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SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 4:31

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SIH TOTT ICON“Reflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

The Grace Of Renewal: Ephesians 4:17-32

 

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 

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:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.    Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.    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.    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.    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.     Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

With this devotional, we are beginning the second division of the book of Ephesians.  Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3).  It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-21)

The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RENEWAL (4:17-32).  The word translated “renewed” is a Greek word that carries with it the ideas of:
1. to reform
2. to make fresh
3. to restore youth

When these are viewed together we can see that the idea of renewal is “a renovation that restores to a previous condition which results in renewed power, refreshment and perception.”

In the context of this study, our mind is spoken of as being “renewed” with the receipt of the new nature given to us at our salvation.   Basically this is teaching us that our mind is changed to resemble our minds before the fall of man.  Some of these would include:
1.  a mind with a greater desire to think on things pleasing to God,
2.  a mind with an ability to more clearly perceive and apply God’s Word and will to the life
3.  a mind with an ability to perceive and oppose wickedness, temptation and other evil influences.

Keeping all this in mind, lets turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Walk Of Our Old Man (vs 17-22)
II.        Our New Man with a Renewed Mind (23-24)
III.        The Walk Of Our New Man (vs 25-32)

EXPOSITION:

(Eph 4:31)  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

 

Paul continues to look at the characteristics of the new man.  In today’s devotional, he centers upon characteristics that must be excluded from our lives which involve our treatment of others…

Let all bitterness, – “bitterness” comes from the Greek word for “poison” or “acid”.

It points to something that is harmful, irritating and distasteful.  When we have a bitter attitude it certainly is irritating to those around us, but more importantly it can be very harmful as it can spread and cause discontentment and anger.

Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled;”  (Hebrews 12:14-15)

and wrath, – “wrath” originates from a Greek word that means “to breathe hard due to inflamed passions”.

It describes allowing our passions to get out of control, physically affecting our bodies, causing us to act foolishly and without restraint.

Self-control is a primary prerequisite for those who desire to lead a Godly Christian life…

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”   (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)

and anger, – “anger” is translated from a word that means “passion that burns within” .

It refers to a burning desire within us for vengeance and wrath to fall against others (normally those who have wronged us).

Please note: “Anger” refers to the existence of these passions within us, while “wrath” describes our inability to control these desires once they come into existence in our lives.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.”  (Colossians 3:12-13)

and clamour, – “clamour” comes from a Greek word for “a raven’s scream”.

It describes making loud outcries causing upheaval and discord. It is describing verbal cries that cause fightings, wars, disunity and rebellion.   It is basically, “stirring up” trouble within a group of people.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”   (Romans 16:17-18)

and evil speaking, – “evil speaking” comes from the Greek word for blaspheming.

This word describes finding fault with, complaining about, or attributing evil to the things of the Lord (Himself, His word, or His works).

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”   (1 Timothy 6:3-5)

be put away from you, – “be put away” carried with it the idea of “lifting up and away” or “to sail or drift away”

This is helping us to understand we are to no longer allow these to be burdensome to us.

We are to:
1.  take action and “lift them up” off of us
2.  then, passively, allow them to “drift away” out of our lives.

 

with all malice: “malice” is translated from a word that means “malignant”, “corruption”, “wickedness”.

This refers to the growth of something harmful that causes its victim to deteriorate.  It could be describing a decaying body, a person afflicted with cancer or a sinful individual turned over to his own lusts and wickedness…

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”  (Hebrews 3:13)

And the commandment, which [was ordained] to life, I found [to be] unto death.   For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew [me].”   (Romans 7:10-11)

 

APPLICATION:

Some of the characteristics of those who live according to the “new man” by a renewed spirit of the mind include:
1.  Truthfulness and Transparency
2.  Holding Anger Against Sin
3.  Prompt Cessation Of Ungodly Anger
4.  No Submission To Satan’s Use
5.  Laboring To Meet Physical Needs
6.  Good and Edifying Speech
7.  No Willful disobedience against our Heavenly Father and His desires for our lives.
8.  Letting Loose of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and malice.

May we all recognize these characteristics are all a result of the Lord’s direct intervention in our lives creating in us the “new man” and giving us the grace to live according to it.

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more! 

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5 Comments

  1. We look at the characteristics and say “Impossible!” and we are right. We couldn’t hope to get anywhere near such goals . . . but praise God that His commands come with His enabling and that when we look to Him, submitting to His authority, we are enabled to overcome temptation and have victory in Him.
    What an amazing God!

    • Rob Barkman says:

      It is so true that “Without me (Christ), ye can do nothing” but also “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” Lord bless you Angela!

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    A Good heart check. Again, your observation of what the word means in the Greek makes it more specific for application. Thank you.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      When I was much younger, I struggled to understand what some of these Bible terms meant. Over the years, I have always kept in mind the need to attempt to clearly explain terms and concepts on a level that most can understand. There is no benefit to using big words and terms when we can clearly explain things otherwise. Lord bless you SJ!

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