Walking in the World, but not as the World
Today at CrossHope Chapel we opened to Ephesians 4:17-32 and in case you missed it, here are some notes…
The Apostle Paul uses the metaphor “walk” as a way to express how we live our lives. Walk is a descriptive word picture for the practice of our day to day living. It is used by the Apostle Paul and the other Apostles to denote both good examples of living and bad examples of living.
Peter writes of “walking in the flesh” in 2 Peter 2:10 and Jude writes of those who “walk after their own ungodly lust” in Jude 1:18. Paul admonishes us to “walk by faith and not by sight” in 2 Corinthians 5:7.
In Romans 6:4 Paul admonishes us to “walk in newness of life.” In Galatians 5:25 Paul says “let us also walk in the Spirit.” In Colossians 2:6 Paul tells us that just as we received Jesus, we should “walk ye in him.”
Paul begins by saying, “you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do” (Ephesians 4:17 ESV) and then he specifically referenced four faults of those who walk after the world and not after Christ: 1) They can’t think spiritually; 2) They have no relationship with God; 3) They are callous toward the things of God; 4) They have given their lives over to sinfulness.
There is a big difference between the life of an unbeliever and the life of a believer. 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (ESV).
They have different world views — the believer has an eternal longing for the Kingdom of God but the unbeliever has a temporal objective of a kingdom where he is the god.
They have different frames of references — the believer has a conscious that is open to the Spirit’s convictions of righteousness but the unbeliever has a conscious that is closed to any influence other than he’s own selfish wants.
They have different behavioral tendencies — the believer governs his actions by the knowledge of a coming judgement but the unbeliever cares not about consequences of tomorrow.
They have different values — the believer appreciates the unconditional love and grace of Christ desiring to respect on honor Him but the unbeliever seeks to please himself at the expense of without remorse.
Paul transitions from describing walking as an unbeliever to walking as a believer with the use of four words in Ephesians 4:20-22.
Paul uses the words learn, hear, teach, and put-off. Four words that sound a lot like the gospel cry of John the Baptist and Jesus when we read in the book of Matthew, “repent and believe for the Kingdom of God is near.”
If a lost man is willing to learn truth from Scripture, hear the teaching the word and then put-off the things that hinder his walk with the Lord Jesus, he will become a saved man.
For the remainder of this section Paul uses the following words, phrases, and expressions (as read in the ESV) to give us a picture of what it means to walk in the world, but not as the world…
- “to be renewed in the spirit of your minds”
- “to put on the new self”
- “put away falsehood”
- “speak the truth”
- “Be angry and do not sin”
- “give no opportunity to the devil”
- “no longer steal”
- “labor, doing honest work”
- “share with anyone in need”
- “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths”
- “(talk) as is good for building up”
- “give grace to those who hear”
- “do not grieve the Holy Spirit”
- “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you”
- “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”