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Thoughts from Ephesians # 28 Our New Identity – Don’t Live Like Pagans Eph. 4:17-19

by Larry Miles

Introduction: The next few articles will come from Ephesians 4:17-21.  Paul tells us about our new identity in Christ and how we must live our lives in light of “who we are,” and “how we must live out our lives in the light of the  Gospel.

Do Not Live Like PagansEph. 4:17-19

     Paul says that we should not “walk” as the Gentiles do. The  word “walk” in the New Testament is  illustrating how we conduct ourselves as  Christians. We know that every Christian does not  grow spiritually the same. I believe that the Lord want progress in our  Christian lives.  Just as   God does not force  folks to become  Christians, He will not  force us to grow. We  must  want to grow and  if we do, He will equip us.

     Paul is telling the Ephesian Christians and us that since we are  now “in Christ,” we must start  living like one. We  can no longer live like the “world” around us  and   act  like pagans. We are to walk worthy of the calling which we have been called (4:1), and devote our  whole lives  to Christ. We must use the talents  He has given us to the Glory of God. Our aim is to reach the lost with the saving Gospel and strengthen the saved.

     Paul reminds his readers and us that before we were “in Christ,” we lived a life of futility. Someone said, “We were darkened in our  understanding; had no light. Sin produces a malfunction of the  mind.”

     He reminded the readers that the “mind’ they had outside of Christ led them to  “promiscuity,” and every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more of the same.

     The good news is that God can transform anyone by His grace. We remember in the Corinthian  letters, Paul painted  a “dark picture,” of the  live they led outside of Christ and reminded them that  some  of them in Corinth lived that kind of degradation.  But he then said they had repented and now were enjoying the  marvelous light of the  Gospel.  It’s our  aim today to help people find the marvelous light of the Gospel that Christian enjoy.

     So, as  new  creations in Christ, we must have a  different mindset that we  had in the  world. Paul told the  Roman Christians in Rom. 12:1-2 that we must present our bodies as a living  sacrifice and in Col. 3:1-2 say that we must set our minds on the things   above. In Gal. 5, he contrast the  “works of the flesh,”   ( Gal. 5:19-21 with the fruit of the  spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

 

Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word and Work and attends Cherry St. Church of Christ, New Albany, IN.

 




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If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8