The Book of EPHESIANS
James J. Barker
PUT ON THE NEW MAN - Part 1
- The “old man” (4:22) is
our old Adamic nature – corrupt and unclean.
- The “new man” (4:24) is
our new nature, which we received when we received Christ.
- We inherited Adam’s
fallen nature by natural birth, and Christ’s perfect nature when we were born
- Putting on the
new man means putting away sin.
- “Putting away lying…” (4:25)
– this includes so-called “little white lies,” fibbing, cheating on taxes and in
business, exaggerating, failing to keep promises, flattery, etc.
- Today we are hearing a lot
about politicians putting a “spin” on things. Back when Bill Clinton was president, we
were told that the White House employed quite a few full-time “spin
doctors.” This is a new term for
- This morning in my
devotions, I read this from HA Ironside, “God is called the ‘God of truth’ (Isa.
65:16). The Holy Spirit is the
‘Spirit of truth’ (John 16:13).
Christ said, ‘I am…the truth’ (John 14:6). No one can have fellowship
with the Holy Trinity who does not walk in the truth (II John 4; III John
4). God desires truth in the inward
parts (Psalm 51:6). Falsehood of
every kind is hateful to him. There
is nothing that so manifests the alienation of the natural man from God as his
tendency to falsehood. Of the
wicked we are told that they go astray from their very birth speaking lies
(Psalm 85:3). Satan himself is the father of lies (John 8:44). It is he who injects the venom of
untruthfulness into the heart of man (Acts 5:3). Only by the new birth can this lying
spirit be overcome. It is as the
regenerated man yields himself to God as one alive from the dead that he learns
to delight in the truth objectively revealed and to walk in the truth
subjectively” (The Continual Burnt Offering).
EXCESSIVE ANGER (4:26, 27)
- “Be ye angry, and sin not…”
(4:26). This verse indicates that sometimes it is good to be angry. The Bible says: “Ye that love the LORD,
hate evil” (Psalm 97:10).
- If you love God, you will
hate sin. If you love flowers, you
will hate weeds.
- Even unsaved people
recognize this. Aristotle said: “Anybody can become angry – that is easy; but to
be angry at the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the
right reason, and in the right way – that is not
- We should not let “the sun
go down upon” our wrath (4:26b).
Anger must be dealt with Scripturally and quickly, otherwise grudges can
- Unconfessed sins of anger
provide the devil with a foothold (4:27). We see this all the time. People stay angry and then go out and
- Stealing (4:28) – it is
amazing to me that Christians need to be reminded not to steal, but in fact,
some Christians do steal. They take
things home from work, and they goof off when they should be
- A man asked a big employer,
“How many men do you have working for you?” He replied: “About half of
- Some people cheat on their
business dealings and on their taxes – that’s
- Some Christians do not
tithe. That’s even more serious –
that’s robbing God (Malachi 3:8).
- Unfortunately, selfishness
was not eradicated the moment you and I were saved. God wants us to work hard and then give
to those in need (4:28b).
- When worldly people get a
raise in income, they raise their standard of living. But when godly people get a raise, they
raise their standard of giving!
- When professed Christians
steal, it is a big stumbling block to the unsaved, and it brings reproach upon
the cause of Christ.
CORRUPT COMMUNICATION (4:29)
- Another area where we need
to be renewed is in the area of our speech (4:29). Corrupt speech generally means dirty
talk, suggestive and lewd remarks, off-color jokes, so-called “four-letter
words,” swearing, taking the Lord’s name in vain, profanity, raunchy stories,
- This would include any form
of conversation that is empty, idle, and worthless. Note that in Ephesians 5:4, Paul refers
to “foolish talking.” This is not
necessarily limited to dirty talk but any talk that is unprofitable (cf. Matt.
- Our speech should be:
- “edifying” (4:29) – it should build up, not tear
- appropriate – suitable for the occasion.
- gracious – it should “minister grace unto the hearers”
- “What is in the well of the
heart will come up through the bucket of the mouth” – J. Vernon McGee (cf.
- If we take
Ephesians 4:30 in its immediate context, it means that worthless talk grieves
the Holy Spirit.
inappropriate speech is part of our old nature and should be carefully avoided
- Many years
ago, Lehman Strauss was preaching at a Bible conference for young people. The afternoon was given over to
recreation and he was getting ready to preach at the evening service. Unfortunately, some people brought a
feeling of silliness and frivolity into the meeting that night, perhaps even the
song leader, who called upon Pastor Strauss to sing, knowing full well that he
was not a good singer. Since he
couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, Bro. Strauss assumed it was a prank and
proceeded to stand up on a chair and sing “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” in a
silly, childish voice. When he came
to the phrase, “Nothing but the blood of Jesus,” he said later that he felt a
cold chill sweep through the auditorium.
He wrote that “it was evident that such levity had grieved the Holy
Spirit. I was making sport of the
Name of Jesus, and it cut my own heart to the quick.”
- This is the
immediate context. Let’s go back a
few more verses. Lying, excessive
anger, and stealing certainly grieve the Holy Spirit (4:24-30).
- Next week we
will look at other ways the Holy Spirit is grieved.