Pastor's Connect Blog

The Course of Christianity

Studies in the Book of Ephesians

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”

Ephesians 4:17-32

This passage is predicated on the reality of change … your life has been changed therefore quit living as if what you were is what you are… Leave the past and live in the present … because you can you should

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

Galatians 5:16-24

States a constant reality “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh”

Speaks of a Choice “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Romans 7:18-25

The Command to "STOP"

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”

Address to the saved reminding them of their transition and their transformation (See 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Stop living as unbelievers live … they don’t know, in relationship to Christ, what they’re doing. They don’t understand the real consequences of the choices.

They are blind to the consequences.

Their lives are self-centered while the believer’s life is to be Savior-focused.

They seek, by what they do, to find fulfillment only to be left empty

Their hearts are hardened … their conscious is crusted over … resulting in their unrestrained acts of indecency and immorality … they are driven by selfish desires whose goal is to fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

There is a warning in this passage: Sin takes you where you don’t want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, cost you more than you want to pay, and never keeps its promises.

Key words:

“walk” – order one’s steps, how to live

“vanity” – empty, foolish

“alienated” – separated

“ignorance, blindness” – unaware

“past feeling” – no longer care, do not realize,

“lasciviousness” – immorality unrestrained, self-indulgence

“greediness” the necessity to do more but never satisfied with what has been … the action of sinfulness breed the necessity for sin … sin is like a drug … what works today needs to be increased for tomorrow …

“And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind …”

Romans 12:2

The Command to "CHANGE"

“But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus”

“if” – the assumption (if you are saved)

You know better … The Word of God which teaches the believer what is right and what is wrong.

And you have the Holy Spirit Who confronts sin before it happens, convicts of sin after it happens, and grants to you the power of God to make the right choices.

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Key words:

“conversation” – lifestyle

“old man” – prior to salvation, sin nature, under the dominion of sin and driven by selfishness.

“and be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (present infinitive …passive voice – which speaks to something being done on your behalf) in other words what God will do if you allow Him

No excuses … I can’t help myself or the devil made me do it … WRONG!

“new man” – clothing one’s self in the wardrobe of the fruit of the Spirit. This involves a process of removal and adornment; negative and positive.

The changes required:

"Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice."

The sin of Dishonesty (speaks of deception, defrauding a brother)

“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.”

The sin of Anger our of control (wrath, vengeance ... doing something you will regret later)

“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:27 Neither give place to the devil.”

Don’t let Satan use your anger as a weapon of destruction.

The sins of Slothfulness and Selfishness

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”

Context – indicates someone receiving something for which he did not earn or help he did not deserve effectively stealing from those who have legitimate needs.

The Sins of Gossip and Slander

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Here corrupt communication is any language used to tear down others, specifically the family of God.

The Sin of Grieving the Holy Spirit

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Quit breaking the heart of God through your disobedience. Stop doing those things which do not reflect your redemption and distracts from the glory of God.

And in this passage, what specifically grieves the Holy Spirit is:

Bitterness (unforgivenss), wrath (vengeance), anger (out of control), clamor (complaining) evil speaking (speaking with hurtful intent), and malice (hatred/cruelty).

The Command to Conform

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”

I call this the adornment of the Spirit because in this passage it is the Spirit that serves as our valet …

“kind to one another” to treat others as we would have them treat us

“tenderhearted” understanding, not condescending

“forgiving one another” – not condemning … letting go the desire for vengeance and leaving the consequences of their sin to God.

B-T-W … to express Divine forgiveness requires one having experienced Divine forgiveness … I only know how to forgive because I have been forgiven.


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