Ephesians 4:17-24 – The New Halakah

The Halakah of God
God created man to enjoy Him and Walk with Him.
Ever since then mankind has hid from God
Religion is one of the ways we hide from God. It is a like the fig leaves

Religion vs Relationship
Religion helps us to cover the shame we feel because of our sin.
We learn about God, enjoy worship, and believe our nakedness is covered up.
But when we leave our holy huddle and face the world we really haven’t been changed.

Ephesians 4:17
Paul tells us that God has made provision just as in Eden.
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. (NIV)

Ephesians 4:17 NASB:
This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,
“live” in the NIV and “walk” NASB & ESV. How we walk affects how we live.

God’s ProvisionGod wants to walk with us -
If we walk with Him our lives will be transformed
If we want His blessings we must walk in His ways

The Power of God’s Word
How we live is rooted in God’s Law or God’s Word. God’s Word is His Law.
When we abide in God’s Word it affects how we think, how we walk, how we live.
Faith and life comes from God’s Word. God spoke and the world was created. God’s Word is powerful .

Shema – Deuteronomy 6:4
True life, God’s life comes from His Word.
The essence of Jewish faith is rooted in the Shema
The Walk that leads to life

The Shema - (Deuteronomy 6:4-7).

God’s Word Transforms
When God’s word is on our minds it penetrates to our hearts
When it penetrates our hearts it affects how we walk, how we live.
It influences our family, and all those we come in contact with.

Our Passage presents Three things (Ephesians 4:17-24):
Why walking worldly won’t work
What happens when we think and walk like the world
Abiding in Word transforms us

Walking worldly won’t work
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.” - (Ephesians 4:17)
Paul “insists” He is exercising his God given authority.

“This is from the Lord”: Our Lives are not our own.
When we came to Messiah we were redeemed (purchased).
We were bought by the Lord to be His slaves.
We are to cultivate the mind of our Master.
Not the mind of the Gentiles (nations-world).

Wrong thinking
“no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God” – (Ephesians 4:17b-18a)
Ignorance and disobedience to God’s Word hardens the heart (ie. Pharaoh}.

Are we different?
Today many Believers are indistinguishable from those in the world.
Does our life demonstrate that we are different?
Do we have the mind of God or think as the world thinks?

Thinking that leads to death
We are called to give up the “futility of such thinking.” Thinking like the world.
Man makes up all kinds of stuff about himself and God – We have advanced studies in everything. There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

The thinking of life
Yeshua said “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.”
His mind leads to life. And we are to have the mind of Messiah.
His way is completely different than the way of the world.

Worldly thinking
Worldly thinking is darkened in ignorance which is not knowing.
Just because we don’t know does not give us a pass all men will be accountable to God. Not knowing leads to hardened hearts as Ephesians 4:18 tells us.

Consequences
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts (Ephesians 4:18). Ignorance of God’s Word which reveals God’s mind leads to a hardened heart.

New mind or hard heart
A heart not enlightened by God’s Word becomes hardened against the Lord.
If your thinking the way the world thinks you won’t think rightly.
Like driving 70 miles an hour in fog.

Do not harden your heart
A hard heart comes from repeatedly rejecting God’s Word.
Such a person loses “sensitivity” to the things of God.
7 times Pharaoh hardened his heart, and suddenly judgment came.

The Word brings Life
We all need the life of God – “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”
Our source of physical life is God – and the source of abundant and everlasting life is God. His Word is Life, Light and Joy

Downward spiral
In Ephesians 4:19 we see what happens to those who think like the world:
“and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.”
If you become hardened eventually you become accustomed to it and develop a life that ignores the pain.

Seared Conscience
The conscience becomes “seared as with a hot iron.”
It no longer feels the pang of guilt at doing wrong.
When we don’t find pleasure in God We pleasure ourselves.

The hole in our hearts
Man seeks to fill the emptiness with a myriad of things:
Immorality, drugs & drink knowledge even religion
But the only real thirst quencher is the Lord and His Spirit.

But if we want life
But you did not learn Messiah in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Yeshua, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (Ephesians 4:20-24)

The Solution for Life Truth is in Yeshua Lay aside the old self, And put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in us.
The Word and the Spirit Through the Word we will see what is fig leaves – what is old – what brings death It is through His Word our mind is Renewed and transformed.

Do You Read the Word? The Word is soul food
It is How God Brings life to us and to others
It is not optional – choice is ours One way leads to life the other death.

Moses Agrees
See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments (His Word)… I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live. (Deuteronomy 30)

Conclusion
When God’s Word is not our source of truth, We shut down the work the Holy Spirit.
It is God’s Word through His Spirit that allows us to walk with Him. It begins with atonement and transforms us through His Word.

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