Who We Are & What We're For: Walk in Love (Ephesians 4:17-5:2)

Series: Who We Are & What We're For: A Study of Ephesians

Oct 31, 2021

Walk in Love (Ephesians 4:17-5:2)
 
As we continue to walk through Ephesians 4, Paul continues to give very encouraging and challenging ways to "put off your old self". He begins in verse 17 by reminding the Gentiles (people in general) of the way it was before, and that they are to "no longer walk as the Gentiles do". In other words, their level of walk in purity should look different than it previously did. Those that walk in the old ways do so because of a hardness of heart, and they are lulled to sleep with their "darkened understanding". If you are walking around in the "dark", you are sure to stumble, and you have a propensity to rationalize behavior when it is hidden in darkness. In verse 19, he uses the term "callous", which shows that we can get to a place of no longer feeling pain or shame due to repeated sin.
 
Verse 20 shows the alternative in Christ! We learned, heard, and were taught from the Messiah, through the person of Jesus. We can be renewed in the Spirit, which is critical to this lifestyle. We must Abide in Him and allow the outflow of our lives to come from Him. This is lived out practically:
 
Verse 25 - Speak the Truth
Verse 26 - Anger is not sin, but not everything is righteous anger. Righteous anger serves a purpose for the Kingdom. Anger comes from a hurt or fear, and don't let deep-seeded resentment fester and grow (don't let the sun go down on your anger).
Verse 28 - Don't cut corners, but walk in honor. Don't rob God.
Verse 29 - Corrupt talk is like rotting fruit. Instead, build people up with your words.
Verse 30 - The Holy Spirit is a person, and we need to honor Him with our lives
Verse 31 - Put away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice
Verse 32 - Being kind is different from being nice. Kindness speaks to what you are "for", it has a firm center with soft edges, and allows us to give others the honor they are due as the Imago Dei. Be forgiving, and give people the benefit of the doubt.
 
THEREFORE, be an imitator of God. Because of what Christ has done for us, we can imitate Him. Sacrificially love one another.
 
Discussion Questions:
 
  1. Is your heart getting harder or softer? Are you hoping to hearing the things of the Spirit?
  2. Think to a time where you walked in darkness. What were the circumstances, and how did you move to the light?
  3. Which of the list from above is a growth area for you? Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to grow in "putting on the new self" this week.
  4. Be light tonight in however you spend your time, whether it be family, neighbors, or strangers.
 

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