Date: November 4, 2018 (Sunday AM)
Bible Text: Ephesians 4 | Steve Damron
Series: Transcribed Sermons
Towards the end of the New Testament chapter 4 we're going to be looking at.
There were two, there was a group of men that journeyed to Florida in 1528. Names were Cabeza de Vaca. Alright, which I'm probably not saying it right and then they there was three other companions with this man. So there's four of them. They sailed around the American Golf coach to Texas and then walked across Texas on their way to Mexico City.
During that time they sailed across the mouth of a Great River on the last day of October of 1528. They did not know that they were at the mouth of the Mississippi River, but they realize that this river had to be massive and this is why they dipped their buckets into the salt water of the Gulf of Mexico and they would bring up the salt water and they would taste it and what they tasted was fresh water. And it just, it confused them because here at the Gulf of Mexico and salt water, but they would dip in their buckets pull them out and they would taste, and it would be fresh water and it was right there at that mouth and they realized that this Mississippi River must be massive because here, they were standing in salt water. And yet the force of that fresh water was coming out so much that they could taste fresh water.
Now I use it illustration as we begin because what we're going to be talking about and I've been I've been studying this and you know going through the book of Ephesians and this concept that we're going to talk about at the end of chapter 4, is probably one of the most confusing concepts for a new believer because what it's talking about is the new man and the old man. And there's actually confusion, there's actually differing opinions. Last night I was on the phone with Pastor. So we were discussing it because I was reading something and I've never heard of this concept and they were arguing that something, that I don't think they think theologically is even in the Bible and he goes all that's reformed theology. I was like, oh, well, I don't deal with that and I don't read it, I know you do. Alright, I wasn't saying that he's reformed. It’s just that I didn't really realize that concept of, I’ve realize that there's a struggle between the flesh, and the new life that we’ve been given. There's a sin nature and we might call that the carnal nature and it seems to still be there. Okay, and he goes, oh well, that's a strong Baptist tenant and I said, well, I grew up Baptist. So I guess it’s in me. Okay, I never really realized that there was any other teaching that there's a new man and an old man and so I say that today because as your some new believers and you just got saved, and you said man, you know what I'm so excited I'm saved and then on Monday, right after salvation, you get saved on Sunday morning, on Monday all of a sudden you felt this tendency to go and do a bad habit that you're like I thought that would be done. Well are preaching today on the new man and old man. I'm praying that it can help you because there is a new man.
Therefore if you are in Christ, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature that 2 Corinthians 5:17.We're a new creature, and the Bible says that something happened when you were saved and that life was brought in to you. But we still have a sin nature and it can be confusing and I'm praying that as we get into the scriptures and it can be a help then this morning and helping us understand how we can build this new man. This new man that we are in Christ. Remember as we've been talking about the book of Ephesians. One of the common phrases for the book of Ephesians is “in Christ”. We are now in Christ and in Christ, we can have victory. In Christ, we can have we can have a blessed fellowship and we saw that because we now have boldness and access to God because of this new life, this new man. I'm praying that there will be a help, you know, as we're getting. Say as someone gets saved. All right, you think about this? I was talking about in my class and basics when someone just gets saved. Sometimes it's hard because you know, I grew up in church, I grew up going to Independent Baptist Churches, I grew up in church. I was in school every day. I mean so basically starting in first grade I had Bible class. So I had Bible class basically five days a week all the way through 12th grade and then I go to Bible College and then you know, then I keep on studying the Bible and so some things when somebody says something to me, I'm like, wow, you don't understand that? For instance, somebody comes in and says or I'm preaching from the pulpit and I said, hey, you know what? That's just the atonement of God and somebody sitting there like what in the world is atonement? The way or they're talking about communion or they're talking about conviction or they're talking about discipleship or they're talking about faith or evangelism or evangelistic, there's a difference okay, or heresy or holiness of the Holy Spirit or here's some other ones or you know, and we're talking about being safe and you've been regenerating, like so what does that mean? Alright, so I got a generator in me? Alright, and I got to have a regenerator, or I've been justified, I've been sanctified, what are you? Alright, and you have no idea. Alright, well, I grew up and Baptist circles, I grew up going to church and so some of those terms are familiar to me. We're not trying to lose you, those are Bible terms, they really are, but as someone gets saved our desire is that you grow in the Lord then. Alright and that means getting in the word of God understanding the word of God reading the word of God more and more. That's why we promote the word of God every chance we get because the more that you can get in this book and read this book, and you can have people come alongside you, and help you study this book the stronger and stronger you're going to be, and the more understanding and you'll start seeing that the world, it doesn't have much to offer you. The Devil he's a liar, he's the father of lies and he's going to try to get you to go a separate direction. Let's go to Ephesians chapter 4 and will quickly go through some points here this morning. But it says, looking, let's go back to verse 17 in Ephesians 4: This I say therefore and testify in the Lord that you henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind. Remember we talked about that walking worthily last week, having the understanding darkened being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of the heart who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned, Christ. If so be that ye heard have heard of him and have been taught by him as the truth is in Jesus. Now, here's our idea in verse 22 and 23 and 24, that you put off concerning the former conversation. What are we putting off? The old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind and then notice in verse 24 and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true Holiness. Let's go to God and pray.
