Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Out with the Old and in with the New

Ephesians 4:17-32, Christian Holman Bible

17So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;19and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

20But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

25Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. 26BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 29Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Points of pontification:

  • Change can be difficult, even you've determined to do it.
  • For background about Paul's issues with the noted Gentiles of v. 18, see Romans 1:18-32.
  • Going along with the crowd can be dangerous. The Message translations says, "I insist that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd."
  • How can you lay aside the old self to put on the new self.
  • Your mind dictates your actions. (Proverbs 29:18)
  • Anger is a surface emotion. Even when it is justified, don't let it take root or nurture it. When not addressed, anger morphs into other emotions like bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness and. At this point, Satan has inevitably already begun to exploit our feelings.
  • Christians' words out to edify, be appropriate and bring grace.
  • We are to forgive quickly and completely, as Christ has forgiven us.

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