Monday, March 5, 2012

Ephesians 4:17-19

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

To say the Gentiles in Ephesus were sinful is an understatement. Temple prostitution, bribery, greed, idolatry, and immorality abounded. Paul called believers to walk in a totally opposite manner. The word for “walk” indicates daily conduct, not just good behavior most of the time. Futility is defined as “pointlessness or uselessness.” Unregenerate people live their lives acquiescing to their own vain, empty minds - leading to a pointless life. Life is tough enough that I never want my days described as leading to nothing.

You are called to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). In Christ we have a new lifestyle led by a different thought process. When we live our lives through the filter of Scripture our thoughts will be on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable… anything excellent or praiseworthy” (Phil. 4:8).

This behavior reflects a darkened understanding, with hardened hearts as are result of turning their backs on God. Their minds are ignorant of the Truth. They may believe that they control their own destiny, but in fact they are following the evil one. No man truly controls his own destiny. “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps” (Prov. 16:9).

Sin begets sin. As you cut yourself off from the life of God your hardened heart becomes calloused and your conscience is seared, no longer sensitive to shame and conviction. There is no basis for morality. Each man does what is right in his own eyes. You seek to fulfill your ever increasing sinful desires at any cost. The word for greedy is pleoneciða – the desire to have more and more with no thought to consequences. It's the madness of drunken debauchery, sexual brawling licentious indecency, and impurity equivalent to a rotting corpse. And it takes more and more sin to try to satisfy that void that will never be filled.

Sin is something you can't blame on anybody but yourself. You make repeated wrong choices, a choice makes a habit and a habit makes a personality and a personality makes a character and a character determines a destiny. – John MacArthur

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