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1.14 Devotions from the Book of Ephesians

Do you enjoy wearing new clothes? Growing up, my mom would take me shopping for school clothes at the end of summer. We would come home with what seemed like a whole new wardrobe and I wasn’t allowed to wear them until school started. I was quite the messy child, so my old clothes were often tattered and stained so when it finally came time to be able to wear the new clothes, I relished it but there was always one or two things I wasn’t ready to give up. Like the old blue jeans that were worn in just right. (Back then we worked hard for the holes in our jeans; you didn’t buy them that way!)

In our study of Ephesians 4:17-32, Paul says to put off the old self and put on a new. What does he mean by this? Up until these verses, Paul has been teaching about identity in Christ and how to unite with other believers to walk on the narrow path but now, he says what not to do. In verses 17-19, he says to stop going along with the crowd who have lost touch with God and are following their own desires. 

Then he reminds them, “You learned Christ!” Have you learned Christ? Do you know Him? At STP we are doing our best to teach you who you are in Him. Which means all the yucky sin-soaked old life must go. All of it must go. Throw away the old clothes. 

  1. vs. 25  No more lying. Tell each other the truth. If we are all connected, like puzzle pieces in a big picture, then when we lie to others, we end up lying to ourselves. 

  2. vs. 26  Be careful with anger that you don’t let it make you bitter or wanting revenge. Deal with your anger each day and don’t let a day pass without dealing with it so that the devil doesn’t get a foothold. That’s what bitterness looks like.

  3. vs. 28  Do not steal but get a job, work hard, and share with others.

  4. vs. 29  Watch what you say. Don’t let foul or dirty words come out of your mouth. Use your words to build each other up. Consider each word as a gift and speak them carefully.

  5. vs. 30  Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit. Don’t break God’s heart. He’s the best part of your life…He’s working all things together in your life! Don’t take it for granted.

  6. vs. 31  Put away all backbiting, bitterness, gossip, and talking bad about each other.

What do we put on once we throw away the old clothes? It’s so much more than a list of things we should or shouldn’t do! It’s putting on a new identity. It’s putting on Jesus by renewing your thoughts and mind in what is true. The best way to do this is to read God’s word daily so that you can learn about how Jesus handled hard things. That’s what we’re doing together as we open the book of Ephesians. We can also pray to ask God to show us what our new self which is fashioned about His likeness in true righteousness and holiness looks like day to day.

The end of this passage leaves us with how the new identity looks. Vs. 32 tells us to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Are you wearing the clothing of a new identity — kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness? 

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