Don’t Walk As The Gentiles Do
Ephesians 4:17-18 (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.
There should be a before and after aspect of our life if we are Christians. We have our “before Christ” life and our “after salvation” life. There should be a stark difference. My life before Christ consisted of indulging in fleshly desires, pride, self-reliance, and people-pleasing. After Christ, I no longer let the flesh rule me. I fight against pride, self-reliance, and people-pleasing, winning the battles more often than not because of the work of the Holy Spirit.
Paul addresses this issue in our passage today. He wrote to churches after he left them to continue their instruction in the faith. In Ephesians 4:17-18, we see a clear picture of how salvation should change how we live. Paul says, “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.”
He instructs the Ephesian believers that they can no longer walk as the Gentiles do. If the Gentiles are not followers of Jesus through the gospel, then they are separated from God because of sin. They still walk in the futility of their minds and are darkened in their understanding. This implies that they don’t have a transformed mind by the Word. They don’t have the mind of Christ. The result is they continue to live in the hardness of their hearts, separated from God.
Only God’s Word can transform our minds.
Through the Scriptures
we learn the mind of Christ.
Our eyes are opened to
understand who God is,
who we are, and how we are
to live pleasing lives unto Him.
Notice Paul’s instructions tell them they are no longer to walk as the Gentiles do. This implies the urge and pull is still within us. It must be fought against. It cannot be succumbed to. Don’t walk as the Gentiles do today. Follow the way of Christ through the Word.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is it vital to recognize our propensity to still live like our former selves?
- What does sanctification mean? How does this passage highlight sanctification?
- How are you engaging in Scripture on a regular basis so that your mind is transformed?
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