This Day in History: 0000-06-19
June 19 – Ephesians 4:20-24
But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy.
Just before these verses, Paul gave the church at Ephesus a brief description of the way the world lives – to please themselves. He spoke of their utter disregard for the things of God, and pleaded with the Ephesians to no longer live in that way. Surely, we can see the same thing around us two thousand years later? The world goes on turning, barely aware, it seems, of the Creator. But like the Ephesian church, we are called to throw off the old sinful nature. We are called to be different.
Have we been obedient and abandoned our former way of life? Or do we sit on the fence, dabbling our feet into the waters of impurity every now and then? In the verses following the ones above, Paul goes on to give practical steps to achieving victory over the strongholds that pull us back again and again. It requires action. We can’t simply sit around hoping our sins will just go away. We must allow the Holy Spirit to renew our thoughts and actions, and then we must “put on” the new nature. If we lie, we must start to tell the truth – actively. If we steal, we must work hard and give generously. If we struggle with foul or abusive words that come out of our mouths, we must actively and intentionally encourage others with our words instead.
We are not called to a life of complacency. God did not adopt us into His royal, eternal family so that we could occasionally slum it again with the people of this world. He clothed us in His Kingly, pure white robes and placed a crown on our heads. He declared us to forever be His, and He longs for us to abide in Him.
So, let’s live up to our position. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to renew our thoughts and attitudes so that we will see our sin as our Savior does. Let’s throw off the old, filthy, torn, and rotting garments of our sinful nature, and accept the pristine, stately gowns offered by our Heavenly Father. Let’s don them forever, never again forsaking our position as the royal children of the King of Kings in exchange for the lesser things of this world!