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
We are to exchange natural vices for
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
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.
1. What a contrast there would be if
all those in the church truly carried out the admonition to "Walk In Truth
2. Brethren, are we "grieving the
Holy Spirit of God"?
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.
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
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)
man" gets angry and lets it linger, or get out of control
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.'"
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
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.
The "old man" is willing
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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
1. Eph 4:20 But you have not so learned Christ,- "If
indeed"means "surely or since"
contrast, the old, is self-centered, useless, the new, Christ centered,
purposeful. – Jer 29:11
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
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.
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.
are deceitful because they promise real joy but fail to deliver it.
2. V 23 And to "be renewed in the spirit of
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"
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.
of Paul’s teaching in our text and its implications in our practical daily
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.
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.
Christians spend more time in front of their television sets, radios, phones, magazines,
and books than they do in their Bibles
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
finally results in what we could call borrowing a term from Romans 1 a
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