Presentation on theme: "Marks of A True Christian (3) Ephesians 4:17-5:20 Live As Children of Light Good Morning! Today we will study together from Ephesians 4:17 through 5:20."— Presentation transcript:
1Marks of A True Christian (3) Ephesians 4:17-5:20 Live As Children of Light Good Morning! Today we will study together from Ephesians 4:17 through 5:20. As we approach the text, We want to see the big picture which is, “Live As Children of Light”.Sermon Notes: There is a lot of material in this sermon. It could make a class or a series of classes based upon the five aspects of behavior found in the passage. If you do preach it as one lesson, you will probably move along.Feedback, questions, or comments welcome! Tom Steed
3Darkness Versus LightIn this passage, Paul presents a stark contrast—a contrast between darkness and light. These are presented as a stark contrast, it is not an equivocal choice, it is an either or decision. Darkness represents all that is bad, light all that is good. (Later, I will talk about light and dark being mixed in together sometimes.)There are three key aspects of the passage represented by three verses. Let’s examine these verses.
4“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.” Ephesians 4:17The first verse that gives the overview of the lesson is Ephesians 4:17 “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.” Ephesians 4:17 “You must no longer live as the Gentiles do.” What does this mean? Who were the Gentiles? To use a great simplification, The Jews were the people who believed in and followed after God. The Gentiles were those who rejected God and didn’t live according to his ways.Have you ever noticed how Paul usually pleads with his readers and friends, I beseech you, is the King James Version, I implore you. As a fellow servant, I say unto you, These phrases describe Paul’s usual attitudes toward those who are listening to him. This time he says, “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord.” I am telling you. I insist on it. This gives us some clue of how important this was to Paul. It is essential that the person who truly wants to be a Christian lives like a Christian.“The futility of their thinking.” All you have to do is read yesterday’s paper (Southern Illinoisan, Saturday, February 24) to understand futile thinking. The paper led off with a story about presidential pardons for money. Let’s skip that one since he is a good Arkansas boy. Why would a man who had a strong legacy in many ways muddy his record by doing something like this? Futile thinking.In our area there is a story about a mother who left her son with her boyfriend. The boy friend beat the woman’s son to death—while the mother had knowledge of his character and abuse. This is terribly futile thinking.The paper tells about the seizure of several tons of Marijuana from a semi-truck on Interstate 57. Anybody here been on I-57 lately? (We all drive I-57 fairly often). The way they caught this guy, he was swerving all the way on and off the highway with the semi, so the cops pulled him over. Let me tell you how my twisted mind works. I thought, “If he had just driven properly, he would have gotten that stuff delivered.” I know, if they asked me to deliver a load of fresh donuts to St. Louis, I would drive about ten miles, then pull off to the side and check the load. I would drive a few more miles and check again. When I got to St. Louis, they would count, and say, “you’re three dozen short,” And I would just smile. Imagine this guy hauling several tons of Marijuana. He was a little short, and it was in his system. Futile thinking.It has only been in the last ten years that I could understand why anyone would go out and get drunk, or smoke a joint. When life presses you hard—really hard—it seems like a good idea to take a drink to ease the pain. Smoke a joint and feel better. It seems so rational—but it is so futile. When the buzz wears off—you will have all the same problems, and more besides. It is utter futility to give your life over to a substance that will take your life and destroy you.In our college town, Halloween is a drunken brawl. The streets are filled with many students is various states of drunkenness. They are breaking windows, setting trees on fire, exposing themselves, and throwing things at police. Sounds like a really good time, doesn’t it? That’s not really fun. It is futile thinking.God’s peace lets us put our heads down on our pillow in peace. To know calm and true happiness. But many people settle for a mockery of real joy. That is futile thinking.
