Understanding Ephesians 4

Q. Can you please teach me on the understanding of Ephesians chapter 4 vs. 17-20. What is said there is very disturbing. Am i taking this out of context?

A. Ephesians 4:17-20 says, So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.

You stopped too soon. You have to keep reading to the end of the chapter to get its meaning. Paul went on to say that we have to get rid of our old attitudes about our behavior and develop new ones. It’s no longer appropriate for us to do things like those he listed because the Holy Spirit has been sealed within us and that kind of behavior causes Him grief. In our new creation we were made to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, so we should start acting that way.

By reminding us that we’re sealed with the Holy Spirit to the day of redemption, Paul was saying that this is not a salvation issue, but one of striving to live up to that which we’ve already become (Phil. 3:16).

By the way, Paul’s use of the word therefore in Ephes. 5:1 means that chapter 5 is a continuation of the same train of thought as chapter 4 . Then in chapter 6 he describes the tools we can use to accomplish the holy living he’s been urging us toward. Remember, He’s talking to believers, so it’s not about salvation. It’s about living a life pleasing to God.

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