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November 5, 2020 7:05 am
In our image-conscious world people care deeply about their appearance colors. We choose the label coordination compel us to shop carefully. As a result, the clothing industry is big business today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll reminds us that God wants his children to look their very best by wearing a wardrobe that might surprise you were in Ephesians chapter 4, to help you catch up with the teaching you may have missed on yesterday's program will begin with helpful highlights title today's message. Here's how to get dressed raised with the statement you never have a second chance to leave a first impression. And let's face it the way you dress does impact the way the interview turns out more often than not, but doesn't really do anything to the inside that's the question then it does not.
Henry David Thoreau in his fine work economy rights. This, beware of all enterprises that require new close and not rather a new wearer of Claude's.
I was all this have to do with our study in Ephesians well when you get to the central section of Ephesians 4 the answer is in one word.
Everything in fact, the apostle Paul has a word picture that sort of subtly is dropped in on us and leaves us with the reality that it's about clothes, not the external. But the internal that he's writing is not about what you put on your body. It's what you live out in your life that's important in order to do that to things have to happen you have to discard the old and you have to have a shower you have to have a bath and get cleaned up before you can put on the new.
If you like to mark your Bibles drop down to 422 and make note of lay aside the old self and then verse 24. Mark put on the new self, the apostle is just simply talking about what's appropriate, but he doesn't have symphonies or ranches, or working in the yard and my it's all about the dinner person it's never about the external are rarely the Paul in Ephesians 417 to 24 is addressing how to get the heart dressed, get the life dressed correctly. The apostle says where to put off have our minds renewed, like you would take a shower and then put on you know the context member basic rule of interpretation always integrate the section you're looking at with its context never just plunge right into a verse always see where you're coming from and look at where you're going, what's been before them. Remember Paul's words, I urge you as a prisoner to walk worthy of the calling with which you have been called so this is about walking the walk and beginning in verse one down through verse 16. The emphasis has been on the unity of the body unit team humility and ultimately maturity.
Here's how to grow up as the body of Christ as the family of God.
When you get to verse 17, it's about the purity of the believer not the unity of the body versus 17 to 24. In fact, they end with the words holiness of the true the end of verse 24. This is about dealing with the individual believer in your own life and I've called it.
Here's how to get dressed. Verse 17.
This is no insignificant subject that he sort of slides into he has the Lord standing alongside him saying right this.
What he opens, so this I say and affirm together with the Lord not see the word at Furman. It's the word from which the Greek from which we get our word martyr which interestingly means to witness this is the Lord's witness. This is the Lord's testimony. He's using my pen to communicate it to you. I take it that when Paul was caught up in the third heaven second Corinthians chapter 12 for he received great revelations from God, especially regarding the body, the church, how the church was to live its life and carry out its responsibilities.
A part of that truth you received from the Lord. But the Lord testified to him was about this particular subjects of this is no idle matter. This is no yawning concern. This is of crucial importance.
That's why he begins this I say, and I I affirm it with the Lord. He standing alongside me saying right this that you walk no longer as the Gentiles also walk when you read Gentiles you would normally think he has in mind all humanity that is not Jewish.
That's how we use the word today but Paul's use of the term is a lot more specific, more often than not he has in mind the unregenerate person show you an example, older place. Look at first Thessalonians chapter 4 I give you an example of how this word is used with a little statement after it describing the meaning of the term success. First Thessalonians 4 verse three. This is the will of God, your sanctification, that is that you abstain from sexual immorality that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor. That's the positive. The negative not in lustful passion like look at that the Gentiles who do not know God, to the way that read that that reads back in Ephesians 417. That's what he has in mind regarding the Gentile.
In other words, verse 17, chapter 4 of Ephesians that you walk no longer as you walked in your unregenerate state that you no longer live out the lifestyle of your lost condition before the cross before you came to Christ in your unconverted state of mind and in your lifestyle of lost nests the way you walk, then, is has nothing to do with the way you are now to walk, but before he gets to the positive drills and drives home the negative. The Gentile lifestyle. We give you four words I think they might help you appreciate what he's getting at.
Four words I want to suggest in verses 17 through 19. Darkness did nests record less nests, but let's start with the word hardness so we got these for hardness darkness. Did nests recklessness. Those are original with me.
John RW Stott in his fine work on Ephesians suggests them as a bit of an outline. It all starts with the hardness of the heart C-18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them and why's that because of the hardness of their heart and they having become callous have given them over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity, with greediness, see the word hardness of heart that's at the heart. No pun intended. That's at the heart and center of the problem. The core of depravity is a hard heart, I'm attracted to the word hardness word vulture that I am a little work on the etymology and I learned that hardness comes from the word poor process which comes from coal roasts Pete to loan those POROS we got word porous from it as a rock may be porous and it does mean something like a rock.
