Ephesians 4:17-32 – Renewed In Christ: Transforming Behavior

April 28, 2024   /   Feather Sound Church

V.17-19  The Diagnosis:  How not to walk. As I inform my thinking with God’s thoughts, God changes my heart, but if I don’t, it leads to futile thinking and a downward spiral to sin. 

Slippery Slope of Sin:

  1. Rejection of God’s Truth (Romans 1:18-23; Eph. 4:18): Instead of honoring God and acknowledging His existence and authority, we ignore truth and choose to elevate (worship) created things rather than the Creator (what is most valuable in your life).  
  2. Futile Thinking (Romans 1:21-22, Eph. 4:17-18): If we persist in rejecting God’s authority, our thinking becomes futile, and our hearts are hardened. 
  3. Increasing Immoral Behavior (Romans 1:24-32; Eph. 4:19): With hearts hardened, we engage in increasingly sinful behaviors and the result is that the truth of God is exchanged for lies and we embrace lifestyles contrary to God’s design and ultimate human flourishing.
  4. Consequences and Increasing Depravity (Romans 1:28-32): God gives them over to their sinful desires and allows them to experience the consequences of their choices.

The Good news is that God completely revives our spirit when we put our trust in Jesus. The key now is to (Eph.4:13) Grow into the fullness of the measure of Jesus (Sanctification).  How?

V.20-32 Prescription for the believer (to walk worthy of our calling):

  1. Renewed by truth in the Mind (Romans 12:2; Eph. 4:20-21;23; Col. 3:10): This renewal of our minds comes through knowledge of truth as defined by God. I can’t change my heart on my own but I can change what is in my mind which changes what my heart wants because it understands what Jesus has done for me and he has a better way.
  2. Put Off the Old Self (Ephesians 4:22, 25-29, 31): Not just actions, but who you think you are as your identity.  Choosing to turn away from sinful behaviors and attitudes by repenting of our sins, rejecting their lies and making no provision for the flesh by staying away from the things that trigger the sin and it allows God to transform us from within.
  3. Put On the New Self (Ephesians 4:24,25b;28b;29b;32): Replacing them with behaviors that align with God’s design as revealed by truth (V.21). For more Put-On’s see below.
  4. Walk in the Spirit (Eph. 4:30; Galatians 5:16-25; Rom. 6):  To overcome sin, believers are called to walk in the Spirit and not grieve Him V.30 through ignoring His voice. This involves continual yielding to the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Grow Group Questions:

  1. Not everyone has a dramatic conversion like Paul. How can he know that he was truly born again? Cite biblical support.
  2. Why is there a downward spiral when someone chooses to be ignorant of God and his authority? 
  3. How would you share with some who claimed to be a believer but was living verses 18-19?
  4. Why is truth so important and why is it such a target for Satan?
  5. Why is it so important to emphasize the “put on” over the “put off’s”?
  6. How does a Christian grow in the process of yielding or even hearing the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

List of Biblical Put-On’s and Put-Off’s (complete list: https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/misc/putoffon.cfm)

 

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