Wednesday, May 7, 2014

BE WORTHY OF YOUR CALLING



TEXT : Ephesians 4:17-32

INTRODUCTION

The Apostle Paul when he admonished the Ephesians Christians began to make it clear and described our "duty" to "walk worthy of the calling with which you were called"- Ep 4:1

In doing so, he first called us to "walk together in unity" by admonishing us to...
   a. Display the "attitudes" crucial for maintaining unity - Ep 4:2-3
   b. Understand the "basis" of the unity we have in Christ - Ep 4:4-6
   c. Utilize the "gifts" given by Christ to His church that serves to
      keep the body of Christ together and growing - Ep 4:7-16

In the last half of chapter four (Ep 4:17-32), Paul continues to describe the sort of "walk" that is worthy of our calling, especially as "a holy temple in the Lord" (cf. Ep 2:21-22)Whereas the first half emphasized "Walking Together In Unity". This section emphasizes "Walking In Truth And Holiness"


I. THE ADMONITION (17-24)

   A. NO LONGER WALK LIKE THE REST OF THE GENTILES... (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"
         -- Notice where Jesus describes this same process - cf. Mt 13:
            14-15
      2. Their walk is "past feeling" - as indicated by the fact they...
         a. "have given themselves over to licentiousness" (i.e.,
            unbridled lust, excess)
         b. "work all uncleanness with greediness"
         -- Desensitized, they seek after ever-increasing forms moral
            depravity - cf. Ro 1:18-32
     
   B. INSTEAD, WALK IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS... (20-24)
      1. This is how you learned Christ
         a. As you heard Him and were taught by Him (through His
            apostles, of course - cf. Mt 28:19-20)
         b. In Whom is the truth - cf. Jn 8:31-31; 14:6
      2. For you were taught to "put off" the "old man"
         a. That is, your "former conduct", how you behaved before you
            were saved - cf. Col 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. Ro 12:1-2
         b. You "renew" your mind only as you "set your mind on things
            above" - cf. Col 3:1-2
      4. And to "put on the new man"
         a. A new man "which was created according to God" - cf. Col 3:10
         b. A new man, "in righteousness and true holiness" - cf. Col 3:12-17

[In giving the admonition "No longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles",Paul has made it clear that it involves both a "putting off" and a "putting on".  I.e., our "Walking In Truth And Holiness" is not just a bunch of "Thou Shalt Not's", there are also some "Thou Shalt's".

To illustrate further the difference between the "old man" (how the rest of the Gentiles walk) and the "new man" (how Christians are to walk), we find Paul making…

II. THE APPLICATION (25-32)

   A. CASE IN POINT:  LYING (the telling of lies, or false statements; untruthfulness; telling or containing lies; deliberately untruthful; deceitful – CUNNING (SNEAKY, SCHEMING, CALCULATING, WILY) DECEPTIVE, FALSEHEARTED; false... (25)- READ MATTHEW 13:24-30 “The parable of the weeds and the wheat” – INNOCENT LOOK!- PROVERBS 6:16-19 GOD HATES LIARS!
      1. The "old man" thinks nothing of lying
      2. The "new man" puts away lying, and in its place speaks truth
         with his neighbor (especially to those who members of the same
         body)

B. CASE IN POINT:  ANGER (a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.        ANTAGONISM – ILL-FEELING, ILL-WILL, RESENTMENT- OFFENDED... (26-27)- JAMES 1:19-20 ANGER DOES NOT BRING RIGHTEOUSNESS IN GOD’S EYES…
      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 (... (28)
      1. The "old man" is willing to steal
      2. The "new man" not only stops stealing, but works so he can help
steal
1. to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, especially secretly or by force: A pickpocket stole his watch.
2. to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment.
3. to take, get, or win insidiously, surreptitiously, subtly, or by chance: He stole my girlfriend.
4. to move, bring, convey, or put secretly or quietly; smuggle (usually followed by away, from, in, into,  etc.): They stole the bicycle into the bedroom to surprise the child.

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