Where Did You Get that Idea? (Ephesians 4:17-20)

Where Did You Get that Idea? (Ephesians 4:17-20)

As Paul urges the Jews and Gentiles in the church to reconcile he now addresses a common issue that keeps people from reconciling. We can make our cultural or ethnic upbringing what is right as opposed to what God has actually said. We can make our sins a “gray” area and demand that others view it as “diversity.”
Christians are to be different from their culture
Paul immediately addresses this and makes it clear that this is not opinion, it is what the Lord demands. He makes it abundantly clear that Christians will live differently than the culture they were saved out of. This is the direct application of Ephesians 2:1-10. We are now new creatures who have been given a new life that is different from whatever culture we may have been raised in.
Closed off to thinking
Paul says that the unconverted have their deep thoughts closed off. This makes them ignorant of what God requires of them, and they are this way because God has not quickened them. They are not just blind by nature, they are also blind by choice. They have hardened themselves in their sins and refuse to consider God’s teaching on the subject. Many “Christians” are this way. They only follow Christ so long as He is in line with what they want to do. When God’s Word contradicts what they want to do they harden their hearts and close off their thoughts. A Christian cannot do this. A Christian opens His thoughts to the Word of God and allows the Word of God to challenge his actions and beliefs. He invites the Spirit to convict him.
Apathetic
The unconverted man has no feelings concerning spiritual things. He may have opinions or thoughts but he is numb; no desire for God and no conviction of sin. One of the greatest marks of a believer is a soft heart, a heart that feels conviction and love for God.
Greedy for sin
The unconverted man has surrendered himself to his desires. What his flesh wants he gives it. He has no restraint or self-control. There is no conviction of sin or love for God that causes him to in anyway impede his sinful desires. He is like a greedy man. Instead of pursuing gold he pursues his sinful desires. He can never have enough. This is in stark contrast to the converted man who now lives his life for Christ.
You didn’t learn this from Jesus
This is really such a remarkable phrase. It should cause us to stop and open our hearts and minds to the Word of God and the searching of the Holy Spirit. We must ask ourselves in every area of our lives, “Does this come from Jesus?” Did you learn your theology from Scripture? Does your family life reflect Jesus’ teachings? Is our church organized around traditions or culture instead of Jesus? You can see how this protects the church from accepting sin under the guise of “diversity.” This idea did not come from Jesus.
Application:
Are you different from your culture? Do you think deeply about your beliefs and actions? Do you let the Word of God influence your thinking? Do you have a soft heart that feels conviction? Are you surrendered to your desires or to Jesus? Did you learn how you live your life from Jesus? What does this say about the state of your soul?

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