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New Life

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller
The Truth Network Radio
April 28, 2024 1:00 am

New Life

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller

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April 28, 2024 1:00 am

Our new family in Christ doesn’t live like other families do. Living in God’s house, as part of His family, means the house rules have changed. In this message, Pastor Philip Miller contrasts our “old self” with how we are called to walk in our new life in Christ. Let’s consider five examples of what a Spirit-led life in God’s family looks like.

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The change that takes place when a person receives Christ and begins to walk in newness of life is very real.

Quickly, old habits are left behind and a new way of living begins. Paul the Apostle outlines the changes we can expect in the fourth chapter of Ephesians. From Chicago, this is The Moody Church Hour, a weekly broadcast of worship and teaching with Pastor Philip Miller. Today, join us for another message on being Alive in Christ, a series of teachings from Ephesians.

Our focus will be on new life and all that it entails. Here now is Pastor Philip. Well, good morning, everybody.

Welcome to Moody Church. It's good to see you. Whether you're right here from Chicago or drove in from all over in the suburbs or are joining us online or by radio, we're so glad you're here this morning. We are ready to praise and worship our great God today. Amen? Amen. We continue our series in Ephesians on this new life that we have in Jesus Christ.

I'm really looking forward to that time. And so would you stand and let's give this service to the Lord in prayer. Father, we thank you that you have brought us together this morning, people from all over the world with all kinds of backgrounds and stories. And you have made us a people called by your name to be one family together.

And we rejoice that in this new family, we live differently. You have given us new life, a new way, a new pattern, and we follow Christ. And so by the power of the Holy Spirit, would you meet us here this morning?

Would you change us, make us new so that we might follow you closely all of our days? We give you our worship and our praise this morning for Jesus sake and all God's people said, Amen. Amen. Aren't you grateful for what God has done in our church and in your life?

Let's give Him the glory today. Do you remember when you first came to Christ? When you said, God has given me forgiveness, mercy, and grace.

Do you remember that? Well, that's what this song is to help us do to help us remember that sense of the joy flooding in when Christ comes into our lives. Amen. He's turned my mourning into dancing. He's lifted my sorrows.

I can't stay silent. I must sing for His joy has come. He's lifted my sorrows.

I can't stay silent. I must sing for His joy has come. He's turned my mourning into dancing again. He's lifted my sorrows.

I can't stay silent. I must sing for His joy has come. I think I see some joy coming back on your faces. Let's praise the Lord today. Where there once was only hope, He gave His healing hand. Where there once was only pain, He brought comfort like a friend. I feel the sweetness of His love piercing my darkness.

I see the bright and morning sun as it ushers in His joyful madness. He's turned my mourning into dancing again. He's lifted my sorrows.

I can't stay silent. I must sing for His joy has come. He's turned my mourning into dancing again. He's lifted my sorrows.

I can't stay silent. I must sing for His joy has come. Where there once was only hope, He gave His healing hand. Where there once was only pain, He brought comfort like a friend. I feel the sweetness of Your love piercing my darkness.

I see the bright and morning sun as it ushers in His joyful madness. You've turned my mourning into dancing again. You've lifted my sorrows.

I can't stay silent. I must sing for Your joy has come. There is mercy. Maybe in case you don't remember who you used to be, let's look at the Scriptures in Ephesians. This is God's holy word. And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of the world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together in Christ. By grace you have been saved and raised up with Him and seated us in the heavenly places in Jesus Christ, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of your own doing. It is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Aren't you encouraged today at the grace and mercy of God?

Let's sing about that. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found.

But now, but now I see. Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear, E'er I first believed. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my home, So good He am, my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.

Through many dangers, snows and snares, I have forever become. Twas grace that taught me Satan's heart, And grace will lead me home. When we've been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We've known that faith to seek God's grace, And when we first begun. Thank you, Lord, for this whole picture of grace from the moment we came to Christ and experienced your mercy all the way into the ages in the future when we'll be singing your praises. Thank you so much for saving us for all eternity. We bless you. We praise you in Jesus' name.

Amen. Like any family, the Miller family has house rules. There's certain words we don't use. There's certain movies we don't watch, or music we don't listen to, or devices that we put parameters around. And sometimes our kids wonder why, you know, we're so strange compared to other families.

