THE OLD WAY HAS TO GO!

Thursday, 16 April 2020 Ephesians 4:17-32



“But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus…” -Ephesians 4:20-21


The old way has to go! No more going along with the empty-headed mindless ways of the world.  The world has so long refused to deal with God that it has lost touch with God and His ways. If we keep following those ways, we will all the more walk away from God, our confused mind leading us to indulge in every impure way as warned in V.19. But we who have known Christ, if indeed we have, the way of the world is no life for us. So what does it mean to “learn Christ?” It means that we cannot learn to be like Christ and keep on sinning, instead we have to discard that old way of life with its deceitful desires (V.22). We have to get rid of it and then take on an entirely new way of life. A God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside by the working of the Holy Spirit, working itself into our conduct as God reproduces His character in us (Vs 23-24MSG).  2 Peter 1:3 says that "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” The first works that we have to do is to lie no more, neither to ourselves nor to others. We have to speak and accept the truth even if it hurts.  Proverbs 16:1 says, "Of man are the preparations of the heart, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.” Let us watch the way we talk and the things that we meditate upon. We often like to categorize our "anger" as "righteous indignation." We can never gain victory over sin if we are dishonest. Let us not call any sin "a mistake," but acknowledge sin for what it is and confess it—because the blood of Jesus can cleanse us from all our sin. He does not cleanse dishonest people.  The Bible gives hope to honest people. "He who covers his sin will never prosper" (Prov.28:13).  Even Jesus said that there was more hope for prostitutes and thieves to enter God's kingdom than for religious leaders (Matt.21:31); because prostitutes and thieves make no pretense of being holy. Enough is enough! Let’s stop giving the devil a foothold in our lives by being angry with one another, being selfish, slandering and harbouring bitterness and hatred, revenge, etc…. 1Peter 3:13 says: ”Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?"  So when someone does harm us let us examine if we have not been zealous for what is good; otherwise we know that God will work such a situation for our good as we see in the life of Joseph (Genesis 50:20). Finally grieving the Holy Spirit can only bring us down. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in us, is the most intimate part of our life, making us fit for Himself. Let us not take such a gift for granted (V30). Let us “mortify the deeds of the body through the Spirit" if we are to live (Rom.8:13). The work of the Holy Spirit is to lead us to the cross on a daily basis. We may go through tough situations, but it is part of becoming Christ-like! 2 Cor.4:10 [NLT] says, “Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”

TO ACT ON:

“…. leaving behind all the weight of the sin which surrounds us, let us run with patience the race that is set before us, with our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1&2)

Good Shepherd Ministry International