5“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love” Ephesians 5:1 The last verse put the concept negatively. The next two state it positively. “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love” Ephesians 5:1We are to live a life of love to be like our father in heaven. God is love, and we are to imitate Him, we must live a life of love.We are dearly loved children, since in chapter 1 and verse 5, we are told that God has adopted us as His children. We are motivated in this passage as God’s dear children. The synopsis is, summarized as, “Live a life of love.”Now to the third verse which summarizes the passage, Ephesians 5:8
68” For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord 8” For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” Ephesians 5:88” For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” Here is our contrast again. You were darkness. Now you are the light.Our adoption is complete. Our salvation is in place. Now comes our responsibility—”Live as Children of light!” Back to our original point. If you claim to be a Christian—live like a Christian.So in three verses we have the key thoughts of the passage. Don’t live in darkness, live a life of love, live as children of the life. It comes down to this.
7The Choice Old Self New Self We have a choice, we can be changed into a new person or we can remain the same old person. We can continue with a futile life of we can change. This change only takes place through the power of God and Christ. In this case it is a clear choice between right and wrong—good and evil.To put it differently….
8Christians are light in a dark world. Christians are to be light in a dark world. This picture represents for me, the darkness of a world in sin. Christians shine as light. The picture that is presented so far is a clear contrast between good and evil, light and darkness.In actuality, it may look more like this….
9The light and darkness are closely mixed together. The light is present. If it were not, we would be immersed in total darkness. But the light and darkness are close by, almost intertwined. In the world, and in our lives. We must push out the darkness and choose the light.As we examine the areas of life that this passage tells us to change, it may seem that we have an awfully lot to live up to. Perhaps you think that you cannot make that change. I am about to tell you a story of radical change. It is one I am sure you will recognize.
10Jared Fogel-SubwayWould you say that Jarel Fogel—the hero of Subway sandwiches changed his way of life? He went from 425 pounds to 190 pounds. By changing his eating and walking habits. If he can change—then we can change as well.I got these pictures from Subway’s web site, Jared’s story is recorded there. Jared was a student at Indiana University. He ate lots of fast foods. Maybe at Subway, but at a lot of other places at well. Throughout the encouragement of a friend, he decided to change his life. He lived right next to a Subway. He at a six inch sub for lunch and a 12 inch vegetable sub for dinner. Lots of bell peppers on his sandwich.Jared changed remarkably. Can you imagine the change in his life? I find it extremely hard to lose five pounds, much less 235 pounds.Is it too hard to believe that a mean person can become kind, that a intemperate person can become self-disciplined? I hope not, because if we do, we must give up on the gospel. This passage talks about radical change. But it is possible.
11What’s Inside--Motivation 5:17-20 Five AspectsBehavior 4:17-4:24Language 4:25-4:29Anger 5:3-5:7Time Management 5:15-5:16What’s Inside--Motivation 5:17-20These are five aspects of the contrast between Christian and non-Christian behavior shown in the passage. Behavior, Language, Anger, Time Management, and What’s Inside. Each of these aspects gives ways in which the Christian is to behave.
12Reasoning Pattern Rationale Analysis of the passage: Statement Form ProhibitionPositiveRationaleProhibitionEarlier, I had a sermon from Ephesians 4 & 5 that focused on Christian Communication. In that sermon, I noticed the following pattern. There is the behavior that is prohibited, there is the positive behavior that is to be substituted, and the rationale or reason for the change.This pattern is repeated throughout the passage. Let’s examine each of the five aspects.PositiveRationale
13Ignorance Due to Hard Hearts Behavior (1)Futility of ThinkingDarkened in UnderstandingSeparated From the Life of GodIgnorance Due to Hard HeartsToday’s newspaper had a story about several thousand pounds of Marijuana being confiscated, a woman whose boyfriend beat their child to death and several other stories that showed the futility of Godless thinking.It is said that there are 60,000 pornographic web sites in force now on the web.
14Behavior (2) Lost all sensitivity Given themselves over to sensuality Indulge every kind of impurityContinual lust for more.The description of the old self is one in which people take a good thing and render it useless through over indulgence. In one word, it is “hedonistic”—given over to sensuality.
