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Church of Christ Sermons and Lessons for 2014

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Bobby Stafford The Ways of the New Man (Ephesians 4:25-32)       Ephesians July 20, 2014 Sunday AM Sermon

The Ways of the New Man

Introduction:

The ways of the new man include both positive and negative aspects. This reminds us of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 12:43-45. We must first be cleansed of evil [negative] and then be filled with good [positive]. Our text provides us with several practical ways that this is to be done.

Text: Ephesians 4:25-32

Body:

I. Honesty (Verse 25) Lying is not characteristic of the new man. (Colossians 3:9) “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.” NKJV God considers lying to be very serious. (Revelation 21:8) We should instead be truth-speakers. Lying would harm the body of Christ of which we are members

II. Anger Must Be Controlled (Verses 26-27) Anger is not necessarily sinful. There is such a thing as righteous indignation, anger directed at sin and error. (Mark 3:1-5) But anger is to be controlled. It must be limited so as not to abide within us, to simmer in our hearts and cause us to sin. We may say or do something wrong out of anger. Examples:

1. If I have been living unfaithfully and someone tries to bring me back. (James 5:19-20) Getting angry on my part would be wrong. That person was only doing what God told him to do.

2. Those who perform abortions for any reason should cause us to be angry; but killing that person would be sinful. That would be uncontrolled anger. Verse 27 Anger that is not controlled and handled properly is an invitation for the devil to enter our heart.

III. Honest Laborer (Verse 28) Stealing must be stopped. It is outright robbing and cheating to not give what you promised. Hiding defects is dishonest. The new man must labor (II Thessalonians 3:10-12) and labor honestly. Sinful occupations or ungodly businesses are prohibited. One purpose of working is to be able to help others who are in need. (I Timothy 6:17-19) All of us here are considered rich.

IV. Pure Speech (Verse 29) “Corrupt” means rotten, decayed, worthless; including things like slander, gossip, and backbiting. (James 3:6) But the tongue can be used for great good. (Proverbs 12:18, 25:11) A word fitly spoken can build up and help others. (Colossians 4:6) “Let your speech always be with grace. . .”

     V. Does Not Grieve the Holy Spirit (Verse 30) Grieve can cause pain. Examples in the Old Testament show us how the Holy Spirit [part of the Godhead] can be grieved. (Genesis 6:5-6) Man’s sin and rebellion grieves the Holy Spirit.

VI. Is Kind Toward One Another (Verses 31-32) “Bitterness” is to be cynical, with an outlook of having a resentful spirit. “Wrath, anger” cause outbursts of rage; while anger can lead to revenge. “Clamor” is the outward manifestation of angry people. Behaviors could include loud quarreling, shouting, or even a shouting match. “Evil speaking” is translated blasphemy when directed toward God. This would include remarks made to ruin someone’s reputation. “Motive” with wickedness may have the desire that another person is hurt or one may be glad when someone is injured in some way. There is no room for any of these behaviors in the Christian life. Verse 32 “Kind” means pleasant, gracious, being sweet instead of bitter. “Tenderhearted” is to be compassionate, willing to help those who are hurting or in need. “Forgiving” means possessing a forgiving spirit. Be ever willing to forgive those who have sinned against us who desire our forgiveness. (Luke 17:3-4) Then treat one as though he were “not guilty;” as though he had never offended.

 Invitation:

The basis for forgiveness is Christ and His death on Calvary. Without that sacrifice, there could be no forgiveness and no salvation. (Romans 8:32) “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Notice that forgiveness is found only “in Christ.” Everything good is found “in Christ.”

 Bobby Stafford

 July 20, 2014

 

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