Don’t Live Like the Pagans (Ephesians 4:17-18)
Scripture: Ephesians 17-18
by Bob DeWaay
If the “one new man” of Ephesians 2:15 was going to function as God intended in Ephesus, Gentile converts would have to reject their old manner of living. When Paul calls this “the futility of their minds” he is speaking of the vanity of life without God’s inerrant word. This should never be interpreted as a rejection of rationality and logic, but a warning against living life alienated from God. To be in this state of alienation is to be “darkened in understanding” which is the result of being dead in sin. True life only comes from Christ. The ignorance of which Paul speaks is morally culpable ignorance. We look at Paul’s address in Athens in Acts 17 to show how Paul confronted ignorance and preached repentance. The truth of Christ’s finished work is public truth and calls all into account. False teachers prey on new Christians, seeking to convince them to ignore Biblical warnings about coming judgment and thus have license to sin. Such “freedom” is in fact slavery. We address Peter’s warning about this in 2Peter 2 and make applications to our present situation in America. The panentheistic worldview that is popular in many churches denies future judgment. Wickedness is promoted all around us and those who resist it are considered evil. We end with the gospel call from Ezekiel about God removing a heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh. Only God can change the hearts of hardened sinners. He does this through Jesus Christ who came as light into the world of darkness.
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