Thursday, September 17, 2020

2020.09.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 4:17–25

 Read Ephesians 4:17–25

Questions from the Scripture text: How does the apostle introduce Ephesians 4:17? How does he say they should no longer walk? How do the Gentiles walk? What of theirs is darkened (Ephesians 4:18)? From what were they alienated? Because of what that was in them? And because of what in their heart? What were they past (Ephesians 4:19)? To what had they given themselves over? What did they work? What does Ephesians 4:20 say they had done with Christ? Whom had they heard (Ephesians 4:21)? By Whom had they been taught? What is in Jesus? What are they to put off, concerning what (Ephesians 4:22)? What happens to the old man, according to what? How may we be renewed (Ephesians 4:23)? What are we to put on (Ephesians 4:24)? From where did this new man come? In what was he created? What are we to put away, therefore (Ephesians 4:25)? What are we to do with our neighbor? Why? 

Why is our theological learning from Christ’s Word and Christ’s undershepherds (Ephesians 4:11-12), and our theological maturity and stability (Ephesians 4:13-14), and our theological fellowship and ministry unto one another (Ephesians 4:15-16) such a necessity for the growth of the church in Christ?

Because our growth in Christ and walk with Him is, in large part, a function of the mind.

It is in the futility of their mind that the Gentiles walk (and in which we are no longer to walk), Ephesians 4:17.

Having their understanding darkened is a great harm that has come to them as a result of being alienated from the life of God (Ephesians 4:18a).

Ignorance is what we have from ourselves, apart from Christ.

Blindness is the natural/original condition of the heart.

If these things are not addressed, we will lose the ability to feel shame at what is lustful, or filthy, or covetous (Ephesians 4:19).

Over-against this breakdown of the mind (cf. Romans 1:18Romans 1:19Romans 1:20Romans 1:21Romans 1:22Romans 1:25Romans 1:28), our passage presents:

Christ as someone Whom we “learn” (Ephesians 4:20)

Christ as someone Whom we “hear” (Ephesians 4:21a) by the means He has provided in Ephesians 4:11.

Christ as someone by Whom we are “taught” (Ephesians 4:21b)

Christ as someone in Whom all “truth” is based and to Whom all truth connects (verse 21c)

So we see the apostle piling up the language of the mind in connection with Jesus. And if it’s a corrupt mind that leads to the conduct of Ephesians 4:19, then we are not surprised that putting off that conduct (Ephesians 4:22) and putting on the new man (Ephesians 4:24) is described in terms of putting off what is according to “deceitful” lusts and putting on that which is in “true” righteousness and holiness.

We are to be renewed in the spirit of our “mind” (Ephesians 4:23).

And the first instruction about our conduct toward one another is:

Put away “lying,” (Ephesians 4:25a) and

Let each one of you speak “truth” with his neighbor (verse 25b).

Christian life is preeminently theological life. Christian growth is preeminently theological growth. Are you called to be a rigorous theologian? You are, if you are a Christian!

How are you nurturing your mind in Scripture and doctrine? How is it shaping your conduct?

Suggested songs: ARP19B “The Lord’s Most Perfect Law” or TPH172 “Speak, O Lord”

No comments:

Post a Comment