And we have a phrase that we use. We say, in our family, we choose to live differently. In our family, we choose to live differently. You don't have, no, no, that's okay. No, you know, you got to navigate this world, right?

You got to navigate. We're trying to protect the beauty of our kids' childhood. We're trying to instill godly patterns in their lives. And we're okay with being different. It's who we are.

And in a sense, that's what Paul is saying in Ephesians chapter 4. Now that we're alive as sons and daughters of God, now that we're children in the forever family of God, members of his household, the house rules have changed. This new family doesn't live like other families do. We're different. And it's okay to be different.

It's who we are. In God's family, we choose to be different. In God's family, we choose to be different. That's what Ephesians chapter 4 verse 17 down to chapter 5 verse 2 is all about. That's our passage for this morning.

Would you listen as I read these words from the Lord? Now I say this, this is the Apostle Paul writing, now I say this and testify in the Lord that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts.

They have become calloused and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ. Assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him as the truth is in Jesus to put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds and to put on the new self created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore having put away falsehood let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor for we are members of one another. Be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil.

Let the thief no longer steal but rather let him labor doing honest work with his own hands so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths but only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice. Be kind to one another tenderhearted forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Thanks be to the Lord for the reading of his word. This morning I want to structure our thoughts around just three headings. The old, the new, and the change. The old, the new, and the change. Alright?

Would you bow your heads? Let's pray as we dive in. Heavenly Father we long to be new.

To be changed from the inside out. Father our old life before Christ was filled with all kinds of mess and sin. And you are giving us a new way, a new life in Jesus Christ by the power of your Holy Spirit. Help us to walk in newness of life. The life that you have for us. Teach us what it means to follow you.

To live by the power of the Holy Spirit. We ask this in Christ's name. Amen. Amen. So first of all the old.

The old. Chapter 4 verse 17. Now this I say and testify in the Lord that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do in the futility of their minds.

Pause there just for a moment. This I say and testify in the Lord. That's how Paul begins. This is language that's reminiscent of an official witness on the stand in a court of law.

Right? This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It's a solemn declaration. He's saying sit up and take notice.

This is really important. What is important, Paul? You must no longer walk as the Gentiles do. You once walked like the Gentiles.

You once lived a Gentile lifestyle. When you were one of them. When you were dead in your trespasses and sins. When you were following the course of this world. When you were following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit now at work in the sons of disobedience. Chapter 2 verses 1 and 2.

But no longer, Paul says. Now that you are alive in Christ. Now that you are beloved children of the father. Now that you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Now that you are following the crucified risen and exalted son of God. You can't live like you used to.

You can't live like that anymore. I urge you to walk in a manner that is worthy of the calling to which you have been called. Chapter 4 verse 1.

You must no longer walk the way the Gentiles do. He says in the futility of their minds. The futility of their minds. If you do a word study on futility and you go back through the Old Testament, you will find that this word is normally used of idolatry.

Okay? So idol worship, worship of false gods and of the empty pursuit of life in all the wrong places. So idolatry, worship of false gods and the empty pursuit of looking for life in all the wrong places. Looking to God for the significance, security and satisfaction that our souls long for when we have this futility of mind. It means we're looking anywhere other than God for our deep soul fulfillment.

So here you have the Gentiles. Paul describes them. They're running after career and sex and money and power and luxury and decadence. Endlessly searching, desperately trying to scrape together some sort of semblance of identity and self-worth and meaning and purpose and security and stability and happiness and fulfillment in life. But all their best ideas are shot through with futility because it always leaves them looking for more. Paul continues, verse 18, they're darkened in their understanding.

They think they see but they're actually stumbling around in the dark. Alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them. So having ignored God and the life he has to offer, they find themselves ignorant of God and the abundant life that is in him. And this ignorance, Paul says, is due to their hardness of heart. As we stubbornly go through life insisting on our own way to try to be happy, we're pushing God away. They become calloused, verse 19, desensitized, numb and have given themselves up to sensuality.

Let us eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. Greedy to practice every kind of impurity. The idea here is pushing the limits of moral decency in search of more and more twisted things. It's not a pretty picture, is it? And it's not hard to recognize in these verses the cycles of addiction and violence and ever increasing darkness and moral decay that plagues our world even today. But Paul's not quite finished here. He has one more description to add down in verse 22.

