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Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:17-24
The Church: Composed of New People
1. Col. 3:1-4: The church will be pure as God intends for it to be when every Christian obeys these commands (Eph. 5:25-27).
2. Eph. 4:1: Walking worthy of our calling begins with the conversion of our character (too many Christians are trying to obey God without having changed their hearts).
3. Eph. 4:17-32: Emphasis is given the new man: Character (heart, 4:17-24) and conduct (life, 4:25-32).
I. THE CHARACTER OF CHRISTIANS, Eph. 4:17-24.
A. The New Man: Righteousness and Holiness of Truth, 4:20-24; Col. 3:8-9 (Eph. 2:15).
1. New character: Spiritual and moral; After the pattern of Christ.
2. New (4:24): “Renovated, better, of higher excellence” (Moulton); “New as to form or quality, of different nature from what is contrasted as old” (Vine).
3. Out of a new birth comes a new creature, Jno. 3:3,5; 2 Cor. 5:17.
B. The New Heart We have in Christ, 4:17-19.
1. Once walked as Gentiles walk:
a. Without purpose and understanding, alienated through ignorance and hard hearts, led to lustful and unrestrained conduct.
b. To different degrees, this sin progression describes all who have not become Christians, Rom. 1:21-22, 24, 26, 28-32.
2. Renewal of mind must occur in us, Eph. 2:2-3. Without heart change, will be no life change (Rom. 12:2).
II. THE CONDUCT OF CHRISTIANS, Eph. 4:25-32.
A. The Effects of a New Heart: A New Life.
1. Put away, 4:22; cf. 4:25, 31.
2. This is the result of repentance Acts 17:30 (Lk. 3:8, 10-14).
B. The New Man’s Conduct:
1. Honesty, 4:25 (Col. 3:9); cf. Zech. 8:16-17.
a. God hates a lying tongue (Prov. 6:17).
b. This common worldly trait is abolished in the body of Christ.
2. Self-control, 4:26-27 (Col. 3:8).
a. Anger (orge): Settled, abiding provocation.
b. Wrath (thumos): Agitated outburst, fierce exhibition of anger.
c. Be angry and do not sin: When provoked, control it and channel it properly. Never let it become malice and hatred (Commune with your heart and be still, Psa. 4:4).
d. Give no place (room, opportunity) to the devil, 4:27.
3. Labor, 4:28.
a. Honest labor avoids need and the corresponding temptation to steal (1 Ths. 4:11-12).
b. Enables us to help others (Acts 20:33-35).
4. Purity, 4:29 (Col. 3:8); Jas. 3:9-11.
a. Care taken in what and how we speak.
b. Care about the purity of others; Purity will edify others.
5. Godly motives, 4:30-31.
a. Sin pains, sorrows and distresses God (HS, 1:13) who redeems us, 4:30.
b. Ungodly motives purged by the new man, 4:31.
6. Kindness, 4:32.
a. If God can be kind to the unthankful and evil, surely we can be kind “one to another”, Titus 3:4; Lk. 6:35.
b. Compassion and forgiveness are the personification of kindness, Col. 3:13.
1. Put on the new man, 4:24 (his heart and his life).
2. Practical changes:
a. Put away falsehood, wrath, stealing, corrupt speech and ungodly motives.
b. Put on honesty, self-control, labor, purity, godly motives and kindness.
3. God created us to be “new creatures” in Christ, 4:24; 2 Cor. 5:17.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: February 28, 2013