Walk Thru The Word: Ephesians 4: 15-19 (ESV)

Contrast How Gentiles Walk In Futile Thinking but Bible Believers walk in truth!

 

15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

The New Life

17Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

Walk Thru The Word: Ephesians 4: 11-16 (ESV)

God Gives Gifts to Equip The Saints For Ministry

20But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22to put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Walk Thru The Word: Ephesians 4: 11-16 (ESV)

God Gives Gifts to Equip The Saints For Ministry

25Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and give no opportunity to the devil. 28Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Message map Ephesians 4: 15–32

Ephesians Session #9

“Gut-Level Living” is Living Out The Good Emotions of Gods Grace.

  • Eph 4:1516 We fulfill our roles and responsibilities as Joints Christ Uses To Supply Growth to His body. (Growth is to be both in quantity & Quality)
  • Eph 4: 17 – 19 The 4-Fs of The GentilesFutile Way of Thinking
  • Eph 4: 20-24 There Are 2 ways to Learn Christ
  1. a) The Right way that transforms us into Christs image &
  2. b) The wrong way that leaves us In Our Carnal Nature
  • Eph 4: 25–32 “living with gutsForgives & Covers Our Failures

 Eph 4: 15-1 We fulfill our roles and responsibilities as Joints Christ Uses To Supply Growth to His body

15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Christianity hinges on speaking the truth in love.

  • speaking the truth—Translate, “holding the truth”; “following the truth”; opposed to “error” or “deceit” (Eph 4:14).
  • God’s love is not human sentimentality = prompted by passion or feeling
  • “Truth” is never to be sacrificed to so-called “charity”; yet it is to be maintained in charity. Truth in word and act, love in manner and spirit, are the Christian’s rule (compare Eph 4:21, 24).
  • 15Rather, speaking the truth in love, = Spirit-led confrontation where it is vital to tell the truth so others can live in God’s reality rather than personal illusion.

We are joints, who fulfill our roles and responsibilities in Christ, so God uses us as Joints To Supply Growth

The joints are the points of union where the supply passes to the different members, furnishing the body with the materials required for its growth.

God wants His body to grow both quantitatively = in quantity and qualitatively = in quality Spiritual character

The Primary resource through which Christ fulfills the mission to grow His Body both numerically (in quantity) and in mature Christian character (qualitatively) is SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE! 

Calvin notes on Eph 4: 15-16 the following:

  1. But, speaking the truth. Having already said that we ought not to be children, destitute of reason and judgment, he now enjoins us to grow up in the truth. [145] Though we have not arrived at man’s estate, we ought at least, as we have already said, to be advanced children. The truth of God ought to have such a firm hold of us, that all the contrivances and attacks of Satan shall not draw us from our course; and yet, as we have not hitherto attained full and complete strength, we must make progress until death.

He points out the design of this progress, that Christ may be the head, “that in all things he may have the pre-eminence,” (Colossians 1:18,) and that in him alone we may grow in vigor or in stature. Again, we see that no man is excepted; all are enjoined to be subject, and to take their own places in the body.

What aspect then does Popery present, but that of a crooked, deformed person? Is not the whole symmetry of the church destroyed, when one man, acting in opposition to the head, refuses to be reckoned one of the members? The Papists deny this, and allege that the Pope is nothing more than a ministerial head. But such cavils do them no service. The tyranny of their idol must be acknowledged to be altogether inconsistent with that order which Paul here recommends. In a word, a healthful condition of the church requires that Christ alone “must increase,” and all others “must decrease.” (John 3:30.) Whatever increase we obtain must be regulated in such a manner, that we shall remain in our own place, and contribute to exalt the head.”

Eph 4: 17-1 The Gentiles Have A Useless Way of Thinking

17gentiles (1. those unaware of and “unregenerated” by Christ.  2. those of the common culture of unbelievers. Almost always leads to individual perverseness and depravation) have a Futile (aimless, purposeless, nonsense-filled vain, empty, unrealistic, ineffective, unstable, frail and false religious) way of thinking

The Chart gives us the opportunity to determine if the 4-F’s on the left are outcomes and illustrations of the Bible verses on the right, Ephesians 4: 18-19, designated by a-d on the right.