Skip down there for a moment. He says, put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life, here's the phrase, and is corrupt through deceitful desires. Corrupt through deceitful desires. So this old self, this gentile lifestyle, Paul says, was corrupt through deceitful desires. So it's a desire-driven way of living. It's the kind of life that is always trying to gratify its appetites, right? And he says those are deceitful desires. In other words, they never deliver on what they promise.

And he says they're corrupting. The more we give in to those kinds of desires, the more twisted and dehumanized we become. And Paul is saying that was us. That was you.

That was me. Before Christ, our old selves apart from grace, before we were made alive through the saving work of Jesus, we were trapped in this cycle. We were trapped in this lifestyle. Our desires promised us the world. If only we had that career or that money or that sex or that power or that decadence or that experience, then we'd be happy.

Then we'd be fulfilled. So we ran after it with everything we had, only to find out that it was a fraud. The real life we were looking for wasn't found in those things. But having been disillusioned, we didn't change course.

No, we doubled down. We went further and deeper and we tried more and more trying to be happy. And those temporary jolts of pleasure evaporated into profound emptiness and we ended up numb and jaded and bent and twisted and dehumanized. Paul says that kind of living messes up our thinking.

You see that? He calls it futility of mind. He calls it darkened understanding, ignorance due to the hardness of our hearts, corruption through deceitful desires. He says when we're living like Gentiles, when we're living a desire-driven life, we're actually not thinking straight.

Paul is describing here what moral philosophers call akrasia. It's when you go against your own better judgment. We all know what this is like. It's when you eat that extra slice of pizza you know you shouldn't. It's when you buy that car you really can't afford because you just can't say no. It's when you give in to something you know you're going to regret in the morning. Have you ever wondered why your desires so often override your better judgment? Have you ever wondered why does that even happen?

It's ironic. As human beings, we think of ourselves as these hyper-rational creatures. We even named ourselves homo sapiens, the wise being. But the reality is, and this is what Paul is pointing out, that apart from grace and our fallen human condition, we are largely ruled by our desires.

Here's how it works. What the heart desires, the will embraces, the mind rationalizes, and then the conscience justifies. What the heart desires, the will embraces, the mind rationalizes, and then the conscience justifies. That's how you end up buying a car you can't afford. Your heart desires it, so your will embraces it.

I've got to have that. Your mind rationalizes it. Well, I needed something more reliable, and my repair bill on my old car was equal to a car payment, so it made sense.

I got low interest. I deserve to treat myself. And then your conscience justifies it. I really made a wise investment here. It was a good choice.

I really needed this. It was the right thing to do. It's astounding, isn't it? It's astounding how our… Listen, your reason was given by God to you to help you see reality so that you could make objective, wise choices. That's why God gave you rationality.

But do you see what's happened? Your rationality has been pressed into service of your desires, pressed into rationalizing whatever it is you wanted to do in the first place. We become masters of self-delusion. Human beings are masters of self-delusionary thinking.

This is how we're wired. This is why 90% of the people surveyed mark themselves down as above average drivers. Statistically impossible, right? 90% of people cannot be over average drivers, right? But we all think we are.

This is our self-delusional thinking. And those are funny examples, but it can get really serious. I know a guy who walked out on his wonderful bride and his three kids a few years ago to marry his mistress. He just tore his beautiful family to shreds. And I asked him, how can you do this? And he said, I deserve to be happy. See what the heart desires, the will embraces, the mind rationalizes, and the conscience justifies. Now, all these years later, he's ditched his second wife for another fling, and he's become one of the most miserably self-deluded people I know.

And he can give you all the reasons why he's in the right and everyone else is in the wrong, and any objective person can clearly see the self-destructive pattern he's in. Friends, that's futility of mind. That's darkened understanding. That's alienation from the life of God. That's ignorance due to the hardness of our hearts. That's corruption through deceitful desires.

You see that? And Paul says that's how we once lived. Apart from grace, when we were dead in our trespasses and sins, when we were ruled by our appetites, we were dominated with self-deception and left to ourselves. Apart from grace, we were falling into dehumanizing self-destructive patterns.

