I. A ___ way to walk (v. 17-24)
A. Not like ___________ (v. 17-19)
B. Like ______ (v. 20-24)
II. ___ to live a new life (v. 25-32)
A. Speak the _____ (v. 25)
B. Do not hold a ______ (v. 26-27)
C. ____ with integrity (v. 28)
- In Eph. 4:17-18 the mindset/understanding of unbelievers is corrupted.
Benjamin Merkle says “understanding” and “heart” were often used
interchangeably for the center of human perception (Gen. 8:21; 17:17;
24:45; 27:41; Ex. 28:3). Note the contrast between the darkness of
unbelievers with the enlightenment given to believers ( Eph. 1:17–18 ).
- F. F. Bruce defines the hardening of hearts (v. 18) as “the progressive
inability of conscience to convict them of wrongdoing.” Have you seen this
in your own life? How does a hardened heart soften? What can you do?
- The word translated “sensuality” (v. 19) means “lack of self-constraint
which involves one in conduct that violates all bounds of what is socially
acceptable,” and “it is probably best understood as undisciplined behavior
especially, though not exclusively, of a sexual nature.” -Ernest Best
How has sexual sin progressively become more callous in our culture?
- How does Eph 4:19 compare with Romans 1:18-32? What similarities do
- John Stott says “To ‘learn Christ’ is to grasp the new creation which has
been made possible, and the entirety of new life which results from it.”
- Read more about putting off the old self in Rom. 13:12 and Col. 3:8.
How will you put off the old self this week?
- Putting on the new self includes putting on of specific characteristics and
virtues. Read Rom. 13:12, 14; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 6:11, 14; Col. 3:10, 12; 1
Thess. 5:8 .
- When Paul says to speak the truth in Eph. 4:25, he is quoting
Zechariah 8:16. Read Zech. 8:14-17. What has God purposed for Israel?
In light of God’s blessings what are they to do (Zech 8:16)? God has
blessed us eternally in Christ. What are we to do (Eph. 4:25)?
- Read Eph. 4:26. Paul is quoting Psalm 4:4. John Stott says, “There is a
great need in the contemporary world for more Christian anger…In the
face of blatant evil we should be indignant not tolerant, angry not
apathetic. If God hates sin, his people should hate it too. If evil arouses
his anger, it should arouse ours also.”
- Jesus teaches about anger in Matt. 5:21-26. Read the passage. What do we learn about anger from Jesus? How will you apply it this week?
- Christians should work hard with their own hands (Eph. 4:28). Also read 1 Cor. 4:12; 1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:8. How will you work with integrity this week?
- What rotten speech have you struggled with lately? Crude language, gossip, slander? Read James 3:1-12 to go deeper on taming the tongue.
- Read Eph. 4:30. In what ways have you grieved the Holy Spirit? Read Galatians 5:16-25. How do the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit differ? How can we follow the Spirit and not grieve Him?
- Read Eph. 4:31. In his commentary, Benjamin Merkle says: “The five-fold reference to various sins (bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander), the use of the word “all” (signifying every form of the sins mentioned), and the additional prepositional phrase “with all malice” all emphasize the comprehensive manner in which these sins are to be avoided. “Bitterness” refers to a callous heart that harbors past resentment.
- Read Eph. 4:32. How is this a contrast to verse 31? How has God forgiven you in Christ? How will you follow God’s example in forgiving others this week?