Living Like Christ: New Life

Ephesians 4:17-32

Have I told you about my retired friend? He told me
this story. Yesterday I was at Costco buying a large
bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Necco, the
Wonder Dog, which weighs 191 lbs. I was in the
check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I
had a dog. What did she think I had an elephant? So
because I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse
I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was
starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I
probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in the
hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds
before I awakened in an intensive care ward with
tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in
both arms. I told her that it was essentially a
Perfect Diet and that the way that it works is, to
load your jacket pockets with Purina Nuggets and
simply eat one or two every time you feel
hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it
works well and I was going to try it again.
Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care,
because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I
stopped to pee on a Fire Hydrant and a car hit me,

Today we will continue our Living Like Christ series.

We’ve talked about living holy, living love, living
forgiveness and a few others. Today we will discuss living
like Christ in our new life.

Context – Paul began chapter 4 by imploring the church
at Ephesus to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with
which they have been called.
He encouraged them to be humble, gentle, patient and
loving. He then talked about the importance of unity in
the body of Christ. He reminded them that every believer
has been given gifts by God for the edification of the
church. Every person is needed and working together is
what God desires. Paul also writes that believers should
be growing in their faith as they serve together.

Sermon in a sentence – Paul encourages believers to lay
aside the old self, be renewed in the spirit of their mind
and put on the new self.

Ephesians 4:17-32

Paul starts off this section by reminding them of what
they were like before they met Christ.
He’s writing about the Old Self.

The Old Self

As I studied Paul’s description of the old self, I noticed an
alphabet soup of words and phrases Paul uses to help his
reader understand.

They are not in alphabetical order, but we have the
letters from C through I to describe the old self.

Futility of Mind – think of vanity, emptiness. The old self
is chasing after nothing, things that don’t satisfy. This
should remind us of Solomon’s writings in Ecclesiastes.
Darkened Understanding – unbelievers are unable to
understand the things of God. their minds have gone
dark. They think primarily about things of darkness and
evil.

Excluded from the Life of God – sin separates us from
God, those who live for the world are excluded from the
life of God. Those who walk in the old self won’t walk in
the life of God.

Ignorance – the people of Ephesus had much
knowledge, but it was worldly knowledge, they lacked
wisdom and they definitely didn’t understand the things
of God or how to live a life that honors Him.

Hardness of Heart – the word translated hardness can
mean stubbornness or that the mind has been blunted.
The point being, the old self isn’t open to the truth.

Callous – Jackson has been playing a lot more guitar
since he’s moved to Nashville for school. He showed me
his finger and it has developed a very nice callus on it.
For playing guitar it’s a good thing to have a callus, but
for living the old life, it means you are no longer sensitive
to the Holy Spirit. There is no guilt over sin because you
have become insensitive to it.

Given to Sensuality – the old self seeks pleasure above
everything else in life. They are lewd and wanton in their
conduct. In Romans 1 Paul warns that those who
exchanged the truth for a lie God would give them over
to their lusts.

These are the A,B,C’s of the Old Man.
The good news is that this is NOT who they are anymore.
All these letters describe their former manner of life.

Paul reminds the believers that they know the truth.
They learned Christ.

They didn’t learn about Christ,
They learned Him, they have a relationship with Him.
That’s the trouble with some people today, they know
about Christ, but they don’t have a relationship with Him.

When you turn to Christ you
Lay Aside the Old Self – it’s something believers have
to do every day, die to self, decide to follow Christ every
day.

Paul writes, lay aside the old self.
He means to take it off like an old garment.
The old self is being corrupted anyway.
The old self is destined for destruction.

Listen to Paul’s words in Romans 6:6 “knowing this,
that our old self was crucified with Him, in order
that our body of sin might be done away with, so
that we would no longer be slaves to sin;”

Because of Christ we are no longer slaves to sin.
He has paid the penalty for our sin and set us free.
And we are free indeed!!

Be Renewed in the Spirit of Your Mind
V.23 talks about being renewed in the spirit of our mind.
This should remind you of Romans 12:2 where Paul
writes about not being conformed to this world, but being
transformed by the renewing of your mind.

At the moment of our salvation, God transforms us and
takes us from death to life. He gives us the mind of
Christ.
When you are truly saved, there is a transformation that
takes place.

People who knew you before will see a definite change in
how you think, act and speak.
When God saves you He changes you!

Finally, Paul writes to
Put on the New Self

Which in the likeness of God has been created in
righteousness and holiness of the truth.

We were created in the likeness of God.
Remember the first few weeks of this sermon series we
talked about living like Christ in holiness, humility, love
and forgiveness.

When we put on the new self our mind is transformed
and we no longer live for self, we live for Christ.

Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”

What we think about is what we become.
That’s why the Scripture tells us to fix our eyes on the
author and perfector of our faith.
That’s why we are to think on whatever is true, whatever
is lovely, whatever is above repute, we should be
dwelling on those things.

Some people think that turning to Christ will require
them to miss out on all the fun stuff.
Solomon addresses that later in the same chapter of
Proverbs, verse 17 “Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but live in the fear of the Lord always.”

We have no reason for FOMO (fear of missing out)

We have a relationship with Christ, He wants to walk
through life with us and he promises to give us abundant
life.

Now, remember at the beginning of the chapter Paul was
imploring them to walk in a manner worthy of the calling.

The last 8 verses of the chapter are the application of
how Paul expects them to do it.

APPLICATION

Speak Truth v. 25 speak the truth to one another, we
are all part of the body of Christ

Control your Anger v.26-27 it’s ok to be angry about
the things that anger God. Jesus was angry when the
people were exchanging in the temple and He cast them
out. We just have to control the anger and make sure it’s
over something that matters.

Word Hard v.28 The one who steals should not do it any
longer, he should be working for good so he can earn an
honest living. Not for his own benefit, but so he will have
enough to help those who are in need.

Build Up Others v.29 there is no need to tear down
others with sarcasm or belittling humor.

Those who are in Christ will build others up and be grace
givers not inappropriate jokers.

Be Kind v.32 Paul warns against bitterness and wrath
and anger and clamor because those things don’t help
anyone. Believers are kind to others and don’t speak evil
or hold grudges. They forgive and are kind just as Christ
is kind and full of love.