Kevin Phipps / Jan 26, 2020 / Ephesians 4:17-24
DownloadMP3 Audio File
Sermon Summary / Transcript
In chapters 1-3 of Ephesians we see who we are in Christ, and in chapters 4-6 we see how our new identity necessitates change. This past Sunday, in the third of our Faith Focus series, pastor Kevin showed us from Ephesians 4:17-24 three things about our sanctified identity in Christ.
1 An exhortation to live differently. We’re to separate ourselves and no longer walk as we once did. In a biblical context our walk equals our lifestyle – our actions and attitudes, our inner and outer realities. Not only are we not to act like them, but we’re not to think like them either. Gentile thinking is futile, and so we must change the worldview assumptions that drive our thoughts and actions.
2 An expose of the sinful condition and lifestyle. Those who reject God become callous and give themselves up to sensuality. They are blind to their own blindness, spiritually dead, yet obeying the prince of the power of the air. Their “ignorance” is a willful rejection of God, and it produces a hardness of heart. We can harden our own heart, and God can harden it judicially, increasing the propensity to live for self. Callousness leads to a lack of feeling, but in our desire to feel something we give ourselves over even more to sensuality.
Our response to this should be twofold: 1) Each Christian should confess and repent any sins that look like they belong to the old self; and 2) We should have a patient witness for the young believer, showing that the gospel has power to save.
3 An exhortation to embrace our new identity. Our new identity is based on Christ and his teachings. Paul reminds the Ephesians that they learned a person – not content and propositions, but communion with Jesus Christ himself. When we offer the gospel, we hold out Christ, not rules. The truth is a person, and Jesus never leads us to sin.
In Christ we put off the old and put on the new, and this is not a one-time event but a matter of sanctification. The vestiges of the old man remain, and so we must continually be putting off and putting on. The old man has no claim on the new, and the things left behind must not be toyed with. Rather, we’re to be renewed in the spirit of our minds.
The new self lives in solidarity with Jesus, not Adam. We have been created new by the Holy Spirit – not an improved self but a new creation. Praise God, Christ has power to break all sins, even the vestiges of the old man.