The Halakah of God A key word in Ephesians is “Walk” Halak = Walk = Law, Walking Rightly is living rightly.
Relationship vs Religion
Two weeks ago we saw:
Why walking worldly won’t work and What happens when we think and walk like the world.
Abiding in Word transforms us Ephesians 4:25-32
This week we will consider how right thinking works out in our lives: The character of the new person transformed by God’s Word.
Ephesians 4:25-32, Ephesians 4:29-32
God’s Provision I want to begin by reminding us of two essential things:
God has given the gift of complete forgiveness and God has given us power through His indwelling Spirit to live holy lives.
God’s Will for Us
God does not want us to go through life, from one failure to another. One source of pain to another. God’s desire for us is that we live holy, joyful and abundant lives. Free from sin and its consequences in a loving relationship with Him.
Today’s Passage Two sections led to today’s passage:
Ephesians 4:17-19, where Paul commands us to no longer live as the Gentiles live.
Ephesians 4:20-24 – Putting off our old self
Old Clothes for New
Changing clothes, replacing dirty garments with garments of righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
Isaiah spoke of this Isaiah 1:18
Paul lists sins that characterize our old self that needs to be put off. Putting off is a cooperative effort between us and God – a partnership.
We want God to do it all – That’s why deliverance services are so popular. But God wants to partner with us for deliverance – together
We must be clothed w God
We can’t do it on our own – without God.
It is only in God that we have power to change – to “put off” sin. We must surrender and cooperate with God in His appointed way.
Put off Falsehood
First sin to take off is lying. Ephesians 4:25 Lay aside falsehood, and put on truth. The reason – Because we are members of one Body. 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.
Do you think of lying as a sin? Do you hate it the way God hates it? This is a sin we tolerate in ourselves and diminish its importance. We think it is ok to exaggerate to make ourselves look better. Lying is destructive and corrosive. It breeds falsehood instead of truth, deceit instead of integrity, dishonesty instead of honesty. Dishonesty keep us from knowing God better.
Proverbs 12:22 “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight.” When lie, we break fellowship with God – one another and ourselves. Is it any wonder why we feel alone and few really know and understands us.
Do you struggle with lying? Along with Paul, I urge you to surrender that area of your life to God, “to put that off.” It takes faith – trusting that God will protect you. Faith comes from God’s Word. Reading it daily.
Ephesians 4:26-27 we are to “Put off anger’. Anger is a very strong emotion. We’re not commanded to not feel anger, but to not sin. How do we do that?
Dealing w Anger
We need to identify the source of our anger. Ephesians 4:27 tells us our anger can give “the devil an opportunity.” Satan desires to wreak havoc in our lives.
When we don’t deal properly with our anger, several things can happen: We bury it, for a season, and then it can explode like steam not vented properly.
Some repress anger pretending it doesn’t exist. And then it will leak out in the form of depression, or affect our demeanor and sour outlook on life.
It affects everything
Unresolved it robs us of joy and can become a root of bitterness damaging ourselves and others. It will destroy community. It will foster hurt feelings.
If Anger is a Problem Seek Help
Get counsel to identify the underlying reasons for your anger, it will lead to freedom and joy. We need to surrender every area of our lives to Him. He must be Lord of all. To cleanse us from the inside and re-create us as peaceful, patient, and self-controlled. He can and will do what we can’t if we call on Him.
Surrender that to God
The Holy Spirit will guide us in what our specific actions can be to cooperate with His working in our lives. Respond to the command to not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Do you struggle with anger? Surrender that to God “put that off.”
Put off Stealing
In Ephesians 4:28 we are told to put off a third sin Stealing. Stealing is wrong, this too must be surrendered. What is it that tempts you to steal? The thrill, greed, covetousness, or a desire to hurt others the way you have been hurt?
Be honest with God
If you confess it and cooperate with God, He will bring to light the root cause, and bring you to freedom. We’re told to stop stealing, and get a job so that weare doing something useful with our hands, why? Not so our own needs are met, so that we will have something to share with those in need.
By God’s Spirit be like Him
From stealing, to earning so that we might have dignity. Then to sharing that we might be godly, like the Lord Himself. Do you struggle with this? Take off the old and put on the new.
What we Say
In Ephesians 4:29 we are told to put off unwholesome talk. This is anything that comes out of our mouths which is not helpful for building others up according to their needs.
Words that hurt
This includes gossip – talking about others behind their back. It includes obscenity, jokes that are questionable, crude or racial. Sarcasm which is hurtful. This includes a preoccupation with self, are all sin.
Words reveal our heart
James talks about the struggle to tame the tongue: “a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell (Ephesians 3:6). What we say to others reveals who we are.
Words bring life or death
Are your words a source of life, do they build people up? Or do they bring death? This is where the work of God’s Spirit can transform us.
Put off the old and put on the new
Don’t grieve God’s Spirit
In Ephesians 4:30 we are told “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit”. A summary statement, reminding us of the effect of our sin. Our sin grieves God and His Holy Spirit. It grieves our relationship with others.
Don’t grieve God’s Spirit
Paul lists a few more sins that need to be put off in Ephesians 4:31 –
Paul doesn’t elaborate but these too grieve God’s Spirit and others.
Be Like God
The last thing Paul says is the alternative way to live. He doesn’t just tell us what to get rid of, he tells us what to replace it with. Be kind, compassionate, forgiving – just as God forgave us in Messiah.
Be kind as God is kind
Lighten your load – Ever Shlep too much luggage? It’s great when we are free of them
Sinful behavior weighs us down.
Put them off and put on Yeshua. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.