Ephesians 4:17-19 ESV
“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. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.”
“Gentile” was a term used for anyone who was a non-Jew. But it was also used as a term to describe anyone who was not a believer in Jesus Christ, i.e. the ungodly. And that is how it is being used here. So, this is basically telling the believers in Jesus that they should no longer live, in practice, as the ungodly (unregenerate) who do not believe in Jesus Christ. They should, thus, not give themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity, as the ungodly do.
For, if they are true believers in Jesus Christ, then they were crucified with Christ in death to sin, and they were raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Their old selves were crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that they would no longer be enslaved to sin. Therefore, they were to not let sin reign in their mortal bodies, to make them obey its passions. For if sin is what they obeyed, and if obedience was not what they obeyed, it would end in death not in life everlasting (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24).
Ephesians 4:20-24 ESV
“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.”
And that is not the way they should have learned Christ. They should not have learned that they could continue in their deliberate and habitual sin and in sensuality and impurity of many kinds. Yet, that is what many people are being taught these days. They are being taught a diluted gospel message which does not demand death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness. For they are being told that nothing is required of them other than to make some profession of faith in Christ.
So, not everyone is being taught the truth that is in Christ Jesus, but many are being taught lies which are twisted truth which are giving them the impression that they can “believe” (not defined) in Jesus, have all their sins forgiven, and now they can be guaranteed heaven when they die regardless of how they live their lives on the earth. But the truth is that we are to put off our old lives of living in sin and for self, and we are to be renewed in our minds, and we are to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
For Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of the name of Jesus we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, and we are walking in obedience to our Lord, then we have eternal life with God (see Luke 9:23-26).
So, we need to know this. It is not enough to just make a profession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. For if we profess that we are in fellowship with God/Christ, but while we walk (in conduct, in practice) in sin, then we are liars. And if we claim to know God, but while we do not obey his commandments (New Covenant), then we are liars who do not live by the truth. And if we walk in sin and not in righteousness, and not in obedience to our Lord, then we are not born of God but of the devil (1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 2:3-6; 1 John 3:4-10).
And we need to know that if this is where we are, we will not inherit eternal life with God regardless of what faith we professed with our lips. For Jesus draws a line in the sand, and he says that if we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit, in righteousness and in obedience to our Lord, that we have the hope of eternal life with God. But if sin is what we practice, and if obedience and righteousness are not what we practice, then heaven is not our eternal destiny. We will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
There’s a Stirring
By Annie Herring
There’s a stirring deep within me
Could it be my time has come
When I’ll see my gracious savior face to face when all is done
Is that his voice I am hearing?
‘Come away, my precious one’
Is he calling me?
Is he calling me?
I will rise up, rise up
And bow down
And lay my crown
At his wounded feet
Is that His voice I am hearing?
‘Come away, my precious one’
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