When Jesus changes your life, He really changes you. He makes you into a new creation. He gives you new life. When you choose to walk in His way, through the strength of His Spirit, your life will glorify Him. And you will find that choosing to walk in His way leads to God’s blessings being poured out on your life.
PUT OFF THE OLD
Don’t walk in ungodly ways any longer.
Ephesians 4:17-19 (HCSB)
17 Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.
Notice the descriptive words about those who walk in ungodly ways:
- thoughts that are futile
- darkened in their understanding
- excluded from the life of God
- hearts that are hardened
- given over to promiscuity
- practicing every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more
That’s the old nature. My nature and your nature BEFORE we met CHRIST. As my friend Bob likes to call them, “the B.C. days.” Don’t walk like you walked in your “B.C. days.” That lifestyle leads to destruction. You don’t have to walk that way. You are set free from the power of sin because you are now in Christ.
PUT ON THE NEW
God has taken your old life that was filled with the stains and sin of this world, and He has given you a new life in Christ. Listen to Ephesians 4 describe the transformation from old to new. Verse 20 reminds us that as believers in Jesus we are not intended to walk in ungodly ways (referring back to verses 17-19). Notice that it says in verse 21 that you are transformed not just because you heard about Jesus or were taught about Him; notice that it says clearly you heard about Jesus and you were taught by Him personally!
Ephesians 4:20-24 (HCSB)
20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, 21 assuming you heard about Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus. 22 You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires; 23 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; 24 you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s ⌊likeness⌋ in righteousness and purity of the truth.
LET’S GET PRACTICAL
The work of salvation is at the same time mysterious (God changes you!) and also very practical (here’s how He changes you!). Take a look at verses 25-32 and make a list of some of the ways that God changes us when we become followers of Jesus. You may want to discuss these verses with a friend to help keep you accountable to walk closely with Christ.
Ephesians 4:25-32 (HCSB)
25 Since you put away lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don’t give the Devil an opportunity. 28 The thief must no longer steal. Instead, he must do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. 29 No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. 30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption. 31 All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
These are some amazingly practical verses:
- Christ-followers will always tell the truth (v25)
- Christ-followers will only get angry about the things that make Jesus angry (v26)
- Christ-followers will deal quickly with things that make them angry (v26)
- Christ-followers will not give the devil an opportunity to work in their lives (v27)
- Christ-followers will not steal, from others or from God; they will do honest work instead (v28)
- Christ-followers will only speak the kind of words that Jesus would say, full of grace and goodness (v29)
- Christ-followers will not grieve the Holy Spirit, He has sealed you for the day of redemption after all! (v30)
- Christ-followers will remove all words and attitudes from their life that are not Christ-honoring, the kind of words and attitudes that hurt others (v31)
- Christ-followers will be generous to forgive others (v32)
Wow! To do all of this, we surely need God’s help. Good news! In Christ, He strengthens you and empowers you to walk with Him. Perhaps you want to discuss these verses with a Christian friend who can pray for you about some of these areas of your life, that you may fully walk in the way of Christ.
May God be glorified through your life as you way in the new way of Christ. You will find that walking in God’s way not only glorifies God but it is also good for you too. New life in Christ. Amazing.