Verse For The Week:
“and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” [Ephesians 4: 23-24]
The Big Picture:
The apostle Paul spends the first 3 chapters of Ephesians encouraging the church of who Jesus is, and all of the things that He gives us through our faith in Him. Our adoption, acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, inheritance, grace, citizenship, and our seal of the Holy Spirit. Paul begins chapter 4 with the words “ I, therefore”. Paul is about to give instructions for the church to walk worthy of the calling with which we were called. He is saying here that we don’t read this as a list of things that I now have to check off in order to earn forgiveness and grace. We read the first three chapters and understand the truth of who Jesus is. The true grace and mercy that Jesus has already shown those who have faith in Him. We then look at this chapter not as a list of things I have to do. We look to this chapter as people who understand the grace and mercy that we have received and long to live our lives in response to His forgiveness.
Point 1 - The local church is vital.
In verses 17-18 he tells them to no longer walk as the other Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind. He says that their understanding is being darkened, and they are being alienated from the life of God because of ignorance that is in them.
In the beginning of this chapter Paul tells us that Christ gave some to be apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors, evangelist, all for the edifying of the body of Christ.(the church) The local church is where we get instruction on true doctrine so that we are not deceived by falsehood. It is where we are equipped to live our lives as we are called. It is where we are encouraged, corrected, and held accountable.
Point 2 - Jesus changes who we are.
In verses 20-24 Paul says that they have not so learned in Christ. He says if we really know Jesus and have been taught by Him we don’t just change some things that we do. Paul says we completely put off our old self. We renew the spirit of our mind, and put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Paul shows us that truly knowing Jesus is much more than only doing good things a little more often. Jesus renews the spirit of our mind. We understand that it's not just about what we do, because we put on the new man and have a renewed mind, we seek to do the things that bring honor to the Lord.
What has the Lord shown you through this chapter?
What is the key to walking in the way of the Lord?
What are some things that Paul confronts in this chapter that you can work on? (Lying, anger, corrupt words, bitterness, evil speaking.)