Ephesians 4.17-32 (text below)
Subject Sentence of this passage:
Don’t walk as ones who don’t know Christ, in the uselessness and transience of their own understanding!
Aim of this passage:
(This passage would cause me to): Live up to what I know to do.
Breakdown of points:
I. (vv. 17-20) DO NOT walk in the uselessness of my mind, with obscured understanding, and alienated from the life of God through ignorance because of the callousness of my heart and thoughts.
Application ??: *Am I choosing to walk according to the way I think, eclipsing my understanding with the darkness that is in me rather than letting God direct my choices?
*What is ONE way I need to CHANGE to let GOD direct my choices instead of ME?
*Am I choosing to alienate or separate myself (literally “not be a participant”) from the ZOE Spirit-filled purposeful life of God because of my hard hard and refusal to line my thoughts up with His Word and ways?
*What is ONE way I am literally “not a participant” in what God is directing me to do/be to have the amazing ZOE life He died to give me (and that I need to “die to self” to obtain)?
II. (vv. 21-24) PUT OFF corruption (to spoil by any process or to ruin by moral influences), according to deluding/deceiving longings, and be renovated and renewed in my understanding according to right-ness and true holiness!
Application ??: *What process or moral influences are corrupting me that I need to get away from?
(NOTE: BEWARE of the influences you allow in your life: be sure that you do NOT follow down the same road as someone who has arrived at a different destination than what you want for your own life – no matter how much you care about them be wise in following someone down the wrong path!)
*Do I have any deceiving (misleading; untrue) longings that need to be renovated (restored to a right state) or renewed (re-established) in my understanding to line up with what is RIGHT and HOLY (equity of character; free or pure from defilement)??
III. (vv. 25-28) DO NOT give the Devil OPPORTUNITIES in my life!
Stop lying! Speak truth! Don’t be provoked/enraged/exasperated (irritated to ANGER); don’t take another’s property but WORK (work HARD; toil; be wearied) to get something!!!
Application ??: *WHAT AM I DOING that gives the Devil a change to work in my life (to ROB, STEAL, KILL and DESTROY what God has given me??)
*Am I lying (to others; to mySELF?!)
*Do I allow myself to be provoked/enraged rather than letting things go and giving them over to the Lord (when I am overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I am! – Psalm 61.2)
*Do I allow myself to be exasperated and irritated to the point of anger??!! (“Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life. – Eph 4:26-27 MESSAGE)
*Do I want stuff without working hard for it – by taking it from someone else?
IV. (vv. 29-32) Watch my mouth!!!
No WORTHLESS words showing bitterness (sharp piercing); wrath (fierce indignation); anger (violent passion); clamour (outcry); evil speaking (vilification/railing/obscenely abusive); malice (depravity/injury), but BUILDING worlds that give grace and don’t grieve the Holy Spirit: kind (useful in manner or morals, better, EASY, good) tenderhearted (sympathetic), forgiving (kindly pardoning or forgiving) as I’ve been forgiven!
Application ??: *Are my words simply USELESS? Do I KNOW when to SHUT UP? Am I responsible to DO the Word and not just hear it?
*Do I sharply pierce with my words – do my words display violent passion, CLAMOUR (just make NOISE), are they railing on others, obscenely abusive, and vilifying (in a way that makes others feel of little worth), are my words injurious to others?
“A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.” (James 3:5-6 MESSAGE)
*Are my words USEFUL in manner and morals? BETTER? EASY? GOOD? Sympathetic and forgiving – as I have been forgiven?
Challenge: TO TRULY LIVE WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IN CHRIST!!!
Ephesians 4:17-32: “And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion. But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life. Did you used to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work. Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”