Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. In today's message titled, Walk in Newness Part 2, we will hear four ways that the transforming power of the gospel changes our attitudes and interactions with others. When we live surrendered fully to Christ, we begin to see and treat others the way Christ did. Let's dig into Ephesians 4, 25 through 32 together. Now is the time that we unpack the Word of God, so I encourage you to have your copy of the scriptures out to Ephesians chapter 4 as we continue in our exposition of the apostles' letter to the church at Ephesus. We're in the second half of the book. The book is perfectly divided, the letter perfectly divided into two halves.
The first half is all indicative. This is true of us. This is who we are. This is what God has accomplished in Christ Jesus and now has made true of us for those of us who are in Christ. And they are powerful truths indeed. And I want you to be reminded of these things. These are to be the things of our meditation.
So know these truths. Know the blessings that are yours in Christ because the truth of it is, as I've said before, if you don't come to grips with the truths of Ephesians 1 to 3, you can't do Ephesians 4 through 6. That's how grace works. It's about transforming by renewal of the mind. It's what we're going to talk about today because Paul's emphasis here now in the living out portion of Ephesians chapters 4 through 6, the living out portion, Paul is challenging us here in this paragraph to walk in newness. And you might say, well, what newness?
Well, that's what chapters 1 to 3 are all about. You need to know the newness that is yours if indeed you are going to walk in newness. And in this paragraph, verses 17 to 32, the first part of that, Paul is contrasting those who are not in Christ, who walk in the futility of their mind versus we who are in Christ and who can walk in newness.
And so we put off the attributes, the behaviors of that dark prison cell of self preeminence. And we're renewed in the spirit of the mind and we put on Christ, the character and the purpose of Christ. And it all had to do with the mind.
What we're studying now is the outflow of what newness, what this newness looks like, practically speaking in the day to day. And if verses 17 to 24 was about being renewed, it had to do with the mind and those who are not in Christ at all, they're walking in the futility of their mind. But in Christ, you are transformed by the renewing of the mind. So verses 17 to 24 were about the mind, the new heart that is sensitive to God's transforming truth.
This new heart that he has given you in Christ, where God can now transform you at the level of thought and desire because you now have a heart that is sensitive to God's self-disclosure and he is transforming you. That being true of you, then we come to verses 25 to 32. And if verses 17 to 24 were mostly about the mind, this is very interesting.
Verses 25 to 32 are mostly about the mouth. Now, some of you are thinking, you're putting your seatbelts on now, aren't you? Listen, nobody has been impacted by this more than I have. That's one of the blessings of teaching. The person who learns the most is the teacher.
That's why we encourage you to teach classes here. But God is working in me on this level, in this arena. And as he has called us, as one new people of God, to let the light of new creation replace the darkness of that prison cell of self-preeminence. We referred to 2 Corinthians 4 last time.
2 Corinthians 4, 4, the God of this world has blinded the eyes, the mind of the people of this world, the unregenerate people. But 2 Corinthians 4, 6, God has shown the light in our hearts and minds. And so, think about that light. Let me use that metaphor of a light. The light is God's self-disclosure. God makes himself known to us by it, we therefore know his character and his purpose, his beauty, his goodness, his perfections, all of that.
That is light. And that is how I am transformed by the renewing of my mind, transformed in the spirit of my mind. So, let that light continually shine and that light that shines in me, it needs to shine continually, study, reading, meditation, renewing the mind where my heart and mind, my attitudes and desires are informed and transformed by God's character and purpose, disclosed in his revelation. Not only do I need to let that light shine continually, but listen, I need to let it shine increasingly.
Why is that? Read the scriptures more. Don't be stuck in coffee mug theology and bumper sticker theology, folks.
The church is anemic with that. Know the deep profound truths of the word of God and let God reorder your attitudes and your desires. And let that light shine not only continually, but increasingly, because the more the light shines, the more the darkness is diminished. The more the light shines into your heart and mind, the more the darkness that is in there is sidelined and is diminished.
So I challenge you to look at it, think at it that way. Are you reading and studying and meditating on the word of God? Listen, if you're not, you are at best stagnant in your faith.
Worse than that, you might be becoming more immature. You need to be reading and studying the word of God. Let the light shine into your heart and mind, because what happens? As we are transformed in the spirit of the mind through God's self-disclosure, because it is his spirit is the author of the word of God, and his spirit then illuminates the word of God to us. Now here's what newness looks like. When that becomes true, and I am being transformed at the level of thought and desire, I am being transformed by the light that is shining into me.
Here's what it looks like. Four things we're going to talk about today. The outflow of my life moves from pretense to personal investment. The disposition of my life moves from pretense to personal investment. I should go pretense, right? To personal investment.
Gestures can do a lot, can't they? What do we mean by move from pretense? Well, it says in verse 25, therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Having put away falsehood, the deceits of the dark prison cell of self-preeminence that told you your life was about you, but it's not. And in Christ, you recognize that.
Christ is preeminent now. And so the pretense there, what is pretense? It's natural for the unregenerate. It's controlling what you want others to think of you.
Now we all do that to some degree, don't we? Controlling what others think of you. And manipulation using people, why?
For your agenda. And so we approach them with a particular air on because we want to get something out of them. And so for the unregenerate, naturally, the value of relationships is what you think of me and what you can do for me. Do you see how that can destroy a marriage from the very beginning? If my approach to my wife is just simply to get her to think highly of me and for me to get her to do for me what I want.
And when both of you are doing that, that doesn't sound like any fun, does it? You see, that's the natural way of thinking for the unregenerate person. And that belongs in the dark prison cell of self-preeminence. And that's why Paul is saying you move from that, abandon that darkness, let the light of Christ shine in and move from pretense to personal investment.
What do I mean by personal investment? Speak truth with those near you. So speak truth with your neighbor. Who's my neighbor? Jesus was asked that question.
He gave the story of the Good Samaritan. Who is your neighbor? Anybody near you. Anybody with whom you can rub shoulders or speak truth into their life or show kindness to them.
That is your neighbor. Speak truth to those near you. The words you say, let them be life, let them be encouragement.
Let the words that you say be freeing. Let them be the transforming truth of the Word of God. So that you walk with another person together in a God-ward direction and his grace becomes a normal part of your conversation. You have a God-ward direction. You have a God-ward conversation. You have been a recipient of grace and now you can be a dispenser of grace through your mouth.
Not with pretense, so that your disposition with someone else is not about what you can get out of them, but how you can personally invest in them. You see, folks, this is not a natural thing. This is something that comes from the Spirit of God. This is how God works. And he says, do this because you are members one of another. He's speaking here directly to the church, meaning you are vitally connected. You are vitally connected. Therefore, that being true, the direction of your life impacts others.
Let me say that again. The direction of your life impacts others. Down to the very truth of your presence here impacts others.
That's how God designed the church, because we're a body. We are vitally connected with each other. And so, here is the disposition of the one who is in Christ, one who is being transformed in the spirit of the mind, one who is letting the light shine in to transform desires and attitudes. We move from the dark cell of self-preeminence. And in my interactions with others, we move from pretense to personal investment.
And so, in Christ then, the basis of your approach to others is, how can I bless you as opposed to what you can do for me? That's what the natural man naturally does. What can you do for me?
That's how a natural man approaches everyone else. What can I get you to think of me? How highly can I get you to think of me? Let me tell you how much I know. Let me tell you what I can do.
Here's how you ought to be so impressed with me. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-19 17:18:17 / 2023-01-19 17:23:09 / 5