going to the cross of Calvary, but He obeyed the will of His Father. Let us act on what we know to be the truth as revealed in the Word of God, more than on how we happen to feel. As a rule, faith acts on the facts of God’s Word and disregards our feelings.

3.  If the renewing of our minds is so vital to our Christian life, how is it done? The Bible is not a book of formulas, but I would like to focus your attention on one key element: the Word of God. When a person wants to learn a foreign language, what is the most effective way to do so? It is to enter into that culture and language and become saturated with it. This is how our children learn to talk and to think as we do. If we would desire to have our minds renewed, then we must find God’s thoughts and immerse ourselves in them. His thoughts have been incarnated in Christ, the Living Word, and recorded in the Bible, His inspired written Word.

Most Christians spend more time in front of their television sets, radios, phones, magazines, and books than they do in their Bibles

4
Sep
2014

EPHESIANS 4:17-19 WALK NO LONGER LIKE THE UNSAVED

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Eph 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

 I. THE ADMONITION (17-24)

A.  NO LONGER WALK LIKE THE REST OF THE GENTILES... (17-19)

The issue here is the mind, the whole issue here is how you think.

Look for example at verse 17, it ends with “the mind,” verse 18 begins, “the understanding,” verse 18 also talks about ignorance. Then as you come down to verse 20 you have the word “learned,” and in verse 21 you have the word “taught,” and in verse 23 the word “mind” again. In other words this whole thing of learning and teaching and mind and knowing as opposed to ignorance, the mind is the issue, the, the point being this, now here's the key, Christians think different than pagans, " Pr 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. ". We've got to think different, and when we think different we will act different. Salvation first of all is a change of mind, it is a new thinking process. Unsaved people can't think right.

Salvation is a change of mind. A new thinking process. He says it in verse 20, "You have not so learned Christ." And we have told you enough about that so you understand that Christianity is mental, before it's experiential. It is a thinking that draws us to God. We think different about our sin than we used to think, we think different about God than we used to think, we think different about Christ than we used to think, we think different about what we ought to do with our life than we used to think and a new thinking process brings us to salvation, and salvation is a change of mind. That's really what the word repentance means, to change your mind, new thinking process. So, the pagan thinks one way and we think another way. Now how does a pagan think? Well he's got some problems.

 He shows us four elements of pagan thinking.

1.    They walk "in the futility of their mind"

First is self-centeredness, and you could also call it useless thinking, but let's call it self-centered.

2.                   Which leads to "ignorance that is in them"

Ignorance here surely does not refer to one’s intelligence. Neither does ignorance seem to refer to what one does not know. Ignorance, as Paul uses the term, refers to the “knowledge” which unbelievers possess, in which they place their trust, and from which they base their actions.

Because of such ignorance they are "alienated from the life of God

        C. It starts with the "hardening of their heart"

Their being insensitive to God and His ways

               And the better word is hardness of heart. Because man willfully is alienated from God, willfully ignorant and willfully hardens his heart he gets his understanding darkened judicially by a sovereign God.

3.        They are shameless. One thing about pagans, when they continue in sin and they turn themselves off from the life of God they will become shameless, verse l9, "Who being past feeling." They just don't feel anymore, apathetic, insensitive, they don't care. There are no standards, they don't care what the consequences are. They don't mind shocking people. Their whole processes of thought are just destroyed.

4.        Which finally results in what we could call borrowing a term from Romans 1 a reprobate mind.

        Shameless thinking people, leads to shameless action. First of all, center on yourself, that's where it starts, pagan, centers on himself, all his own things, his own attitude. Centering on himself in his useless, purposeless, pointless existence he turns God off and then he begins the hardening process that hardens him against God and pretty soon he has no sense of shame, he'll say anything, do anything he can get away with, the only ethic becomes, can you get away with it?.  

      "work all uncleanness with greediness"

         -- Desensitized, they seek after ever-increasing forms moral depravity - cf. Ro 1:18-32

The word work is very interesting, it is a word that means business, it, it, it can mean actually business, they make a business out of uncleanness

 Lessons: 1. We are to be different, unique and set apart.

2. We don’t need a list, we know what is wrong  - Ro 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin. If in doubt, cut it out