~ Do You Understand The Process? ~
The Goal ~ God’s goal for every Christian is that they become increasingly Christ-like. “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:” (Ephesians 4:17-21). This chapter continues by clearly presenting four things which need to be put in their proper place in order for meaningful progress in our metamorphosis towards Christ.
The fourth chapter of Ephesians tells us a lot about how to become increasingly Christ-like. In particular verses 17-32 give instructions regarding the new individual a Christian has become and how to engage in this world without grieving the Spirit of God. It is important to note that these instructions are given to those who have accepted the free gift of salvation through the death of Jesus Christ for their sins (Step 1).
2. Put Away Your Former Lifestyle ~ “That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22).
3. Put New Attitudes into Your Thinking ~ “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23, see also Romans 12:1-2).
4. Put On a New Person of Holiness ~ “And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another. ‘Be angry, and do not sin:’ do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:24-30).
5. Put Away Wrong Emotions ~ “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW