Choices: A Redeemed Life
Ephesians 4: (22) that, in reference to your former manner of life, lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, (23) and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, (24) and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Being who we are in Christ means a radical new way of living. Paul called it in Romans 6 ‘to walk in newness of life’. It is leaving off the old and putting on the new.
THE FORMER MANNER OF LIFE suggests that something about who we were outside of Christ should have been left in the dust of our past.
1) LAY ASIDE THE OLD SELF: old man, old who you once were: lost, thinking empty thoughts, living with a dark understanding, separated from the life of God.
Lay aside is the language of one taking off a coat and putting it to the side and wearing it no more.
TWO REASONS TO LAY IT ASIDE:
1. Because of what it is: being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of
deceit Foul, rotten, putrid,
2. Because of what we have: the new self, which in the likeness of God has
been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
a. PUT ON: To clothe yourself with God.
Rom 13:14 Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to it’s lusts.
2 Pet 1:4 For by these(grace & peace) He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises that by them we might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
The lost man has a problem with his mind and his heart. In Christ we have a renewed mind and a new self. The characteristics of our new life are to be two-fold: Righteousness & Holiness.
Beginning in Verse 25 we can see some practical things that should be true about us if we have put off the old man and put on the new.
Series of verses that reflect a definite change in life.
(25) Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. (26) Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, (27) and do not give the devil and opportunity. (28) He 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. (29) Let to no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
We quickly see from reading these verses that the OLD MAN has a problem in several areas.
1. THE OLD MAN HAS A PROBLEM WITH THE TRUTH: (25) Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.
Treats truth like we used to treat silly putty: stretch it, change it around, hide
it, put a new face on it.
Paul gives the MAIN reason why falsehood is so bad is that we are all
members of one another.
Whenever we speak the truth, the Spirit of God works but whenever we tell a
lie Satan goes to work.
Lying always disrupts unity and destroys trust. It tears down relationships.
2. THE OLD MAN HAS A PROBLEM WITH ANGER: (26) Be angry and yet do not sin;
do not let the sun go down on your anger, (27) and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Paul begins a warning on anger by reminding us to BE ANGRY.
One of the biggest problems we face today is the lack of proper
We tolerate what we should be angry at and get angry at what we should tolerate.
1) When was the last time you got mad about sin?
To avoid the pitfalls of anger make sure it has the proper aim and also
make sure it does not smolder:
2) Handle it in a proper and timely manner. The longer is sits in our hearts the more likely it will open a door for Satan to work through our lives.
3) When our emotions are high strung it makes something that is wrong to more likely sound right. Wrong words seem more right to say, wrong attitudes seem more
reasonable to hold.
4) Satan is constantly looking for a foothold in our lives, an opportunity work through our emotions to harm others in the body of Christ. To justify our negative feelings, we deserve to be angry, have the right to be mad, all makes fertile soil for his evil garden.
3. THE OLD MAN HAS A PROBLEM WITH STEALING: (28) He 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.
Paul says that if a person has had a problem with stealing in the past then
there is a two part solution:
Someone said it this way, “The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.”
Paul says that the person who stole should “steal no longer but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good.” There is great value in good hard work!
2)Take what is earned and share it. Don’t just meet your own need and splurge on your own wants. See the power of good money and how it can help hurting lives. Learn the value of working not just for your self but for others. There is great reward in working to serve others.
4. THE OLD MAN HAS A PROBLEM WITH CORRUPT SPEECH: (29) Let 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
See the pattern: Take what you used to sin with(hands/mouth) and change
how you use them and then find a way to benefit others with them.
Take what the devil used to use and use it to serve God!
a. Unwholesome means corrupt, worthless, It was a word used to describe
rotten fruit. Rotten in the sense that it spreads it’s rottenness. It makes
the worst kind of air pollution.
b. Not just foul language the world might use but in the church things like
slander, gossip, backbiting….
I think that verse 30 shows us that Paul is struggling to save the punch line for last but I am going to leap-frog to 31-32 and come back.
5. THE OLD MAN HAS A PROBLEM WITH BITTERNESS: (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 each other, just as God in Christ
also has forgiven you.
Porcupine quills have barbs on the end of them that make the pain all the
more significant. When Satan wants to inflict as much pain as possible:
You can take these words Paul uses and spell out spiritual barbs.
B – Bitterness – a settled hostility that poisons the inside, to refuse to reconcile
A – ANGER – A rage under the surface that can suddenly explode into flames.
R – WRATH – The explosion of anger which can leave illrepairable harm
B – Brawling/Clamor – loud self-assertions to make grievances known
S – Slander – destroying another’s reputation and name through gossip and rumors and lies.
In the spring of 1894, the Baltimore Orioles went to Boston to play a routine baseball game. But what happened that day was anything but routine. The Orioles’ John McGraw got into a fight with the Boston third baseman. Within minutes all the players from both teams had joined in the brawl. The warfare quickly spread to the grandstands. Among the fans the conflict went from bad to worse. Someone set fire to the stands and the entire ballpark burned to the ground. Not only that, but the fire spread to 107 other Boston buildings as well (Daily Bread, August 13, 1992).
The better choice is to take those negative emotions and turn them by the
power of the Holy Spirit in our lives into positive and loving actions.
The Holy spirit is waiting to work through our lives in a positive and loving way to reach out into others lives. When we don’t allow that to happen and especially when we instead do the opposite and harm others then VERSE 30 becomes very true.
(30) Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
It doesn’t just cause displeasure or sadness to God when we hurt one another but it causes grief. The highest form of sadness, the sadness that brings the greatest pain.
Don’t walk like the world but live different.
1. When it comes to lying, anger, stealing, corrupt speech and bitter hearts learn
to put off the old man and put on the new man in Christ and love others
through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I heard a story of a man who, one day, visited both heaven and hell.
He went to hell first and there he saw people who were starving and wretched and miserable, in terrible condition. He noticed that the problem was that everybody in hell had stiff arms. They could not minister to their own needs, they could not clean themselves up, or feed themselves, they could not do anything, so they were in misery. It was depressing to him, and he was delighted to have an opportunity to visit heaven.
There he found people who were well fed, sleek and happy, enjoying themselves. It was just what heaven ought to be. But he noticed something remarkable. They too were suffering from the same problem. They all had stiff arms, and could not minister to their own needs. The difference was that, in heaven, they were feeding each other.
A young boy about nine years old went with his parents to Europe one summer. Part of their tour was visiting the great old cathedrals of the past. As he would visit cathedral after cathedral he saw the massive stained glass portraits of the disciples and of other saints. He was so impressed as he stood in these great empty halls looking through the beautiful stained glass windows. Upon return, when asked by his Sunday School teacher, what about the great churches of Europe did he like the most and he said the windows of the saints. She asked what was his definition of a saint. And as his mind went back to those massive beautiful stained glass windows, he said, “A saint is someone God shines light through.”
You may remember the story of the boy who thought he would teach some sparrows to sing like a canary, so he put them in a cage with the canary, hoping the canary would teach them to sing. In a few days he found the canary chirping like the sparrows. This is always the case, is it not? If we give ourselves to the attitudes and ways of thinking of those around us, we will inevitably do the same things, there is no avoiding it. The only way to help them is to demonstrate a completely different level of life.