God’s Saving Word: Faith
Ephesians 4:17-32: Paul contrasts human behavior prior to knowing Christ with behavior that reflects God’s love and grace. He admonishes followers of Christ to get rid of one’s “old self” and to “put on the new self” that demonstrates a life that is upright and holy.
The New Life in Christ
17 In the Lord’s name, then, I warn you: do not continue to live like the heathen, whose thoughts are worthless 18 and whose minds are in the dark. They have no part in the life that God gives, for they are completely ignorant and stubborn. 19 They have lost all feeling of shame; they give themselves over to vice and do all sorts of indecent things without restraint.
20 That was not what you learned about Christ! 21 You certainly heard about him, and as his followers you were taught the truth that is in Jesus. 22 So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to—the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. 23 Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, 24 and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.
25 No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to the other believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ. 26 If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. 27 Don’t give the Devil a chance. 28 If you used to rob, you must stop robbing and start working, in order to earn an honest living for yourself and to be able to help the poor. 29 Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you. 30 And do not make God’s Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God’s mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the Day will come when God will set you free. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. 32 Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.
Today’s Key Verse: Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.
Paul offers practical instructions for the way Christians are to behave. How does he describe new life in Christ? He urges us to “get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger” and to put aside “hateful feelings” (verse 31). Are you struggling with any of these feelings? If so, what behavioral changes do you need to make to overcome them? What advice does Paul offer (verse 32)?
Lord Jesus, help me to grow day by day in the knowledge of you and to live a new life that is upright and holy. Help me to overcome actions and habits that hinder living in a way that reflects your likeness. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Ephesians 5:1-20: The apostle Paul describes what it means to live as children of God.