Father, renew my thoughts and attitudes. May I put on the new nature, created to be like You—truly righteous and holy.
Read Ephesians 4:17–32
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. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAre there ways your life is distinctive to those around you who are not followers of Jesus?
Paul continues his instructions for living a life that reflects the “new self, created to be like God.” He uses many contrasts to show the transformation that comes when we have the Holy Spirit living in us.
Many of the Christians in Ephesus would have been converted Gentiles. Paul urges them to turn away from how they used to think. Verses 17–19 describe how many people live today. They have become insensitive to right and wrong and pursue only those things that bring personal satisfaction. The media in the Western world actively encourages this approach to life.
Christians are to live differently. Paul likens the change to a new set of clothes—take off the old ones and put on the new ones (as in Col. 3:5–14).
Knowing Jesus is truly transformational. He brings health and wholeness to individuals and to communities as he strengthens his people to live this way. One person living like this can change an office, a classroom, a relationship, a church.
How can you make a difference in your interactions with others by living according to these principles in verses 25–32?
Lord, help me to be kind, compassionate and forgiving.