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Some Specific Behaviors For The New Life

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Ephesians 4:25-28

Introduction:  In vs. 17-24 Paul talked about putting off the old life and putting on the new.  That was the theory; not he turns to the practical application of that theory.  If theory does not lead to practice, then the theory is no good.  We’ll discuss three of his suggested behavioral changes.

I. Stop lying   vs. 25

     A. It lends itself quite naturally to a perfect 3 point sermon:

          1. Put off falsehood

          2. Put on truth

          3. Obey these two commands because we’re all members of the same body.

     B. ψεῦδος: the content of a false utterance; lie, falsehood.

          1. Examples:  The check is in the mail.  I’ll start my diet tomorrow.  We service what we sell.  Give me your number and the doctor will call you right back.  Your luggage isn’t lost, it’s only misplaced.  I just need five minutes of your time.  Your table will be ready in a few minutes.  Open wide, it won’t hurt a bit.  I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. 

                2. How Christians may do it:  Being different at church than at home.  Not following thru when you tell someone you will pray for them.  Exaggeration; adding falsehood to that which begins as true; cheating in school and on income tax returns is; making foolish promises, betraying a confidence, flattery, and making excuses. 

        C. John MacArthur says that lying is so much a part of “unregenerate mankind” that “the world system would disintegrate if lying suddenly ceased.”[1]  Many organizations, businesses, economies, social orders, governments, and treaties would fall.

     D. Speaking the truth

          1. Does not mean:

              a. Telling everything we know; breaking a confidence or revealing secrets

              b. Does not demand that we share our feelings, doubts, etc.

              c. Sharing the gory details of our every sin

          2. Ephesians 4:21   Truth is in Jesus

     E. To our neighbors

          1. It is as unthinkable for one Christian to lie to another as it would be for a nerve in the body to deliberately send a false message to the brain, or for the eye to deceive the rest of the body when danger is approaching. [2]

          2. People cannot make accurate decisions if we give the inaccurate information

II. Handle your anger   vs. 26-27

     A. Alternative translations

          1. If you are angry, do not sin.

                2. A paraphrase, “Anger is to be avoided at all costs, but if, for whatever reason, you do get angry, then refuse to indulge such anger so that you do not sin.”[3]

          3. When you are angry, do not sin.

          4. In your anger do not sin.

     B. God’s anger is righteous; I’m not sure man’s anger ever is.

     C. Vs. 31 indicates that all kinds of anger should be removed from our lives

     D. This verse “is not granting permission to be angry. Although v 26b recognizes that anger will occur, v 27 indicates how dangerous it is and v 31 repudiates all anger. The focus of v 26a, then, is on not sinning by indulging in anger. Its paradoxical formulation was not meant to encourage speculation about what types of anger might be permissible.”[4]

III. Stop stealing   vs. 28

        A. Theft was common among slaves in that age; Philemon 18 indicates that Onesimus was probably guilty of it.   “If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.”[5]

     B. In the ancient world thieving was rampant. It was very common in two places, at the docks and above all in the public baths. The public baths were the clubs of the time; and stealing the belongings of the bathers was one of the commonest crimes in any Greek city.[6]

     C. Stealing may have been normal for the unemployed.   

     D. Putting on a new life changed thieves into hard workers who looked for opportunities to help others.

Conclusion:  Since most of us have been Christians for years, we have hopefully conquered these sins.  If not, let’s renew our efforts.  And let’s help our brothers and sisters who are still struggling.


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[1]MacArthur, J. (1996, c1986). Ephesians. Includes indexes. (183). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Eph 4:25). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3]Lincoln, A. T. (2002). Vol. 42: Word Biblical Commentary : Ephesians. Word Biblical Commentary (301). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[4]Lincoln, A. T. (2002). Vol. 42: Word Biblical Commentary : Ephesians. Word Biblical Commentary (301). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[5]The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Phm 18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.. 1989 (Phm 18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6]The letters to the Galatians and Ephesians. 2000, c1976 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev. ed. (157). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.. 2000, c1976 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev. ed. (157). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

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