15There is a difference between enjoying life and being given over to sensuality. There is a difference between enjoying life and being given over to sensuality. The difference is one of degree.I met a very nice cookie this week. I looked at it. I smelled it. I ate is slowly and with a great deal of enjoyment. But if I eat so many cookies I have to roll down the isle, there is something wrong!One of the kids in my Bible class said, “It’s like eating the watermelon, then eating the rind.” I said, “Yes”. Another said, what’s wrong with eating the rind. “Well,” I said, “technically nothing, but it makes a great illustration.”What it is like is eating all the food, then eating the scraps, and then eating the garbage.When God made woman, God said, “That’s good.” and man said—Yeah! Very good. There is nothing wrong with enjoying sex in the proper relationship. But when we have 60,000 websites showing every kind of perversion that you can imagine. Then we have all kinds of futile behavior.
16Language (1) Put off Falsehood Speak Truthfully Simply put, we are to put off falsehood and speak truthfully. That is the broad principle. Christians must always tell the truth-never falsehood. But remember earlier in this passage, it says that we are to speak the truth in love.
17Language (2) No unwholesome talk Only what is helpful for building others up.According to their needsThat it benefit those who listen.The passage goes into greater detail. There is to be no unwholesome talk. Only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it will benefit those who listen.
18Language (3) No obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking. Instead—thanksgiving.You can tell a Christian by the way he or she talks!There is to be no obscenity, no foolish talk, no course joking. Ever know anyone who was constantly complaining, always moaning about what is wrong. That is not a Christian attitude. The Christian has a lot to be thankful for, and that attitude will come out in their talk. You can tell a Christian by the way he or she talks!
19Anger In your anger—do not sin! The next area for consideration is anger. The Bible never says that one is never to be angry. It simply says—in your anger—do not sin! We all get angry. The difference is that we must process and deal with this anger.
20Don’t let the sun go down while you are angry. Here’s God’s rule—Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Settle the problems before sundown if at all possible. The reason--
21Anger (1) In your anger—do not sin! Don’t let the sun go down while you are angry.Don’t give the devil a foothold.Don’t give the devil a foothold. One of the kids at the local high school was a champion wrestler. He got to the state championship, he was down by one point. He described the match in the newspaper. “I tried everything to get a spot to pin him and get another point, but I couldn’t get that hold to make it work,” he said. That’s all the devil needs, a foothold. This is actually a military term, a foothold. Anger gives the Devil a foothold to pin us down.
22Anger (2) “Get Rid Of”Bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice.Be kind, compassionate and forgiving.We must get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice. Instead, we are to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving.
23Time Be careful how you life Making the most of every opportunity Not as unwise.But as wise.Making the most of every opportunityBecause the days are evil.The Christian is different than the non-Christian in their use of time. The Christian knows that each day could be his or her last. Therefore, he or she enjoys each day and makes the most of it.Could it be today that you know that this could be your last time to hear the gospel? Are you wise enough to get right with God while this opportunity exists?The Christian must make the most of every opportunity.
24Motivation Don’t be foolish. Understand what the Lord’s will is. There is a stark contrast between the motivation of the Christian and non-Christian. The Christian must not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
25What’s Inside Do not get drunk on wine. Be filled with the Spirit. Many people think that alcohol is the path to happiness. The contrast here is clear—Don’t get drunk on wine instead by filled with the Spirit. Ever hear a drunk person singing and making a fool of themselves? They think they are really something, very charming. The Christians is not to be filled with spirits-alcoholic spirits, but the spirit of God.
26What Comes OutSpeak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.Always giving thanks for everything.That spirit causes us to sing—to bubble over with enthusiasm, which literally means, God in us. We sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord.
27Summary Choose to live a new life in Christ. As we come to the end our lessons, let’s look back at the main points. First, we must make sure that we make the choice to live a new life in Christ. Once we have made that choice, then…..
28Summary Make every area of your life subject to Christ. Behavior LanguageAngerTimeWhat’s InsideWe must make every area of your life subject to Christ: Our behavior, language, anger, time, and motivation.
29If you have not been born again through baptism—Why not do so today?
30Let this lesson motivate you to be more Christ-like.
31If you need to recommit your life to Christ-please do so.
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