We were caving in on ourselves. And Paul's point is this, we cannot keep living the way we used to. We cannot keep living the way we used to. Oh, it might be familiar, it might be habitual, it might be comfortable, it might be socially acceptable, but if we've been brought from death to life, if we've been saved by grace through faith in Christ, if we've been reconciled to God through Jesus, if we've been adopted as children of God, if we've been raised and seated with Christ, if we've been sealed by the Holy Spirit, we cannot keep living the way we used to. The old has gone, the new has come. So from old to new to new, look at verse 20. But that is not the way you learned Christ, assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, to put on the new self created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. There's two sets of images here that are very fascinating.

The first one is a classroom setting, right? That is not the way you learned Christ. So here you are in the classroom and what is the subject matter you're learning? Christ. Christ. He says, look, you may have learned to live like a Gentile from the Gentiles, but that's not how you learned Christ. Christ is your new pattern, he's your new template, he's your new curriculum, and he's your new tutor in the school of life. From Jesus, you are receiving a new education.

Every moment of every day is an opportunity to be with Jesus and to learn from him how to do life. Class is in session. What's on the chalkboard, Paul? What are we learning today? Three lessons. One, to put off your old self. Two, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds. And three, to put on the new self.

Put off, be renewed, put on. The second image here is a wardrobe. A wardrobe. You go to your closet, you take off the old garment, the dirty one that's soiled and frayed and has holes in the armpits, right? You take that one off, that old Gentile life that doesn't fit anymore. You set it aside and you put on a new garment, fresh and whole and clean, tailor-made for the new life that is yours in Jesus Christ. This garment created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Paul says, look, you leave those Gentile rags on the floor where they belong. You've got new godly threads to wear out into your fresh new life. And your wardrobe is divine.

It's divine. You're going to be dressed in true righteousness and holiness after the likeness of God. You know, when those stars walk the red carpet, they always stick the microphone in their face and they say, who are you wearing, right? Who are you wearing? Tell us who gave you this wonderful look, this designer style.

And friends, that's the question. Who are you wearing? Who are you wearing? Are you wearing a Gentile knockoff? Are you wearing a God-tailored masterpiece? Your new self is created in the likeness of God, true righteousness and holiness. Friends, this is God's signature style. You can recognize it from a mile away. It's a look that He Himself created. It's a look that He Himself wears and He is clothing you in the garments of His own image and likeness in Jesus Christ. You're His sons and daughters.

You're part of the family. And it's only fitting that you address the part, right? And at the very heart of this putting off and putting on is to be renewed here, renewed in the spirit of your minds, renewed in the spirit of your minds. Now this command here is a passive, continuous command.

A little nerd moment for you. It's passive, continuous command. It's passive. Which means it's not something you do to yourself.

You can't renew yourself. This is something God's spirit does in you. So you receive it. But it's a command. It's a command, so you have to obey it. So how do you obey a passive command?

Well it means you have to allow it. You have to allow Him to do the work in you. You must receive it and welcome it in. You have to embrace the work that the Spirit is doing in you. And the Spirit here really should be capitalized. This is the Spirit who is renewing our minds.

And it is a continuous command here, which means it is an ongoing process, not a once and done event. It will take day after day after day as the Spirit leads you. So putting it all together, what we have, if we wanted to paraphrase it, we would say, we are to put off the old self and put on the new self as we are actively receiving the ongoing Spirit-led renewal of our minds. As Paul says in Romans 12 verse 2, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. And this renewal is the work of the Holy Spirit. Now this is very important.

This is very important. Because Paul is describing spiritual transformation, not behavior modification. Paul is describing spiritual transformation, not behavior modification. If all we had here was put off and put on, we might be tempted to think that Paul was telling us simply try harder to be better people.

But that's not what he's saying. Nestled between the put off and put on is this passive command to receive the renewing work of the Spirit in us, which is right smack in between the put off and the put on. Which means at the heart of everything is Spirit-led transformation. The outward behavioral changes in our lives flow from the deep Spirit-led renewal taking place on the inside of who we are. So as we open ourselves up to the work of the Spirit, as we follow His lead, as we obey His call, as we surrender to His desires and will, we are putting off the old and we are putting on the new.

This is the Spirit's journey that He's taking us on and we are to keep in step with the Spirit. The old Gentile rags just don't fit anymore. We've outgrown them.

They're pulling in the arms and they're tight in all the wrong places and they have holes and they're just inadequate and they don't fit. But our new godly threads, well they start to become increasingly comfortable. We feel more at home day by day as we grow into the people we were always meant to be. So we have a whole new life to live into friends.

