This Preaching in Shorts sermon series is called “Living is Christ”.
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We are in a series called Living is Christ. Last week we talked about living in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. This week I want to talk about the old self and the new self.
Ephesians 4:17-32 (NIV)
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. 20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
1. Out with the old and in with the new
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
He must increase and I must decrease. More of Him, less of me.
In Christ, change comes in a totally different way, by grace through faith, so that the He gets all the glory not us. Change happens as we yield to the Holy Spirit in our lives.
2.) Being made new
Being made new or renewed
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Our minds need to be renewed. This is not about living by a bunch of rules about what “Christians” are supposed to do and not do. This transformation is about yielding to the spirit and living for God. Being transformed is not about not having any fun, when you are transformed in Christ you love to live by doing the next right thing.
3. The attitude of our minds
What’s wrong with my mind that makes it need to be renewed? Your mind has an attitude.
Ephesians 4:23 (NIV)
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
Ephesians 4:23 (NASB77)
23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
The spirit of your mind or attitude of the mind is a “mindset”. Your mind or brain is not just a computer that processes information, it has a viewpoint, it has an attitude.
Our minds are fallen and broken like everything else in this world. That is why they need to be renewed. The filters all need to be evaluated and adjusted.
4. Softening our hearts
Ephesians 4:17-18 (NIV)
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
Our fallen mindset and viewpoint has caused a hardening of our hearts. As we yield to the Spirit, one of the results should be that our hearts are made softer. We should become less hard lined. Our edges should begin to soften. Our compassion levels should begin to rise.
As we continue on in this series we are going to see what some of the new attitudes we should have look like. Speaking truthfully, being kind, using our words to build up, etc. These are things that should be the marks of our life in Christ. They are coming from the inside out as we yield to the Spirit.