Eph 4: 17 – 19 The 4-Fs of Futile Thinking

4 F’s on the left are the result of which of the elements from Eph 4: 18-19 on the right.

18They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

Characteristics of Futile thinking include these 4-F’s… 

  • Feelings = truth (for example, you can experience temporary food poisoning, and feel like you are dying, but you actually are not dying!).
  • for example, you can experience temporary food poisoning, and feel like you are dying, but you actually are not dying!
  • fantasy = Reality.
  • What I think changes male/female DNA. Can cows become bulls? Can lions become lionesses? Can male dogs become female dogs? Rom 1:22 “Professing themselves wise, they became fools.” 
  • Prov 9:10 & Prov. 9:22 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom!
  • Proverbs 15:16 “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.”
  • Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death. Proverbs 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. (Telling children they can change their God-given sex is perverse and evil. Eph 5:11 tells us to oppose the evil deeds of darkness.)
  • Faith in Faithwithout Christ being the object of faith & salvation (Col. 1: 6 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven)
  • We see bumper stickers that say, “Just Believe!” Biblical saving faith is based on what God through Christ actually has done for us. 2 Corinthians 5:19 NLT For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
  • Christ is Preeminent in All Things, says Colossians 1: 15-20, which reads “15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
  • forgiveness without repentance that conforms us to God’s standards = Commands!
  • Mark 1:15 “… Repent and believe the good news!”
  • Matthew 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near
  • Mark 6:12 So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God.
  • Luke 13:5 But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
  • Acts 17:30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
  • Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
  • Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.
  • Revelation 3:3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and
  • 18darkened in your understanding
  • 18…alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, meaning the Gentiles in general,
  • 18…is your heart hard,
  • 19… you have become callous and have given yourself up to sensuality, [and have become] greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
  1. Fantasy = reality = Shape reality by wanting to be and saying you are something you are not (18… because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity)
  2. If fantasy = reality are you suffering from being …
  • 18darkened in your understanding
  • 18…alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, meaning the Gentiles in general,
  • 18…is your heart hard,
  • 19… you have become callous and have given yourself up
  1. Faith in “Faith” is valid, without christ being the object of salvation in Whom we must place our faith. we place our faith in that His character is reliable to ascribe to us His substitutionary death on the cross. (Colossians 1:16-20 says, “16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.) (= 18alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them) = Their motto is “Just Believe”
  2. If you think you can have “faith in faith” absent of you relying upon what Christ has done to win our salvation, might you be suffering from …
  • 18darkened in your understanding
  • 18…alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, meaning the Gentiles in general,
  • 18…is your heart hard,
  • 19… you have become callous and have given yourself up
  1. Forgiveness Is Due Us without repentance, and is independent of us consenting or conforming to God’s standards in His Commands! (= 18-19 alienated  
  2. If you think you can obtain God’s forgiveness on your own terms, without repenting on His terms, which includes accepting Christ’s sacrifice as the propitiation of our sins, might you be …
  • 18darkened in your understanding
  • 18…alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, meaning the Gentiles in general,
  • 18…is your heart hard,
  • 19… you have become callous and have given yourself up

Eph 4: 20-24 There Are 2 ways to Learn Christ:

  1. a) The Right that transforms us into Christ’s image &
  2. b) The wrong way leaves us carnally Uniformed

Thus vss 20-21says, 20But that is not the way you learned Christ! — 21assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. Thus vs 20 reveals there is right way and a wrong way to learn Christ.  Really there only is One Way, — John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life

2021 The Wrong Way To Learn Christ keeps us from being able

22to put off your old self(formerly Gentile ways) which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt (spoiled , by moral deterioration & decomposition (break-down), due to the corrupting influence = the corrosion of sin) through deceitful desires, (desires that come on so strong, yet are so wrong, and leave us unfulfilled.

”The Click To Tweet spirit’s work of your minds (reasoning & intellect), 24and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness (what is deemed right in the eyes of the Lord) and holiness. (what God sanctions, defines & ordains as holy and just.)” username=”LibertyCF3″]

The Right Way To Learn results from Christ enabling us …

23 … to be renewed (made cooperative in God’s process that intensifies through higher stages & levels of sanctification) in the [Holy] spirit’s work of your minds (reasoning & intellect — Rom 12: 1-2), 24and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness (what is deemed right in the eyes of the Lord) and holiness (that which God sanctions, defines,  ordains as holy and just.)

  1. John 14:6-7 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you had known me; you would have known my Father also. (d = d 7 Or If you know me, you will know my Father also,) Bottom line is, the only way to know God is through Christ. Not through a church.  God has no stepchildren. 

Thus Transformation accomplishes the following:

2021 The Wrong Way To Learn Christ keeps us from being able …

  • 22to put off your old self,(formerly Gentile ways) which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt (spoiled, by moral deterioration & decomposition (break-down), due to the corrupting influence of sin.) through deceitful desires, (desires that seem so strong, yet are so wrong, and leave us unfulfilled.

The Right Way To Learn Christ enables us …

  • 23 … to be renewed (cooperate in God’s process that intensifies through higher stages & levels of sanctification) in the [Holy] spirit’s work of your minds (reasoning & intellect), 24and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness (what is deemed right in the eyes of the Lord) and holiness. (what God sanctions, defines & ordains as holy and just.)

Eph 4: 11 (Five-Fold Ministry) These Gifts Accompany Callings

25Therefore, having put away falsehood (falsehood, (conscious and intentional inconformity to fact or truth; untruth; includes false religion), let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

NW 1828 — FALSEHOOD, noun fols’hood. [false and hood.]

  1. treachery; deceitfulness; perfidy.
  2. Counterfeit; false appearance; imposture.
  3. To define “falsehood,” the NW 1828 uses Galatians 5:17 The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other. Galatians 5:17.

26Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

  1. Anger = (irritated to show settled-opposition, which is positive when inspired by God – and always negative when arising from the God’s anger is a fixed, controlled, passionate feeling against sin.
  2. and do not sin (sinful unnecessary anger” focuses on punishing the offender rather than the moral content of the offense) do not let the sun go down on your anger,

 27and give no opportunity (foothold, place) to the devil. 28Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

29Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Eph 4: 28 God wants us working to share vs. Stealing

28Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

Which of the following is true? God tells us not to steal because

  • The 10 Commandments codify that people have a right to keep what they earn, inherit, are gifted and acquire honestly.
  • Working is trading your time and talents for a paycheck.
  • Thieves include politicians who advocate for socialism that steals what we earn through excessive taxes.
  • Politicians incite the sin of jealousy by insinuating if your job pays you a lot of money, you have stolen if from others.
  • Consumers have a right to purchase and own the goods and services they consider a fair value for what they pay for them.
  • Employers have a right to pay whatever wages workers agree to. (Matt 20: 1- 16) (Wage payers are consumers who purchase labor resources. 
  • Matt 20: 1-16 Tells The Parable of the Workers & WagesIn this parable, The Master hires people 1) early in the morning 2) about the third hour of the day; 3) the sixth hour and the 4) ninth hour and the 5) eleventh hour. He pays each of them a denarius, and 11And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity’s 16So the last will be first, and the first last.
  • 1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4and to them he said, You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ 5So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ 7They said to him,
  • ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ 8And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ 9And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity’s 16So the last will be first, and the first last.

The 10 Commandments codify that people have a right to keep what they earn. 

Eph 4: 28-31 Violating Gods 10 Commandments Grieves the Holy Spirit of God

28Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not grieve (VEX) the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

See Chart on this Slide of Eph 4: 28-31 & 10 Commandments

  • Stealing violated 10 Cmd # 8
  • corrupting talk violates 10 Cmd # 9
  • Grieving Holy Spirit violates 10 Cmd # 1 Have no other god before me.
  • bitterness and wrath and anger with all malice — violates 10 Cmd # 6, “Thou shall not murder, as anger leads to murder (Mt 5:21-22) & Slander violates 10 Cmd # 9 slander, because it is a form of telling a lie.
  • Vex, Says, NW 1828 means To disturb; to disquiet; to agitate; to trouble.. The Holy Spirit is not vexed or pained by our sin, as if He is emotionally dependent upon our obedience.  The Spirit is grieved for us — for what detrimental effects sin brings into our lives!   
  • Clamour = emotional outbursts — loud crying, done with great emotion; clamorous screaming (shrieking) that is extremely boisterous, like a wounded person emitting “unearthly” (non-human) types of sounds.
  • Slander = to speak of something that really is good in a way that insinuates and identifies it as truly bad as it’s really evil. NW 1828 = A false tale or report maliciously uttered. and tending to injure the reputation of another by lessening him in the esteem of his fellow citizens, by exposing him to impeachment and punishment, or by impairing his means of living; defamation. slander that worst of poisons, ever finds an easy entrance to ignoble minds.
  • Malice = vicious disposition, malice, spite. Also = depravity, or (actively) malignity, or (passively) trouble — evil, malice(-iousness), naughtiness, wickedness. NW 1828 Malice = Extreme enmity of heart, or malevolence; a disposition to injure others without cause, from mere personal gratification or from a spirit of revenge; unprovoked malignity or spite.

Eph 4: 32 Eph 4: 32 Forgiveness Covers Our Failures

29Let no corrupting (rotten, useless, corrupt, depraved) talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up (spiritual advancement, edification), as fits the occasion, that it may give grace (Lord’s favorable perspective, as God freely extends Himself, reaching (inclining) to us because He is disposed to be near and bless us) to those who hear. 30…by whom you were sealed (legally attested to as being owned by God, authorized & validated, by the Holy Spirit Who guarantees our salvation) for the day of redemption.

Eph 4: 32 “living with gutsForgives & Covers Our Failures

32Be kind you to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

32Be kind (serviceable, good useful, gentle, pleasant, kind; able to be used of God to furnish what is suitable.)  to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, tender-hearted, merciful, exercise positive gut-level sympathy, empathy, compassion) – i.e. “living with guts.”) forgiving (freely giving favor to grant forgiveness (pardon)

God gives us grace that grants His favor to pardon us by cancelling the debt we owe Him due to our sin (Rom 6:23) 

  1. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is freely done and therefore not based on any merit of the one receiving forgiveness. 

Eusplagchnos  (yoo’-splangkh-nos) =

Living Out The Good Emotions of God’s Grace.

Let’s Pray that God ReAwakens, ReInvigorates & ReEstablish Us in Our Calls In Christ!

 Let’s Pray:

Thank You, LORD for giving us Your grace through the Cross of Christ that grants us Your favor to pardon us by cancelling the debt we owe You due to our sinWe ask that You continue working in us to make us the kind of people who can

Eusplagchnos  (yoo-splangkh-nos) and Live Out The Good Emotions of Your Grace in the Fruit of Your Spirit!   Amen!