Introduction: The next few articles will come from Ephesians 4:17-21. Paul tells us about our new identity in Christ and how we must live our lives in light of “who we are,” and “how we must live out our lives in the light of the Gospel.
Do Not Live Like Pagans! Eph. 4:17-19
Paul says that we should not “walk” as the Gentiles do. The word “walk” in the New Testament is illustrating how we conduct ourselves as Christians. We know that every Christian does not grow spiritually the same. I believe that the Lord want progress in our Christian lives. Just as God does not force folks to become Christians, He will not force us to grow. We must want to to and if we do, He will equip us.
Paul is telling the Ephesian Christians and us that since we are now “in Christ,” we must start living like one. We can no longer live like the “world” around us and act like pagans. We are to walk worthy of the calling which we have been called (4:1), and devote our whole lives to Christ. We must use the talents He has given us to the Glory of God. Our aim is to reach the lost with the saving Gospel and strengthen the saved.
Paul reminds his readers and us that before we were “in Christ,” we lived a life of futility. Someone said, “We were darkened in our understanding; had no light. Sin produces a malfunction of the mind.”
He reminded the readers that the “mind’ they had outside of Christ led them to “promiscuity,” and every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more of the same.
The good news is that God can transform anyone by His grace. We remember in the Corinthian letters, Paul painted a “dark picture,” of the live they led outside of Christ and reminded them that some of them in Corinth lived that kind of degradation. But he then said they had repented and now were enjoying the marvelous light of the Gospel. It’s our aim today to help people find the marvelous light of the Gospel that Christian enjoy.
So, as new creations in Christ, we must have a different mindset that we had in the world. Paul told the Roman Christians in Rom. 12:1-2 that we must present our bodies as a living sacrifice and in Col. 3:1-2 say that we must set our minds on the things above. In Gal. 5, he contrast the “works of the flesh,” ( Gal. 5:19-21 with the fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
-Lexington, TN 2-3-2019