Heavenly father and we thank You for Your goodness. We thank You for Christ what He means to us. And as we come to this idea of the new man and the old man pray that wouldn't be confusing pray that it would be clear. And you remove lord the devil or to his and his demons Lord as they try to come in and confuse people. I pray that there would be clarity through scripture is always do that, which I can't and that is speak to hearts. And we ask and claim your power in Jesus name. Amen.
One author from the mid-1900s is D Martyn lloyd-jones. D.Martyn lloyd-jones probably has the greatest commentary on the books of Ephesians. He studied the book of Ephesians, he loved the book of Ephesians. And so I think it's eight or nine volumes just on the book of Ephesians. He gave an illustration, I think it's very appropriate as we start out with this idea of the new man and the old man.
So this is how he was talking about it and he was saying it can be very confusing when you consider the new man in the old man when you come to scripture, and so he was if you don't know D, Martyn lloyd-jones, he was a pastor and London area and mid-1900s. And so he gave the people there in London an illustration. He said I've read of folks back during the American Civil War, said during the American Civil War, there was the liberation at the end of the civil war. We know this, he was just reading about it as far as history, but there was the Emancipation Proclamation. At the end of the Civil War, what did that do it made that all slaves were freed, all of them, and he said some of them very naturally though, and he was writing or talking about this to his congregants and he was saying what he read was some of those that were emancipated, they were freed. They were no longer in slavery. They forgot that they were free men and they went on living and behaving exactly as if they were still slaves.
He said now, actually there was a proclamation which stated that they were no longer slaves. They were completely free. That was the thing positionally and legally. So positionally they were free, legally they were free, and that was justification. The former slave was no longer a slave the same man was still alive, but the slave that he wants was had gone forever and that slave was dead. That means the old man or the slave man was dead. Yes, but the poor man out of habit, out of practice and custom, would go on living as if he were still a slave. So the thing to say to him, using Paul's vernacular was hey put off slavery. Just like Paul says to these guys put off the old man, you're no longer a slave. You're a free man, live as a free man. Stop living as a slave. Stop behaving as a slave. You are free. Now that's what this passage is trying to indicate to us the old man.
Yes, according to Romans chapter 6, knowing this the Bible says that our old man is crucified with him. That the body of sin might be destroyed that henceforth we should not serve sin. Now some of that, and remember we've been talking about this in the book of Ephesians because some of it in the book of Ephesians what is happening in Christ, I'm in the hevenlies, but wait a minute. I'm not in the hevenlies you were right. So some of the things that are happening will be in heaven, okay? But Paul is instructing us, although my eternity is set in heaven, here, not just in the hevenlies, but here on this earth, live like a Christian and that's one of his things he's telling us is to put off the old man, and put on the new man. So he gives us three ideas about helps, how we can live in this new man. Notice what he says in verse 17 through 19, he tells us to forsake Pagan practices this I say therefore and testify in the Lord that ye hence fall henceforth walk not as other Gentiles now remember as far as this idea Gentiles, he's not necessarily saying that you got to become a Jew. What he was saying is that idea of Gentiles was, don't walk like you did before, don't walk like you did before you were saved. So he's telling us, forsake Pagan practices. And this is what should happen for us, when we are saved, things need to change. And it takes some active thinking and active doing on our part, notice he says that she henceforth walk not, there's a choice, you have a choice, you get saved and you're having a problem with drinking, you have a choice whether you walk into a bar. You have a choice, you have a choice whether you reach out and you turn on the stereo or you hit your you hit your iPod or iPad and your playlist and it's all wickedness. You have a choice when you hit that, and what Paul is saying is you're a new man, forsake the Pagan, that was an old life. And you need to you need to learn that that old life needs replaced. Everybody has a former life, Paul dress believers who are from paganism. What do we mean by paganism? Paganism basically is worshiping other gods besides the god. Well, you may say well I wasn't worshipping some other God probably maybe you didn't have an official idol, but you might have just been worshipping yourself, you were the god of your life you did whatever you wanted or it could have been, I mean not literally but now as you're saved you look back you technically we're worshipping Satan, you say no I wasn't, but whatever he told you to do you did. You know, whatever thought he had you followed it. And so what the Bible is telling us forsake those things, those are pagan, that's the old life, get rid of them. Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, that's verse 19, to work all uncleanness with greediness. So we forsake Pagan practices. Notice in verse 20 then, he gives us another tip about helping to live in this new life as a new man. So the first thing is I start recognizing what the old practices were and this is my challenge to some of you. You just been save start writing down some of the old practices, write them down, that's the old life. I'm forsaking that I'm done with that life, I'm through with that life, it's over with, because it's Pagan. It's not godly, but then notice, he gives us another tip for living in this new man in this new life. He said find Christ’s way of living look at verse 20: But ye have not so learned Christ. If so be that ye have heard him and have been taught by him as the truth is in Jesus you put off, verse 23: be renewed, verse 24: put on. Find Christ way of living so notice what it says here. Remember every word of God is important. So did he say ye have not so learned about Christ. Did I say it right? Ha you guys are so awake on this first Sunday of November. Alright, so does it say you have not so learned about Christ? Thank you. Okay. I've just really appreciate it. Okay, and I know you're like wait a minute, I was just, there was a lady and woman were supposed to keep. All right, we know that that is not customary for you, okay. So what we are saying is guess what the Bible is saying? Bible’s saying you have not so learned about no, you have not so learned Christ. It's not just a knowledge that it's talking about and this is a very personal thing between you and God. And so this is what you want to sit and start asking God and say “God, okay Christ you saved me” and this is what Christ wants to do, He wants to have a close fellowship with you, and it is coming to church. We should know tomorrow, God wants a fellowship with you. It's not just on Sunday, He wants to be a part of your life, and it says ye have not so learned Christ. Find Christ’s way of living, and he gives us some hints here notice. He says three things in this, he says put off concerning the former lusts the old men. So the put off and the put on in the language, it's used like garments. Okay, so, you know how you go, and you put on a garment and you put off a garment, that's the same lingo here. So, you know what it indicates to me. There's some action on my part as a Christian that I have to do in order to live this new life. There's some action, so I have to put off the old things. What does that mean? There's some active working that you've got to do in your life, that means you need to start making a list of things, I have to do that. You know this old man, I've been in church as I've been saved 40 years. I've been in church all my life, but my old man is just the same as your old man, and guess what? He's got some desires. He's got some things that he wants me to do, and what you need to do is start listing them out, you know and later he's going to give you specifics, you know what the old man, what he does? He lies. The old man? He's filled with hate. The old man? He's filled with anger. The old man? He's filled with all kinds of immorality and immoral things. The old man? He gives place to the devil. So I start listing out those things and then I actively put off the old man. It's an action that you guys got to do and I believe this has to be done daily. Daily, I put off this old man. Just like I get up in the morning and I changed I get dressed, so I'm putting off the bedtime clothes, know some of you maybe you're not doing that. Okay, some of you, you should try that, you should try changing once in a while. Alright, it's good for you. All right, but sometimes put off the bed time clothes. I'm not hanging out all day in these bedtime clothes, I've got to change got to clean up. So I'm putting off the old man and then we forget the second part notice right in the middle. Normally we say put off and put on there's something else involved right in the middle notice what it says, be renewed in the spirit of your mind, I think that's what most Christians forget. You think it's all you, it's all me man, what I'm gonna do is I'm putting that off, and I'm putting this on. God says wait a minute, there’s a missing point, it's renewed by the spirit of your mind. Are we reminded about that yet? Paul wrote about that in Romans 12: And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. You know what some of you forget? You forget that when Christ came He saved my soul, but there's an old man, that old man is very powerful, and he's very strong, I can't win the battle on my own. But God says “Wait, you don't you don't have to win it on your own. I've given you the spirit, and the spirit through the spirit, there's victory. That's why I say sometimes, it can be confusing. If you're reading, if you're newly saved, I would say that when you're reading the Bible, you know there maybe, get some advice about different chapters, but probably the chapters not to read this Romans 7. Those of us that have read Romans 7 I still read and I'm confused, because I'm like that which I do, I don't do, that's what I don't do, I do and then sometimes I even say that backwards. Alright, because sometimes, it seems like there's eight people in there. There's this guy that wants to do, this guy's done, there's this guy that's fighting somebody else's who’s got to pick him up and throw him down. I'm like