From Gentiles to “Not of this world.”
“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality greedy for the practice of every kind of impurity.” (Ephesians 4:17-19)
“Walk no longer” is what the man said. Wow! That was us before we were born from above. Hearts without life. Minds empty of reason, slaves to the flesh and the god of this world. Praise God! That is no longer the case. He has given us life with a new heart which His Spirit writes upon. (Jeremiah 31:33) His Word is Light exposing the reality of heaven and earth. No longer are we without understanding.
“But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,” (Ephesians 4:20-23)
We must “lay aside the old self” if we are to “be renewed.” God puts His word in our mind, (Jeremiah 31:33) it is up to us to act upon it (James 1:22). I know we have all struggled with compliance, but God is faithful. The Spirit will lead us to a place of humility where our struggle can be given to Jesus. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Father, your patience and tolerance has enabled us to lay so much of our old self aside. Thank You. We have grieved Your Spirit with our willful sin, the Spirit You have sealed us with. Yet we are not forsaken. How great is Your love for Your children! Thank you for the saints who have come before us. As fellow citizens, their witness has inspired us. We acknowledge that there is more to change. Our trust and confidence in this holy work is placed in Your Son, in whose name we pray.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)