One man writes this the word which Paul uses for the petrifying of their hearts is grim and terrible process comes from poor roasts of stone harder than marble it came to have certain medical uses. It was used for the chalk stone that can form in the joints and completely paralyze action. It was used for the callous that forms were a bone has been broken and reset callous, which is harder than bone itself emerges. Finally, the word came to mean the loss of all power of sensation. It describes something which you become so hardened, so petrified that it no longer had the power to feel at all because so that you can let that scene sink in. That's hard, mixing, hardness of heart with the darkness of the mind. You come to a pretty vivid image of depravity no longer walk as Gentiles have walked or had as you have walked in the hardness of your heart and in the darkness of your mind, see how he puts it excluded from the life of God, a darkened mind is a mind that exists apart from the light in the knowledge of God. This is not about the loss of intelligence in the sense of sheer technical academic intelligence. It is the loss of spiritual perception which explains how a person can be greatly intelligent and even sophisticated in technical knowledge and be absolutely at a loss totally ignorant of spiritual things.
Sometimes it comes out in the ignorance of biblical knowledge. Back in the days of Jimmy Carter. There were all kinds of comments made about Pres. Carter's Christian walk.
And while in the process of being elected into office a number of the commentators found it interesting that one of the verses.
He regularly quoted was the one from the second Chronicles 714 if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land. One of the news commentators presenting Mr. Carter in light of the Scripture says, as he's reading from the Teleprompter and as we all have read and 11 Chronicles 714, and he quotes 11 Chronicles 7 smile when I heard that not out of pride but he's a very intelligent commentator. The name you would know if I called it, but he doesn't know how many Chronicles there are very intelligent individuals who can do remarkably sophisticated things, but totally blind when it comes to the things of God.
Ray Steadman writes we.
Why are we human beings ignorant because there is a part of our being that does not function our spiritual life. The human spirit is blank darkened and obscured in our natural state apart from God.
There is a part of our being. The part that God intended at creation to be the key to life for nothing takes place. The spirit of humanity lost in sin is dead as a result, all human knowledge is broken, unrelated, incomplete, that is the picture Paul draws then the ads we tend to take pride in our great civilization with its accomplishments, knowledge and technological wonders, but we have to ask ourselves what has this fall. Vaunted civilization really done for us. Do we feel safe on our streets at night we solve the problems of crime, political corruption, racism, immorality, and war.
Are we any happier as a society than the ancient Egyptians or the ancient Greeks. If so, why are so many of us going to psychiatrists taking drugs, getting drunk, getting divorced, battering spouses and children and committing suicide, fire all these problems rising instead of declining great question is because there is a hardness of heart and darkness of mind which leads to an did nests of life. How else can you explain, but Ted Bundy and his ilk of serial killers. Being able to talk about it as you would talk about what you had for breakfast without feeling how else can you describe two teenagers shooting down in cold blood teacher and fellow students in a high school in Littleton, Colorado, and then themselves in the hardness and darkness and deadness of their lives.
One of the most fascinating books I've read this year's book entitled the art of pilgrimage, which is a fine work on travel and how to get the most out of travel filled close and so is the is the author I had not read him before, though he is a published author, and in his travels he takes you from one scene to another and he takes you ultimately to Cambodia where you watch the scene unfold before your eyes and you remember the popular title the killing field's listen to his description in the closing word that reveals hardness with every step through the ghostly glory of the ancient temple grounds.
It was impossible not to be reminded of the scourge of pole plot the ever present threat of landmines and the fragility of a site that had endured a thousand years of historical chaos. The main children and fiercest soldiers we encountered everywhere were grim evidence of a never ending war. Once upon a time foreigners were spread work were spared the horrors of remote revolution but no more in a local English language newspaper we read that pole plot had ordered the executions of three Australian tourists, saying only crush them, crush them those of the words from a hard heart and a darkened mind and did spirit you what it represents. The old clothes the old garments and before any of us pluck our tongues and look down our noses at people. I have named remember the nature within you is just as wicked as there's the darkness in which they have dwelt and acted out is the darkness to which you can turn at any time because you were born into it because when you act out you are stepping in step you were walking in step with the culture that has lost its way.
