Apr 5, 2020. Ephesians 4:20-24

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A CHANGE OF SPIRITUAL GARMENTS. EPH. 4:20-24. 4/05/20. #17.

Ephesians 4:20-24 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

  • Learning Christ
    • Paul had done an effective job of discipling Eph. (3 yrs.)
    • Continuing as a corrupt old nature Gentile is not what the Eph. church had been taught
    • Literally, you have not been so discipled by Christ (learned = same word as disciple) – James 1:17-27
    • Three aspects of learning:
      • Being taught (the information stage)
      • Learning what is taught (the receiving stage)
      • Applying what is taught (the doing stage)
    • Paul expected the disciples to submit to his teaching
      • Learning is not just taking in information
      • The OT Jews often learned & then rebelled
    • “If you have heard him & been taught by him…”
      • First class condition = since you have heard…
      • We often know more than we apply
    • Jesus taught the Eph. through Paul
      • When Paul taught it was the same as Jesus teaching, for Paul taught his words
      • I Peter 4:11 when we teach the true words of God, Jesus is teaching

example:  When you learn from an owner’s manual, you’re taught by the company

  • The one that saves us expects us to obey him
    • A choice to follow or not (old nature is strong)
  • Put off the old nature
    • An actual conscience act (not automatic)
    • The choice to follow is contrary to the old nature that we had been following (old desires & habits)
    • James 1:12-15 often our desires, cravings, & habits are deep-seated & powerful (corrupt nature & personalities) example: it took 3 miles to turn around the Titanic
    • The old nature does not want to be evicted
      • Conduct = way of life
      • Old nature worsens over time (more corrupt)
    • Deceitful lusts = insatiable desires (wanting what one cannot have = lit., reaching for more (pleonexia)
  • Put on new nature
    • Renewal of spirit of the mind
      • To make one’s thinking align with the new nature (2 Cor. 5:17; Php. 4:8)
      • Even though the soul has been saved, the mind must be renewed (spiritual sanctification verses an effectual sanctification)

Three steps: given the tools, learning to use the tools, and then actually using the tools

  • Creation in holiness makes it possible to renew the mind, but we must use freewill to do so
    • Three types of sanctification:  (1) positional sanctification (salvation)  (2) progressive sanctification (growing to maturity)  (3) glorification
    • Progressive sanctification is the battlefield on which pre-glorified believers must fight

Key Verse:  James 1:17-27

James 1:17-27 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.  19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.