Ephesians 4, verses 17-32

This chapter is such a good blueprint for Christian living.  Verse 32 is one I had my littles memorize early on.  I feel like I live seasons when life as a child of God seems smooth.    Other seasons I struggle, probably because God is stretching me, and I hate seeing my inconsistencies… times like this I feel like maybe I need verses like these ever before me.

This is my journal of verses 17-32.  I’m studying from the NASB and you can read along here.

vs. 17– How not to walk/live:

  • in the futility of our own minds

vs.18–

  • without understanding (darkened understanding)
  • with hard hearts that perpetuate ingnorance and prevents people from a life with God.

vs. 19–

  • Don’t be callous, given over to sensuality (doing whatever feels good) to practice every kind of impurity with greediness.

PT: “practicing impurity with greediness”… I’ve been thinking about this idea and I guess it makes sense.  If I were not following the Lord, what would guide my decisions?  I would be living for myself, therefore ‘greediness’ could mean that my actions/decisions are self centered.  That’s easy to do.

vs. 20,21–But “you did not learn Christ in this way.”

vs. 22– put off/lay aside your old self which is being corrupted/destroyed by lusts of deceit.

PT: Thinking on this phrase: “Lusts of Deceit.”  The first lust of deceit was in the garden, right?  We’re deceived into wanting something we shouldn’t have or doing something we shouldn’t do.  So I guess this phrase makes sense.  We sin because we are deceived.

vs. 23– Instead, how to live:

  • be renewed in the spirit of your mind (take on a new, Gody understanding)

vs.24–

  • put on the new-self, created in righteousness and holiness of the truth–in the likeness of God.

vs.25– Therefore (what this looks like):

My interpretation: Stop sinning!  Throw out the lies and speak truth to one another.  (Likened to taking off the filthy coat and putting on the clean one.)

vs.26–Be angry without sinning AND don’t let the sin go down on your anger.

PT: I believe it’s possible to be angry without sinning.  Anger is an emotion.  Our emotions reflect what we believe.  We can take a step back when we experience strong emotion, ask for discernment to know why we’re feeling it, and then use it like a temperature guage to address our beliefs or involvement in relationships.  The Bible is full of examples of God’s righteous anger over sin.  We should recognize wrong and be motivated to be situation-changers.  However, we’re not to be angry/unforgiving with others.  Understand why we feel angry.  Forgive offenses immediately.  Don’t let the sun go down while still angry.  It is always worse the next day if we go to bed mad… it can become a root of bitterness.

vs.27–Do not give the devil an opportunity.

PT: What are of the ways we may give the devil opportunity?  I think this is actually a huge topic. What does that even mean, to give the devil opportunity?  We know the devil is a liar and scripture says he prowls about seeking who he can devour. He wants us to sin. He wants us to live like we’re condemned, just overcome by guilt… we are told he is constantly accusing us.  He wants to divide us from God and God’s promises.  He wants to prevent us from living out the plans God has for us.  He wants to divide us from others who we could bless or who would help us grow and stand firm in truth.  So ways to avoid falling prey are to:  Know truth and dwell on it to avoid being deceived. OBEY God, avoiding sin.  FORGIVE others and yourself.  Pray for discernment and wisdom.  We need the Holy Spirit’s help in all of these things and more!

vs. 28– Those who steal, stop stealing.  Work for what you need and share with others in need.

vs. 29–Let no unwholesome word procede from your mouth.  (unwholesome=rotten, corrupted and unfit for use, poor quality)  Only use words that are good for edification (act of building up, promoting growth in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness) according to the need of the moment (yeah, that takes some discernment and obedience to speak in a way that is timely and appropriate) so that it will give grace to those who hear.

PT: I’ve heard it said our words should be like little silver wrapped gifts.  They’re supposed to give grace to those who hear.  I’m interpreting that as being everyone who hears, not just those for whom my words are meant.  Grace is: 1) that which affords joy, pleasure delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness:grace of speech.  2) good will, loving kindness, favour 3) token or proof of grace–benefit 4) thanks or reward

Oh, Lord, help this wordy mama speak only what’s appropriate and encouraging for building up.  Let my words be refreshing.

dedication foot washing

{foot washing ceremony}

vs. 30–Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit that you are sealed with.  (all sin is grievous to God, but take to heart this chapter’s examples)

vs.31–Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and slander be put away from you (lifted/carried off) along with all malice.   PT: that lifted away or carried off is like, it’s not just that we put these attitudes away from ourselves, but the Lord will lift it off and carry it away for us when we let Him.  These things that we need to let go of are similar, but different–continuing with the theme of anger.

vs.32– Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ aso has forgiven you.  (HAS [already] forgiven you).  One of my favorite verses!.

An analogy for children to understand how we let God remove our human “flesh” nature with its sin to uncover wonderful spiritual fruit is to take an orange with a thick rind.  Show them how to remove the rind and get to the good fruit underneath.

orange-644093_640

Lord, thank you for who you are and that your word is true.  Thank you for life and for your Word that teaches me how to live and what to pray.

Please give me an understanding heart that is soft toward you.  Show me where repentence is needed in my life and help me to let go of wrong ways so you can lift them off and carry them away.

Please give me wisdom and discernment, that I will not give the devil opportunity.  Lord, thank you that you have forgiven me in Christ Jesus.  Keep changing my heart, that I would be tender toward others and show me if there is anyone I need to forgive.  Let no root of bitterness grow up in my heart.  Help me speak only what is what is timely and appropriate for building up and encouraging others and show me when I’m tempted to speak anything that I should not.

Thank you that you can do immeasurably more in me than I could ever ask or imagine, according to your power which is at work in me.  So I can come and ask these things in boldness knowing nothing I’ve asked is too hard for you.  It’s all possible, and more.

God, I ask these things for my family and my children as well.  I ask that you’d give us all faithful hearts and lives that speak of your goodness and your loving kindness.

In Jesus name, Amen

 

2 thoughts on “Ephesians 4, verses 17-32

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