Roseavenue.org

 



Sunday, March 20, 2016 pm                                Ephesians IndexEphesians-Index.html

 

STUDIES IN EPHESIANS (27)
As the Truth is in Jesus
Ephesians 4:22-24

 

In our study of Ephesians, we have noted that Paul emphasizes unity in the body of Christ, His church.  That unity is not found in compromise, but in agreement upon what God teaches.   Learning that is one thing, but applying it is another.   In our last lesson we began to notice Paul’s instructions as to how these brethren are to treat each other in this unity and how to conduct themselves in the world.  In our last lesson we addressed how we are no longer walking as the rest of the world – in the futility of their minds, with their understanding being darkened and thus they are alienated from the life of God.  We found a mindset that is very much like that of the ungodly today. 

“But you have not so learned in Christ.”  We are to live a changed life based upon the truth that is found in Jesus.  In our text, Paul identifies 3 things that we EACH need in the process of becoming the body of Christ God desires us to be.   In our lesson tonight we will notice these 3 things. 

 I.                     As the Truth is in Jesus

a.       In Him we do NOT learn to behave as the world.  The opposite of this worldly behavior is what we find in our Lord Jesus Christ.   We behave differently. 

b.       As the truth is in Jesus – In what way is truth in Jesus?  Is it His teachings or is it His person and the teachings about Him?  We learn from both.

                                                   i.      Jesus is our example -   1 Cor. 11:1, 1 Peter 2:21-25, John 13:15, etc.
BUT in the text we are told it is the teachings of Jesus.   The word for taught is one that means to be instructed. 

                                                 ii.      Be reminded that most there had not actually seen Him, but they could still learn from His teaching through His apostles and other inspired men.

                                                iii.      Jesus was the master teacher – Matthew 7:29 speaks of His teaching as one who has authority.   Later in His teaching there was an occasion when temple guards were sent to arrest Him.  They returned without him and when asked why they said, “No man ever spoke like this.” (John 7:46)
His use of parables, dealing with error and conflict, defending His teachings, and the instruction He gave His disciples, and his instructions about salvation all demonstrate why He was the master teacher. 

                                                iv.      Jesus is the truth!   - John 14:6 – He is the way, truth and life.

                                                  v.      Matthew 11:28-30 – He said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me…”

                                                vi.      John 8:31-32 Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

                                              vii.      In Him, we find the standard that promotes true unity.

 II.                   When we are in Christ

a.       You put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to deceitful lusts – all those qualities we discussed in our last lesson are put off by us.

                                                   i.      We have to change!  We put to death the old man!  Romans 6:2-6, the old man is crucified with Him. 
Galatians 5:24 – we have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 
Galatians 6:14 speaks of Paul as the world has been crucified to him and he to the world (he has given it up).
Colossians 3:9 speaks of putting of the old man with his deeds.

                                                 ii.      We quit practicing sinful behavior – this is the result of killing your former sinful self. 
Romans 13:12 calls for us to cast off the works of darkness.
Colossians 3:5-9 describes many sinful actions we rid ourselves of. 
I also think of 1 Cor. 6:9-11 – such WERE some of you!
1 John 3:6-7, 9 – we cannot (continue in) sin.

                                                iii.      There is a cost and surrender to becoming a true child of God.  The rich, young ruler is an illustration of this – Matthew 19:21-22.  Luke 9:23-25 calls for us to deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow Him. 

                                                iv.      ARE you different than before you obeyed the gospel?  Can the world see a change in you?  (cf. 1 Peter 4:3-4)

                                                  v.      This old man is described as growing corrupt according to deceitful lusts – this is one reason we need to put him off if we are to follow Christ. 

