1. Two weeks ago, we saw where Paul began to describe our "duty" to "walk worthy of the calling with which you were called" - Ephesians 4:1
2. In doing so, he first called us to "walk together in unity" by admonishing us to
a. Display the "attitudes" crucial for maintaining unity - Ephesians 4:2-3
b. Understand the "basis" of the unity we have in Christ - Ephesians 4:4-6
c. Utilize the "gifts" given by Christ to His church that serves to keep the body of Christ together and growing - Ephesians 4:7-16
3. In our text today, Paul continues to describe the sort of walk that is worthy of our calling, especially as "a holy temple in the Lord" cf. Ephesians 2:21-22
a. Whereas the first half emphasized "Walking Together in Unity"
b. This section emphasizes "Walking in Truth and Holiness"
A. NO LONGER WALK LIKE THE REST OF THE GENTILES - Ephesians 4:17-19
1. They walk "in the futility of their mind" How so?
a. It starts with the "hardening of their heart"
b. Which leads to "ignorance that is in them"
c. Because of such ignorance they are "alienated from the life of God"
d. And that results "having their understanding darkened"
e. Notice where Jesus describes this same process - cf. Matthew 13:14-15
2. Their walk is "past feeling" as indicated by the fact they...
a. "have given themselves over to lewdness" (i.e., unbridled lust, excess)
b. "work all uncleanness with greediness"
c. Desensitized, they seek after ever-increasing forms moral depravity - Romans 1:18-32
B. INSTEAD, WALK IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS - Ephesians 4:20-24
1. This is how you learned Christ
a. As you heard Him and were taught by Him (through His apostles, of course) - Matthew 28:19-20
2. For you were taught to "put off" the "old man"
a. That is, your "former conduct", how you behaved before you were saved - Colossians 3:5-9
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)
3. And to "be renewed in the spirit of your mind"
a. Which is the key to true "transformation" cf. Romans 12:1-2
b. You "renew" your mind only as you "set your mind on things above" Colossians 3:1-2
4. And to "put on the new man"
a. A new man "which was created according to God" cf. Colossians 3:10
b. A new man, "in righteousness and true holiness" cf. Colossians 3:12-17
A. CASE IN POINT: LYING - Ephesians 4:25
1. The "old man" thinks nothing of lying
2. The "new man" puts away lying, and in its place speaks truth with his neighbor
B. CASE IN POINT: ANGER - Ephesians 4:26-27
1. The "old man" gets angry and lets it linger, or get out of control
2. The "new man" may get angry, but does not
a. Let it linger ("do not let the sun go down on your wrath")
b. Allow it to prompt sinful behavior ("nor give place to the devil")
C. CASE IN POINT: STEALING - Ephesians 4:28
1. The "old man" is willing to steal
2. The "new man" not only stops stealing, but works so he can help others in need
D. CASE IN POINT: CORRUPT COMMUNICATION - Ephesians 4:29
1. The "old man" doesn't worry or care what comes out of his mouth
2. The "new man" not only avoids "corrupt communication", but seeks to speak that which is uplifting to those who hear
E. SUMMARY - Ephesians 4:30-32
1. Why be concerned about putting off the "old man" and putting on the "new man"?
a. When Christians act like the "old man", it grieves the Holy Spirit
b. By the Holy Spirit we were sealed for the day of redemption - cf. Ephesians 1:13-14
2. Therefore, we ought to put away those things befitting the "old man" (bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, and malice)
3. And in his place we need to put on those things befitting the "new man" (being kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God forgives us in Christ)
1. What a contrast there would be if all those in the church truly carried out the admonition to "Walk in Truth and Holiness"
a. The church would stand out like "a city that is set on a hill"! - cf. Matthew 5:14-16
b. And the world, though it now has "their understanding darkened", might be more likely to come to see the truth that is in Jesus
c. But what hope is there if the church is more like the world than the "holy temple" it is to be?
2. Brethren, are we "grieving the Holy Spirit of God"?
a. While the increasing worldliness in our society naturally concerns us...
b. Let's be careful not to react with attitudes that are more in keeping with the "old man"
c. But having been "sealed for the day of redemption", let's be sure to react in "righteousness and true holiness"
-- Don Treadway, September 2008 --