Living to Honor God’s Calling (II)

February 13, 2010

“Holiness is what I Need”

Ephesians 4:17-32

Introduction

The Big Idea– As a new creature in Christ, you’re expected to be holy, not still living like an unbeliever.

The Big Picture (of Ephesians): Chs. 1-3- “The calling with which you have been called”

Chs. 4-6- “Walking worthy of the calling”

(4:17-19) When you were a non-Christian, your behavior was in keeping with your unsaved old nature.

–         (vv. 17-18) “The way we were” then: Your old nature outside of Christ

–         (v. 19) Non-Christian behavior: “Doing what comes naturally”

(4:20-32) As a believer in Jesus Christ, your behavior must be brought into line with your new nature.

–         (vv. 20-24) The way we are now: Your new position in Christ

–         (vv. 25-32) Five “test-case” areas in which Christians’ behavior must change

1)      Telling the truth (v. 25)

2)      “Keeping short accounts” with anger (vv. 26-27)

3)      Working hard, not stealing (v. 28)

4)      Using (only) edifying speech (vv. 29-30)

5)      Dealing with bitterness and related issues (vv. 31-32)

The Bottom Line– Where will the empowerment come from to overhaul your behavior?  Thankfully, the same Holy Spirit who “sealed” you as God’s possession (4:30) especially wants to “fill” (i.e., empower/control) you (5:18-21) in the relationships where your behavior matters most (5:22-6:9), as well as the rest of the time.

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