We have a whole new life to live into. We are children of God. We are members of His forever family. We are beloved by the Father. We are redeemed by the Son. We are sealed by the Spirit. We are a people of the new creation, of the kingdom that is coming.

And we have a whole new life to live into. So as the Spirit renews us from the inside out, let us put off the old self and put on the new self. Paul, what would that look like?

Would you give us some examples so we could get our hands around what you're talking about here? What does this change look like? Well Paul says, sure, I'll give you five.

I'll give you five. From the old to the new to the change. The change. Five examples of the Spirit-led renewal.

What it looks like as we put off the old and put on the new. Verse 25. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

So here's the first example. Put off lying and put on truth. Put off lying, put on truth. Because the Holy Spirit is giving you a love for your neighbor. Not just for yourself, but for your neighbor. And he's uniting you as members of one body in Christ. And lying only makes sense if it's all about you. Right?

You're just looking out for yourself. Putting your interests above everybody else. The Spirit's renewing work in your life is making you a person of love. So that you learn to speak truth with love to one another.

Right? Verse 26. Second example. Be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil.

So the second example here is put off sinful, festering, sustained anger that doesn't resolve. Instead, put on daily reconciliation. Daily reconciliation. Because friends, the Spirit has bound us together as a family. He has bound us together in the bond of peace.

Right? And the devil would love to divide what the Spirit is unifying and binding together as one. Paul says don't give him a foothold. Don't let the devil get into that old mess. The Spirit's renewing work means we must maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The third example is in verse 28. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor doing honest work with his own hands. So that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

So put off stealing and put on honest hard work. Because the Spirit gives each one of us grace to share with one another. We're a family in Christ. And families pitch in. Families help each other. Families bless one another. You don't defraud your family, do you?

No. You have obligations and loyalty and love. And the Spirit's renewing work in our lives means we must learn to love one another and generously help out members of our own family.

It's changing us. Verse 29, fourth example. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth, but only such is good for building up, as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear. So put off corrupting talk, caustic words that tear down, and instead use constructive, edifying, situationally wise speech. Because the Spirit is leading us to become the kind of people who build one another up in love.

We can't be tearing down what God wants to build up, right? And our words matter. The Spirit's renewing work means we must let our words be grace to one another. Verse 30, do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. This is really an important verse.

We're going to come back to it, but we need to skip to the next one because the fifth example is in verse 31. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.

So put off, and now we have a cluster, right? A word cluster of divisive behaviors. Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice, all this relational ugliness, right? Put it off, and instead put on kindness, tenderheartedness, forgiveness. Because the Spirit is leading us to become people of love for one another, who love others as we ourselves have been loved by God. Who in His kindness and grace, in His tender love, in His forgiving mercies, forgave us in Christ Jesus. And having been forgiven by Christ, by God in Christ, we now are to forgive one another.

So the Spirit's renewing work means we must learn to love one another as we have been loved by God. Now just imagine for a moment, back up, imagine if we would just live like this. Imagine if this whole room lived like this. Imagine if the church that follows Jesus Christ would live like this. It would change the whole world, wouldn't it? It would change the world.

We've got to stop worrying so much about other people getting in line. We've got to start living out this love of Christ, that's what's going to change the world. Chapter 5 verse 1, Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children, and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

I love this. As beloved children, secure in the forever love of our Father, He says I want you to be imitators of God. Like father, like child. Yesterday my family was with some extended family members. We went to a museum and we take pictures, right?

And I was looking at them last night and Jude and I were on opposite, Jude's my son, six years old. We were on opposite ends of this group and we both had our hands in our pockets like this, just standing there for the picture and we looked exactly the same and we weren't looking at each other or whatever and I was like, how did that? Yeah, well that like father, like son, right?

That's how that happens. Like he's imitating me to the point where it's muscle memory. He wasn't looking at me and going like, okay, let me do exactly what he... No, he just did it because that's how he sees me pose for a picture, right?

And that's the point here. You have a father and you're going to grow up and you're going to look like him. So look at him, follow him, act like him, be like him. God says be holy as I am holy and he means it. God's intention is that you might look like him in glory.

What does that look like, Paul? It looks like walking in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. So how do we imitate God our father? How do we imitate him? We walk in the self-giving sacrificial love of his beloved son, Jesus Christ. That's how we do it. We love as he first loved us.

