CITIZENS part 8 – Putting On (Eph 4:17-32) – Steve Sudworth
Ephesians Study Material- Eph. 4:17-32
Paul wrote the letter of Ephesians as a general letter to a large region of churches during his first Roman imprisonment. The letter to the Ephesians and the letter to the church in Colosse were most likely written around the same time and delivered at roughly the same time. The letter to the Ephesians is a passionate and beautiful letter, riddled with hymns and exhortations, rich in theology and eschatology setting it apart from all other Pauline Epistles. The letter emphasizes the nature of the church and the relationship of Christ as the head of the church. In Chapter 2, Paul brought the church to a revelation of praise for the ways in which Christ has saved that naturally spilled into a oneness of all who believe. Chapter 3 continues along the some vein, distinguishing the uniqueness of the whole Church (both Jews and Gentiles) in the world. Now, in Chapter 4 Paul is writing to the Ephesian Christians concerning their citizenship in Heaven and how to live as people of God here on earth.
Text: Eph. 4:17-32
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
In the preceding verses Paul is encouraging the Church to live our practically who there are positionally because of the Cross. They are citizens of Heaven freed from the bondage of sin & death because of the finished work of Christ on the cross. The transformation, this constant renewal, happens only when individuals fill their minds with Jesus and allow him to constantly renew them, change them, and grow them into maturity.
Suggested Discussion Questions
- In what ways are you struggling to truly live out your current position in Christ?
- What are some practical steps you can take to allow Jesus to renew your mind daily?