The New Life in Christ
Topic: AM Service Passage: Ephesians 4:25–32
Starting in the fourth chapter of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul begins to declare to the believer in Christ that faith must make a difference in the way the believer lives. He reminds believers that they are a new creation in Christ, and that means putting off the old man and putting on the new man. In doing this, Paul shows that he is an extraordinary theologian who understands the truth of God’s Word. But Paul does not leave the matter at the general level: he then turns and gives explicit and practical instructions as to what it means to live in Christ. No generalities for Paul such as “be nice,” “show love,” or “watch yourself.” No, Paul brings the scalpel of God’s Word to bear on our hearts and lives, stating what it means to put off and put on. We are to live for Christ in our words, our temperament, our relationships, and our work. That is what it means to have “The New Life in Christ.” (Ephesians 4:25-32).
I. The Exhortation to Live in Christ
A. Context of Paul’s Exhortation
B. Method of Paul’s Exhortation
II. The Examples of Living in Christ
A. Truth, Not Lies
B. Be Angry, Do Not Sin
C. Work, Do Not Steal
D. Wholesome, Not Rotten Speech
III. The End of Living in Christ
A. Do Not Grieve the Spirit
B. A Blessing to the Community
Questions for consideration: (1) Why is it so important to understand the theological context to Paul’s exhortation? What would you be tempted to do if you did not understand it? (2) In what ways do you struggle to tell the truth? How do you sometimes “shade” the truth to make yourself look better? Why is it important today for Christians to work hard? What temptation can prevent us from working as to the Lord? (3) It can be hard to forgive others and be kind to them. What is the most difficult context for you to show forgiveness? When is it hardest for you to be kind?