That's how we walk. So we have a father to imitate. We have the son to follow. But what about the Holy Spirit? The third member of the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

These three are one God, right? Where's the spirit? Back to verse 30. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Friends, you have the Holy Spirit's good pleasure residing inside of you.

The spirit is inside you, indwelling you, urging you on in this new life. And we can sense, can't we? We can sense his delight when we walk in righteousness and holiness after the image of our father. And we can sense his grief when we fall back into our old ways of sin.

Can't we? Can you feel that? Do you know what I'm talking about? When you walk in righteousness to feel the pleasure of God, his delight, his smile upon your life that's coming from the Holy Spirit. And when you fall back into sin, that sick, twisted feeling in your stomach where you can't believe you did that thing all over again. That's the Holy Spirit grieving inside of you. And here's the point, we've got to fine tune our receptors to start paying attention to the real, living, divine presence inside of us who is yearning and desiring and longing and prompting in us the Holy Spirit.

You see how big a change this is? Instead of being ruled by our desires and our rationalizing self-deception like before, we are now freed to follow the desires of the Spirit into the truth that is the world that really is. As the Spirit desires, we follow his desires, not our desires, but his desires for us and in us. The Spirit desires more than anything that we might become imitators of our father. Conform to the image of the Son as we live for the good pleasure of the Spirit. He's with us, he's in us, he's for us. The Holy Spirit, friends, is closer than the air you breathe.

He's renewing you day by day. He desires and urges and leads and your job is to keep in step with him. Keep in step with the Spirit. And friends, we have everything we need for life and godliness. We have everything we need for life and godliness. We have a Father to give us a pattern to imitate. We have a Son to show us the way to life. We have the Spirit who is giving us desires that we can follow. And if you wonder if you'll ever make it, because it fits and starts. It's two steps forward, three steps back, right?

I mean that's how it is so many days. If you ever wonder if you're ever going to make it, just remember that the Holy Spirit has sealed you for the day of redemption. He's your deposit.

He's your guarantee. He's a down payment of the fullness of salvation that will be yours in glory when Jesus Christ appears. He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. We have everything we need for life and godliness. That's a phrase that comes from 2 Peter chapter 1 verses 2 down to 4.

Let me just read this to you as we wind down. May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises.

So that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. This is a totally different author. This is Peter. We're reading Paul and Ephesians. Do you realize they're saying the exact same thing. You have been called to participate in the very divine nature and character of God escaping the corruption of the desires of this world so that you might live in holiness and righteousness like your father.

This is beautiful. So here's the point. In God's family we choose to live differently. In God's family we choose to live differently. It's okay to be different.

It's who we are. 2 Corinthians 5 17. Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old is gone. The new has come.

He is a new creation. Amen? So let us walk by the spirit following the way of our Jesus as beloved children imitating our father. Amen? Amen. Let's pray. Father would you have your way in us.

When we follow our own desires and instincts we make a mess of everything. That's how we got into the pit that you rescued us from. So father now that we've been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of your beloved son. The light of all that you have for us. Father help us to walk as children of light. Help us to live a life that is worthy of the calling to which we have been called. Help us to imitate you as your beloved children. Father these new household rules are new to us.

And sometimes we have patterns that have been deeply ingrained. How to cope our way through life. So father we invite your Holy Spirit to have his own way in us. To help us to say no to our ungodly desires. To say yes to what the spirit wants. Help us to yield. To surrender. To obey.

To follow. Father would you make us to resemble you in holiness and truth and righteousness. We want to be like you are.

In the freedom of your being. Make us like yourself. Teach us the ways of Jesus by the power of your Holy Spirit. We give you ourselves.

We hold nothing back. Come change us. Make us new.

For Jesus sake. And all God's people said. Amen. Ephesians chapter 5 takes us into an exciting three dimensional transformation into becoming children of light. Join us for part 10 in this series of teachings with Pastor Philip. The Moody Church Hour is a listener supported ministry.

We count on the ongoing financial support of listeners like you. Together we share solid biblical teaching that transforms lives across America and around the world. You can call us at 1-800-215-5001.

That's 1-800-215-5001. Online you'll find us at moodychurchhour.com. That's moodychurchhour.com. Or write to us at Moody Church Media, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60614. This broadcast is a ministry of The Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-28 02:08:20 / 2024-04-28 02:25:10 / 17

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