September 17, 2020

Brothers and Sisters, (Ephesians 4:17-19)  This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 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: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. We have been looking this week at how God in his infinite knowledge and wisdom has chosen a people for himself in the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and now in the new testament has grafted in or adopted us Gentiles into his family and made us all one in Christ Jesus.  This was a mystery in the old testament, but was revealed to the Apostle Paul in the new testament where Jesus established his church (Greek word “ekklesia” meaning a called out assembly).  The new testament church consists of both Jews and Gentiles.  Jesus told Peter that he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it.  Paul made this his life’s work to go from place to place (missionary journeys) and establish churches made up of both Jews and Gentiles. Now here in Ephesians 4, Paul is telling these Gentiles with a new born faith in God to walk not as other Gentiles who had not come to a saving knowledge in Christ.  Paul goes on to give a list of things you shouldn’t do any more once you are saved:Walk in the vanity of their mind (Doing their own will instead of following God’s will)Having the understanding darkened (Can’t understand spiritual truths in God’s Word)Being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them (Unlearned in the things of God without any true understanding of salvation and living a life that is contrary to the life God gives us)The blindness of their heart (Blind to the truth)Past feeling (Unsympathetic, uncaring, unforgiving, etc.)Given over to lasciviousness (Working all kinds of wickedness)Work all uncleanness with greediness (Using greed as a motive for your deeds) Then beginning in v. 24, Paul instructs these new believers in Christ to put on the new man which is created in righteousness and true holiness.  (Ephesians 4:24-32)  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  Neither give place to the devil.  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.  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.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. In these verses, Paul gives us some things that should identify Christian people from the lost:Put away lying and speak every man truth with his neighborLet not the sun go down on your wrath, neither give place to the devilDon’t steal, but rather labor that you may have to give to him that has a needLet no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but rather that which is good to the use of edifying (lifting up) that you may minister grace unto the hearersGrieve not the Holy Spirit of GodLet all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour (tumult or grief) and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice (evil or maliciousness)Be ye kind one to anotherTenderheartedForgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you Since God was so kind, merciful, gracious, loving and forgiving to accept us into his amazing family, He has the right to demand that we live differently from others who know not Christ.  We don’t live this way in order to BE saved, but rather BECAUSE we are saved.  We all slip up and make mistakes in life (sin) because we are sinners.  I have heard some say, “Well preacher we can’t all live perfect”.  While this is true, I don’t have much confidence in someone who is not at least trying to live in perfection.  May God help us to walk not as other Gentiles walk. 
Bro. Rick

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