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Examples of Putting on the New Man

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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I. Truth vs. Falsehood

Put off falsehood. But why do people lie?
To get something for themselves - a financial lie for monetary gain; a lie about what you did to get social gain
To avoid hurting others feelings, or avoid taking the blame for your actions, or avoid conflict.
To get revenge or win an argument - the blackest of lies.
Put on speaking the truth (see v.15) this might require therefore
Taking the slow way to get what you want financially or socially. This also means
Trusting God to take care of you if your financial motives are due to poverty.
Recognizing unjust gains are not blessed by God, if the financial motives are due to greed
Recognizing the social benefits will evaporate when people perceive your real character.
Taking responsibility for your actions; or risking conflict you would rather avoid; or causing hurt to someone you don’t want to hurt. This requires
Genuine repentance for your actions
Courage to face conflict where necessary
Grace of speech to minimize harm, while recognizing that falsehood causes more harm in the long run anyway.
Rationale - we are members one of another
Since we belong to each other, we must trust each other or each of us will suffer to the degree that the lie prevents trust.
Since we belong to each other, we must care for others, so selfishly reaching for other’s goods or status is wrong
Since we belong to each other, whatever damages our own reputation also damages other Christian’s reputation. Thus we must not merely speak the truth to other Christians, but to our neighbor - which Jesus showed is everyone.

II. Bitterness vs. Kindness

Anger is not always wrong; God gets angry sometimes Romans 1:18
Romans 1:18 NKJV
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
However, we are often wrong for the wrong reason, and that is wrong James 1:20; Prov 19:19
James 1:20 NKJV
for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Proverbs 19:19 NKJV
A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.
Causes of anger
Selfish reasons - it makes ME look bad; it inconveniences ME;
Justice and Righteousness - it’s wrong, they shouldn’t do that.
Lack of self-control may cause you to do in the heat of the moment what you instantly regret.
Thus the first key to avoiding sinful anger is to examine your motives and work on your self-control.
But even if your motives are correct, and your self-control is high, you are still not out of danger, for it is common for people to then fail to deal with the problem. Then either of two things will happen
since the situation hasn’t changed, the source of the anger will continue happening, and you’ll get angrier and angrier. Then all at once your self-control fails, and you explode over everyone, usually by wildly overreacting to something stupid.
or your self-control is so high you don’t explode, but by harboring that anger over a long period, it becomes something else - bitterness. This bitter resentment will then gradually seep into the rest of your relationships, and you’ll become a toxic individual that no one wants to have anything to do with. You’ll again be a member of the body of Christ that is out of order, and you’ll be of no help to anyone.
Thus, the motive for avoiding both extremes - sinfully exploding or harboring bitterness - is the same. Either one gives the Devil a foothold, a hook that he can use to drag you and those you love down. A church where this exists will be a damaged church to the very degree that sinful anger is left uncorrected.
Put off (v.31-32)- five terms all describing closely related concepts. All of them describe things that happen when anger gets out of control.
Bitterness - resentment, holding a grudge
Wrath/Anger - same words as in v.26 so what’s the difference? The other words on this list suggest that now Paul is thinking about sinful anger, either the “wrath of man” or selfish anger, or the explosive anger of losing control.
Three terms about results
“Clamor” A loud argument Acts 23:9. The results.
“Slander” - not just the legal definition, but any instance of smearing someone’s character. Again what happens when anger becomes sinful.
“evil speaking” - generally when anger gets out of control there’s a large variation of problems that can all just be called evil speaking.
Well putting away “all evil” seems a trifle obvious; here in a group of terms about angry speech, it gets at the attitude that creates it, the hateful and evil feelings that motivate the speaker to misuse his tongue in the first place.
“Be put away from you” can be understood two ways
“distributive” plural, meaning each of you examine your own life and put away all these kinds of “anger out of control.”
“common” plural, meaning you as a church put away these things in your midst. This is church discipline.
Put on -
Be Kind - Your actions Luke 6:35
Luke 6:35 NKJV
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
Be compassionate - quick to feel other’s emotions. Mark 10:21; Rom 12:15
Mark 10:21 NKJV
Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
Romans 12:15 NKJV
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Be forgiving - As God forgave you. Parable of 10,000 talents Matt 18:22-35

III. Stealing vs. Work

This is the only item on the list that does not deal with a sin of the tongue. The other item on the list that isn’t directly a sin of the tongue is grieving the Spirit, which is at the back of all sins.
Instead of stealing other’s goods to line your pocket, begin by working hard so you can give your stuff to others in need.

IV. Corrupt Speech vs. Edifying Speech

“Corrupt” speech also used of bad or rotten fruit Matt 7:16-20 - thus damaged or decayed, and therefore unsound and useless.
Thus corrupt speech is speech that fails to build people up. This refers to a very wide range of damaging speech
Put on -
edifying speech. Edifying is defined earlier Eph 4:12-16. So what we are “building up” towards is becoming more like Jesus. Speech that helps do this is edifying; speech that discourages, deceives, or demotivates people from being like Christ fails to do this.
Necessary - fitting to the occasion (ESV). Some conversations may be helpful, but are sensitive and therefore there’s a right and wrong time and place to have them. Furthermore, different occasions require different modes of speech.
Imparts grace - Goal is to be a channel of God’s grace through your lips - this may be encouraging or difficult, depending on what is required. Sometimes the right word is to uplift, sometimes the right word is to warn and rebuke.

V. Don’t Grieve the Spirit

Why we would not want to grieve the Spirit is easy.
He is the one who sealed us. Eph 1:13-14.
The “Day of Redemption” is a reminder that we haven’t yet received all that God’s salvation promises us. We are still waiting for the redemption of our bodies; we are still waiting for the Kingdom of God where we will reign forever with Christ. We are still waiting to see Christ and be transformed. Until then we have the Spirit, who is an advanced payment of our future inheritance.
But the key question - how exactly does one grieve the Spirit? to avoid it we need to know what it is. I would assert that the Spirit is always grieved when we sin, and only when we sin. Mark 3:5
Mark 3:5 NKJV
And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
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