<< Previous | Index | Next >>
                     "THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS"

                 Walking In Truth And Holiness (4:17-32)

INTRODUCTION

1. In the previous lesson, we saw where Paul began to describe our
   "duty" to "walk worthy of the calling with which you were called"
   - Ep 4:1

2. 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

3. 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)
   a. Whereas the first half emphasized "Walking Together In Unity"
   b. This section emphasizes "Walking In Truth And Holiness"

[We begin, then, in verse 17 with...]

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... (25)
      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... (26-27)
      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
         others in need!

   D. CASE IN POINT:  CORRUPT COMMUNICATION... (29)
      1. The "old man" doesn't worry or care what comes out of his mouth
      2. The "new man" not only avoids "corrupt communication", but
         seeks to speak that which is uplifting to those who hear

   E. SUMMARY... (30-32)
      1. Why be concerned about putting off the "old man" and putting on
         the "new man"?
         a. When Christians act like the "old man", it grieves the Holy 
            Spirit
         b. By the Holy Spirit we were sealed for the day of redemption 
            - cf. Ep 1:13-14
      2. Therefore, we ought to put away those things befitting the "old
         man" (bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, malice)
      3. And in it's place we need to put on those things befitting the
         "new man" (being kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another 
         just as God forgives us in Christ)

CONCLUSION

1. What a contrast there would be if all those in the church truly 
   carried out the admonition to "Walk In Truth And Holiness"!
   a. The church would stand out like "a city that is set on a hill"! 
      - cf. Mt 5:14-16
   b. And the world, though it now has "their understanding darkened", 
      might be more likely to come to see the truth that is in Jesus
   c. But what hope is there if the church is more like the world than 
      the "holy temple" it is to be?

2. Brethren, are we "grieving the Holy Spirit of God"?
   a. While the increasing worldliness in our society naturally concerns
      us...
   b. Let's be careful not to react with attitudes that are more in
      keeping with the "old man"
   c. But having been "sealed for the day of redemption", let's be sure
      to react in "righteousness and true holiness"

In our next lesson, we will see that "walking worthy of our calling"
also involves "Walking In Love, Light, And Wisdom"...
<< Previous | Index | Next >>


Home Page
Have A Bible Question? | Want A Free Bible Study Course? | Looking For A Church Near You?
Want To Talk With Someone By Phone? | Want To Discuss The Bible By Email?
Search The Outlines

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

eXTReMe Tracker