wait who's all in this? That's all in me, and then then you get up and like “Hey, you know what, it's like two dogs, there's a good dog, and there's a bad dog. And you feed a bad dog, and if you do” and I'm like, “I don't know. I don't have any dogs in me”. It can be confusing, but guess what I know? The Bible says there's an old man and a new man, the old man is crucified, but then in Ephesians, He says that I know he's crucified, but you got to put them off. Alright, so it seems to indicate that, that crucifixion is an eternal thing. It's something that is done in the hevenlies, but here I'm living not in the hevenlies, I'm here on this Earth. And what I have to do is I have to push off and fight that old man. He is dead, he's dead, he has no authority in my life anymore. But the new man has to be built up and the only way you build up that new man is putting off the old but then not forgetting renew your mind by the spirit. That's God's, God comes in and you know what the Holy Spirit can do? He can transform your thinking. He can change your thinking, he can change it to where before all that happened, all that happened was anger that came up. All that happened was unkindness. All that happened was immoral things, and God can, through the spirit, change your mind.
So what is the Bible telling us? Here's some helps for sake Pagan practices: Find Christ way of living, but finally follow Christ way of behaving. Look at verse 25 through the end of the chapter, He gives actually six commands here, six commands and this is the way, all of them, you will find that Christ exemplified. It's Christ way of behaving. Look in verse 25: Put away lying Christ practice truthfulness. Jesus even said it Thy word is truth. Alright, Christ is truth, He said I am the way, the truth. There is no truth without Christ. Alright, there is no truth. And so we need to learn to practice truthfulness. Notice the next thing in verse 26: We control our temperament right, notice what it says, be angry and sin not now. Some people there's both sides of it. Some people say that all anger than a sin, but it says be angry and sin not so it seems to be some anger, and the right type, I mean God, and I know it's the people that have a problem with anger only know one story, you all know it. Jesus went into the temple and went flat out ninja, and the guys that were selling thing. I mean there was numchucks flying all kinds of like yeah Christ was ain't I? and I'm like, I'm not seeing that. Alright, but that's the only story in the whole Bible they know, like you know what that that life ain’t like. Like okay, that's the only story they know but really you don't find Christ walking around angry and yelling and screaming. What you find is, here He is on the cross, and He's forgiving people. You see a different demeanor, and so yes, you can be angry at sin and we should be, I'm sorry that some of the stuff that goes on in our society today, it's amazing. I just thought I should have brought it but I printed an article off yesterday because this week in Canada, there is a there is a decision handed down by the courts. There is a Christian family that was going to adopt a child, and they've been working on it and working out because you know, it's good if somebody wants to adopt a child. And so here this family and they’re Christian family they came in to adopt a child. They've been working on it and they had a final interview, and they went over, they said “So do you go to church?” Then they went through all kinds of religious questions and at the end because they go to church, they said do you believe in God? “Yes”, do you believe in the Trinity? All down the list, and then they said “You know what? Your belief system doesn't seem to line up then would be healthy for this child”. Yep, blew me away. And you know what? I think biblically I have a right to be angry about that. Now not be out there and I'm gonna go shoot them, that's not biblical. But, you know, we need to call it out, that's wickedness, that's sin, that isn't right, that's not godliness, that's not healthy. What's healthy for a child? To have two moms? What's healthy for a child? To have a drug a drug culture? What's healthy for a child? To not have a Bible, though that is all healthy for a child to have godliness and to have a mom and dad that say there is a God, that is healthy. And so you know what? Yes, we can be angry in that, but you know the Bible, You normally don't find the person claiming that it's right to be angry, that there's a whole lot of godliness there. And so the Bible says the old man has an anger problem. So when that anger comes up, remember this, it’s the old man, you knew put him down. So I put them off, I put off the old man, I renew my mind in the spirit, but then I start following Christ way. So what am I putting on? Here's the list, I'm putting on truthfulness. I'm putting on temperance. I'm putting on kindness. Do you notice that it says look at verse 28: Not kindness it. Let him that stole steal no more. I'm putting on, I'm not a thief, I'm not just taking something that doesn't belong to me, and you say oh ho that's not true, think about it, that's the old way. Hey, you know what? Nobody's going to know, that's the old man talking, and the old man needs to be put off. I need to have a new mind by the spirit and then and verse 29: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth. There's a whole lot of vile conversation that goes on, and that is the old man, the new man is immersed in this book, he's learning of Christ. He's learning not just about Christ. He's letting Christ come in and there's a relationship there and it's changing you, and this new man, what is he like? He practices truth. He practices temperance, he's not out there taking things that don't belong to him. His speech is pure and rights, and notice in verse 30: And grieve not the holy spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. God is grieved, we are so sensitive to God that when we come when we come to do something, we're sensitive that the Holy Spirit can say, hey stop saying that, don't take that, hey you lied. Hey, you're not you're not supposed to act that way, hey, you’re giving place to the devil. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice and be kind one to another. Tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
There was a 14 year old boy, his name was Jason, and Jason lived in California in San Diego County. This was a number of years ago, and Jason won the spelling bee for the county. He has no special technique. And he told someone this, you know, because they wanted to know how much practice probably the principal and others and they wanted to write up, you know and tell all the other students the great effort that Jason had done, and Jason said this to him which probably wasn't quoted by many of the teachers or principal, he said it was sheer luck. And he also confessed this to the teacher and principal “I did not have the slightest idea even what the word meant, but I nailed it”. Okay, it was just perchance, luck. As I read that I think that's what some of us try to practice in our Christian life, you luckily had a good day yesterday. You weren't angry, made it! We're not supposed to live our Christian Life. Like, yes, finally, I had victory one day. I don't see that in scripture, scripture says that I can be prosperous, that's psalm one. I'm supposed to be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, and I'm going to prosper I'm going to grow, but I think many of us because we're not putting into practice biblical things. And so it's by chance that you have a good day, it's by chance that you're not having wicked thoughts. It's by chance that you're not lying. It's by chance that's you're not being immoral, it's just by chance, but yet God's way is not by chance. It's effort, it's putting off the old man. It's letting the spirit renew me, and build me properly and it's putting on good practices.
Some of that might be, and if you're having a problem get some help. Get some help, get somebody that'll help you and say hey, I'll push you a little bit, I’ll make you a better person. God wants to help us he wants us living this new life. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, that creature that idea, it's not some weird, you know, we just came out of Halloween, so, you know, the freaks were out. Okay, that's not what it's saying, we’re not supposed to look like the walking dead. Okay, you know what you're supposed to look like? A new creation, that's the word. It's something brand-new, it's alive, it's special and He made it, God did. So why are you living like the old man? Why are you like the Martyn lloyd-jones says? Why are you in slavery? Why are you in bondage? He freed you. And yet because of habit, because of the custom, we slip up.
There is a well-known commentator that died many years ago, but in the 50s 60s, he wrote a commentary on the whole Bible, and he was talking just about this passage. He was saying that when he was a little kid, he said he was a pretty bad boy and he ran with a bunch of pretty wild boys, and what they like to do was steal things. He grew up I think out in California. He says out in the California area, he didn't grow up in the city. So he was out in the country and he said he and his hoodlums would get together and they would steal all kinds of things, they would go and raid farms, they would steal watermelons, they would steal anything they could get a hold of and take it, and then sometimes they would eat some of it. Sometimes they would go into town and sell it for a little bit so they can get some candy. God saved him, he became a preacher. It was driving out to a farm one day and he said he was driving by some fields. and there was watermelons there. and he said I mean serious, he said he pulled over got out of his car and he stopped use like holy cow, I was just gonna go over there and steal some watermelons. He got back in went up and he started talking to the farmer. He told the farmer and afterwards he was kind of glad, he didn't take another step. He says aha< I am really glad that you didn't take any more steps in the field. We've been having thefts all over and there was a couple of guys they probably would have shot you, but you know what he was telling that farmer that, that old life. Guess what? He had developed habits in that old life. Sometimes those habits, man they’re entrenched in us. You know what you need to do? Put it off, but don't forget the middle step, come to the spirit of God and say renew me. The idea of renewing is remaking, you can't do that. Christ is in the creation business. Nobody else can create something out of nothing, but God can, and when you bring it to God, He can make you into something very new, and then I need to put on some new practices.
God says be a new man.
Heads bowed eyes closed.