EPHESIANS‬ ‭4:17-32‬ ‭‬‬

“With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. 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. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

Ephesians‬ ‭4:17-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Living like Christ is a command to Paul. Many Christians, have come to view it as a choice or an outcome. As a choice, salvation has allowed them to choose from a spectrum of maturity. As an outcome, living in Christian maturity is something that must be thrust upon them by some unseen enlightenment threshold they must cross in their journey with Christ. Neither of these is true. Living like Christ is a command. Living like the world is choosing sides. It is choosing affiliation and loyalty. The Spirit of God commands us to throw off everything that once was. We are given dimensions to the way in which we are to love God by Jesus. It is in these dimensions that we are to hate sin. In our minds, and our hearts and strength, we must actively weed out and discard what is not part of God’s plan for us. Many Christians live in lies about this. They do not want to be judged and so they do not judge correctly. But Paul calls us to “stop telling lies,” to our neighbors. We must be honest. To not be honest, about toxic, non-Christian, heart-set, mindset and deed is an act of rebellion against God and his people. It breeds the very things we thought we were escaping in salvation. This literally makes God sad. We must resolve to be in a constant process of finding every crevice and nook where sin might be hiding and we must expose it. This is a source of contention for many Christians. As in Eden, they don’t want to be exposed because they are ultimately ashamed of what they have become. But we should not be afraid of being exposed because we are allied with Christ who is faithful to forgive whatever is exposed. If we claim to be like him, then we must take on his nature and do as he did. We must not harbor a heart-set, mindset, or deeds that might turn into sin again and overtake us. This is how we honor Christ and those he died for.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary

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