In our message, PUT ON THE NEW HUMANITY (Eph. 4:17-27), we continued to look at God’s call to the church to follow Him as His disciples. Not only are Christians to “walk worthy” of Christ by making every effort “to keep the unity of the Spirit” with the gifts Jesus has provided us with, we also are to NOT walk as we did before we were saved (Eph. 4:17).
Lost people, God reminds us, “walk… in the futility [or vanity] of their mind” (Eph. 4:17). That is, they have no useful aim or goal… and their life is empty of ultimate meaning or purpose (Eccl. 1:1-11; 12:1-8, etc.). Rejection of God’s offer of salvation keeps them “alienated [separated] from the life [that comes from]… God” just as we also were before trusting in Christ (Eph. 2:2; John 3:16-18, etc.). This unbelief not only results in “ignorance… [and] blindness of… heart” as they profess to be “wise”- rejecting the Bible (Eph. 4:18; Rom. 1:22; Ps. 14:1a; 53:1a, etc.), but it leads them to becoming “past feeling” and searing their God-given “conscience” (Eph. 4:19a; 1 Tim. 4:2; Rom.1:18-32, etc.). The Scripture shows such people who reject God, ultimately, abandon themselves to sensuality, indulging in self-gratification, without regard to others as they engage in “all uncleanness with greediness” (Eph. 4:19b; Ps. 14:1b; 53:1b; 1 John 3:12; 5:20-21, etc.). While Christians have been set free, the Word shows us we can be brought under bondage again if we walk after the culture that surrounds us (Gal. 1:4; 5:1; Rom. 6:16; 7:18; 1 Cor. 3:15; 1 John 3:13; 5:19, etc.).
But that is not who we are in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Eph. 2:8-9; 4:20-21; Rom. 6:11; Gal. 2:20, etc.). We are therefore to “put off… the old man” whenever we see it in our lives and be “renewed in the spirit of our mind” after Christ (Eph. 4:22-23; Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 5:7, etc.). Not only are we to throw off the negative deeds of our “former conduct” before Jesus saved us, but we are to positively “put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:12, etc.). Practically speaking, this means not “lying” or becoming “angry” in a sinful way- because such vices are ways the devil can develop a “place” in our lives with which to lead us into further sin (Eph. 4:25-27; 6:10-12f; 1 Pet. 5:8, etc.). We should deal with such things immediately, “not [letting] the sun go down” on them through repentance and confession before God and, when appropriate, others (1 John 1:9; 1 Pet. 5:13-20; 1 Cor. 11:27-32, etc.).