• Bro. Caleb Taft

Waking with The Word | Ephesians 4:22-32

Ephesians 4:22-32 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (KJV)


When we read these practical verses of instruction, we notice that Paul not only instructs against the negative trait but to the positive trait and purpose for the instruction. We see this threefold instruction in each of the subjects covered in verses 22-32; Put off the old man, be renewed in the spirit of your mind, put on the new man is the first threefold instruction. Put away lying, speak truth, we are members one of another is the second. Be angry, sin not, neither give place to the devil is third. Stop stealing, start working, give to him that needeth is the fourth. Cease bad conversations, start good conversations, it will minister grace to the hearers. Lastly, He says grieve not the Holy Spirit, put away all the evil things (bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, malice) and to do all the right things "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."


I have mentioned all these to bring out the divine structure of these instructions. Each instruction is an example of what will happen if we follow Paul’s first instruction in this section: "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."


When we put off the old man (bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, malice) and are renewed in the spirit of our mind (telling the truth, working, being angry without sin, cleaning up our conversations) and put on the new man (giving, speaking grace, being members one of another) these instructions will naturally occur. Paul penned down the inspired conclusion to the whole matter in the last verse of this chapter: "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." If we will do the first instruction all these smaller more particular instructions will grow from it, the same way one kernel of corn grows into roughly 1600. Through this process we will be producing the fruits of the Spirit and becoming more like the one who forgave us of all our sins, and that is the aim of God; for us to be more like him and less like self. It is no wonder Paul concludes this chapter and these instructions with us being like Christ; that is the ultimate end, and although I may not have all his graces currently, I have to say that I am more like him today than when I first met him. Then will come that glorious day when this mortal shall put on immortality, and we shall be like him. That day his graces will be perfected in us, but until then I want to follow these instructions; "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." In doing so you will carry out the rest of the instructions given and become more like Christ. According to the Riches of His Grace!

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