Verse 19 is vivid and they having become callous, there is the word have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity, with greediness, greediness, more, more, it's never enough that which drives the pornographer is the insatiable habit of those with a hunger for pornography, never being quite satisfied the greed was deeper. The boredom gets sooner and there has to be something more, until finally there is such a recklessness of life. There is an absent Shane and have you noticed we no longer blush than an interesting characteristic of the 21st century, when is the last time you saw anyone blush you how old I am and I'm old enough to remember that the use of a four letter word and gone with the wind made the front page of the newspaper Pasadena use the word's and gone with the wedding that was splashed all across the front page of the Houston Chronicle. I remember my mother and dad just ranting and raving over this. Just thinking this the worst thing that ever happened and I must tell you that I can hardly listen to a news or sports or disc jockey on the radio without hearing a regular diet of four letter words that come without any reluctance. I remember when they used to put them off the air. Not now.
It's tragic but again I remind you it is a culture that has gotten its cues from the hardness and darkness and the deadness and the recklessness of depravity.
Few people put it better than Kent Hughes and one statement in his book, our culture is hell-bent in its cavalier reckless pursuit of sin. It makes psychopaths, its martyrs and drag queens its model. Paul portrays these horrible sites and rights of such he saw hearts that were so hardened. They weren't even aware they were sending he saw mine so blinded by sin that Shane was lost and decency forgotten he saw tomorrow so debauched and at the reckless mercy of their own desires, they did not care whose life they injured or whose innocence they destroyed and remember, you have the same nature within you that have within them, but you verse 20 begins to know if you going to a basketball game lately but one of the things it's more popular to do nowadays especially with umpires when they make a phone call is half the crowd goes you you you you you know I mean it's just like coming out all over you. Inside these closed arenas. This is sort of the way it is in verse 20 but you you there. Do you believe are you a child of God in Ephesus new Christian in in Frisco or Dallas. You you did not learn Christ in this way you know what that means you come to the cross.
You walk from that unregenerate life into the resplendent light and presence of Christ and you've you've seen what it means to be cleansed from within. So that converted you now are able to put on or having put on the new garments you're able to walk a new kind of life I love this word picture that he gives us a strong contrast. You have not. So learn Christ. In fact, the way he goes after this almost sounds like the catechism of the school. Verse 21. If indeed you have heard him Christ speaking and have been taught in him, just as truth is in Jesus. I love that weight. The way that we know if you have been exposed to this kind of Christ of focused teaching maybe a Bible study Fellowship or through campus Crusade for Christ or perhaps a home Bible class or a group of you friends got together. Maybe some of you at work and you came together and without concern for denominational religious background. All of you together converted focusing on Christ began to be part of him. He not only was the subject of the teaching he was, if you will, the teacher, and it's so overwhelmed you that you were lost in the wonder of his person, and it began to seep deep into your wants hardened heart and darkened mind began to change is going to sound like a commercial and is not meant that way but I have to tell you the setting that I first became familiar with.
In that time in my life that was most strategic was at Dallas seminary. Here I was a young mid-20s student, no children or wife of of just a couple of years are really by then four years and we came in and we stepped into an environment that I had never before ever been exposed member. I came out of the Marine barracks is a little bit of a contrast in seminary classroom and I stepped away from that into this and I found myself surrounded teachers who modeled him scriptures who spoke of him chapels that centered on him songs that focus on him and I found myself hearing him and being taught in him as the truth is in Jesus and left midway through a message from Chuck Swindoll but concludes tomorrow he's teaching from Ephesians chapter 4 about putting on the new self, and this is insight for living.
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Now our Canadian listeners celebrate Thanksgiving in October in the United States.
The holiday comes later this month.
With this in mind we are spending our days of insight for living, thanking God for his faithfulness even during these unsettling days of the global pandemic and social unrest.
If you received checks letter every month at your home be on the lookout for an upcoming personal letter.
That's longer than normal.
You see, he's jotted down the outpouring of God's blessings in 2020. Which one would never expect in light of the chaos in our culture. It's filled with thanksgiving to God and you will enjoy reading through each blessing. To that end, we are inviting friends like you to join us in the all-out effort to bring God's many blessings and his truth to 195 countries of the world where calling this mission, vision, 195. Together we can implement the great commission of Jesus by making disciples through radio, our website, the mobile app, CDs, books, DVDs, the podcast our lifestream feet and more.
Whatever amount he prompts you to invest will truly make a difference not long ago we received an encouraging note that said Pastor Chuck, I am Nigerian I am 61. I love listening to your radio program on radio EL W a before the station was destroyed by the local rebels you sent me literature that blessed my life passed it on to my own children. God bless you and keep up the good work of the ministry.
Well, it's a word of thanksgiving like this one that motivates us to venture forward vision 195. Give a one time contribution today call listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8880 also give directly email@example.com/donate when Dall continues his message titled, here's how to get dressed right here on insight for living. The preceding message. Here's how to get dressed was copyrighted in 2000 2001 and 2009 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll.
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