1.       The old man craves and follows lustful desires (what is pleasurable to his flesh).

2.        It is described as deceitful – it lies to you.  Think about man who is caught up in some sinful behavior and lies to himself about how he is fine.  
Hebrews 3:13 warns us that sin is deceitful and will harden our hearts.  
Colossians 2:8 - Paul warned them to beware lest anyone cheat them through philosophy and empty deceit (e.g. saying you are fine when you are not, etc.).  
Mark 7:22 - Jesus told us that deceit comes from the heart of man.
It was the debased mind of men that led to sinful conduct including deceit (Rom. 1:28-29)

3.       Jesus was clear in Matthew 6:24 that we CANNOT serve 2 masters at the same time. 

b.       You are renewed in the spirit of your mind

                                                   i.      A new mindset that we are continually reminded of.  As we have observed on numerous occasions, change begins in the mind.  It begins with making up your mind that you are going to change.  You may change your conduct – either you quit doing what you know is wrong or you start doing what you have neglected – but if your mindset is not altered you will find yourself straying back to your old ways.

                                                 ii.      There needs to be that “came to himself” moment – (cf. Luke 15:17).  Where one says, “That’s it!  I’m tired of living this way and I have to change RIGHT NOW!” 
We sometimes call it “surrender”.  When we sing, “I surrender all” that is the idea. 
Colossians 3:10 speaks of when we put on the new man we are renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created us – i.e. we LEARN from Jesus!

                                                iii.      That is when we renew our minds – renewal is the idea of becoming reestablished in a new and improved state.

                                                iv.      Romans 12:1-2 – we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
An example - Colossians 3:1-2, we set our minds on things above.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 – we use “the weapons of our warfare” to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

c.        You put on the new man

                                                   i.      When you remove former ungodly behaviors, you have to replace them with godly behaviors.   Until you do this, the process is not complete

                                                 ii.      I think of the parable of Jesus in Matthew 12:43-45 where He speaks of a man whose unclean spirit has left him and when he returns he finds it empty and returns with seven other spirits more wicked than himself.  The latter state is therefore worse. 

                                                iii.      This is understood in dealing with addictions.  A part of overcoming whatever the addiction is involves replacing the bad behavior with something good.  That keeps one’s mind off of their former conduct and gives them new direction.  When one leaves that space empty, when the behavior returns it does so with a vengeance – usually far worse than before.

                                                iv.      Spiritually, it is the same thing.   Deceitful lusts feel good while we are giving into them.  To “surrender” is to sacrifice those things for good and forever.  That means we need to fill the time formerly used to satisfy our lusts with godly conduct.    That is why we need each other as brethren – our time spent together keeps us from worldly influences.

                                                  v.      In the Bible we are to “put on” or “adorn” ourselves with –
 The armor of light – Rom. 13:12, Eh. 6:11
 The Lord Jesus – Romans 13:14, Gal. 3:27
 The new man – Colossians 3:10-11 – who is renewed in knowledge according to His image
 The breastplate of faith and love – 1 Thess. 5:8
 Godly attitudes – Colossians 3:12-13 – tender mercies, kindness, humility, longsuffering, etc.

                                                vi.      The word “new” means something previously unseen, original.   It doesn’t necessarily mean that the type of thing has not been seen before, but the actual thing is NEW.  For example – a new car – the model may have been in existence for a while.  But the one you buy at the car lot is new (that particular one was just recently manufactured).  
Similarly, we are to become new - This goes back to being a changed or different person, unlike anything we have ever been.

                                              vii.      Concerning this new man, we are told that he:

1.       Was created according to God – he conforms to the mold that God created for man to live by.  He gives us the standard of what the new man is about.  (Some of that standard is developed in the following verses)

2.       In true righteousness – a word that means we conform to God’s will.  We do what He instructs us to do – following His laws.  Eph. 5:9 – a fruit of the Spirit,
Eph. 6:14 - the breastplate of our gospel armor
2 Tim. 3:16 – all scripture is profitable for instruction in righteousness.

3.       In true holiness – we are set apart for God.  We are here to serve Him.  It is in holiness that one will see the Lord.  Romans 6:22 says, “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
Ephesians 1:4 in describing our blessings says that we were chosen in Him so that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.

 

The best way for us to get along as brethren and achieve the unity that our Lord desires (John 17:20-21) and we need as brethren (Ephesians 4:1-3) is if we will ALL put to death the old man that we have described in this lesson.  We are reminded of what Jesus taught His disciples in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.  That is the best way for us to make our society around us, and the world, a better place – one person at a time, by being the church of Christ we find in scripture and acting like it!