Read Ephesians 4:1-32
I have two nephews and a niece that live in Arizona and Colorado. Unfortunately, due to the distance, I don’t get to see them nearly as often as I would like. Months and sometimes even years may fly past between visits. With each joyful reunion, I find myself saying the words that I dreaded hearing from my relatives when I was a younger: “My have you grown!” or “Boy, have you changed!” The change is sometimes so radical that they seem to no longer be the same person!
That is a good description of God’s plan for His children! Coming to Christ sets into motion a process of radical change in our lives. Although this may not necessarily change our appearance, it deeply impacts our thoughts, words, and actions…so much so that we are no longer the person we once were. And yet, this process is not a passive one, in which you fall asleep in the hair stylist’s chair and wake up do a new “do” and a new you! It is a cooperative effort, whereby we work in coordination with the Lord.
Having described many changes that have happened in the spiritual realm in the first three chapters, now Paul depicts the corresponding changes that should be fleshed out in the physical realm in Ephesians 4. In this new life, we are to live “worthy of our calling” (v. 1) and “no longer as the Gentiles do” (v. 17). In other words, in thought, word, and action, our lives should not mirror that of the world around us. The kind of ungodly thinking, speech, and conduct that may have once been part of our lives is now a “former way of life” to be “put off” or “laid aside”…perhaps the way we would an old, soiled garment. Instead, we are to “put on the new self.” (vv. 22, 23)
The result is a changed person! You are no longer the person you once were. Those are the kind of ways that God wants to transform you. But, remember, this change requires your cooperation!