Ephesians 4:17-24: The Old Life

(That could be one of the creepiest pictures on the internet right now...sheesh...)

Hello friends,

Sorry I fell behind again by a day. Failure is not an option, so we're just going to pick up and keep going like that never happened. Thanks for sticking with me.

In almost 4 complete chapters of Ephesians, this is the first time we come to a direct command from Paul. Everything we've been working through has been a reminder of the life we ALREADY HAVE in Christ Jesus. You don't have to work to be an heir of God, you already are. You don't have to earn God's love, you already have it. Your sins are already forgiven through the abundant and plentiful Grace of Jesus Christ.

So when we finally come to the first direct command from Paul, what do we find him encouraging us to do? He's telling us to leave our old lives behind.

Depending on what your old life looked like, this might not be the hardest thing in the world. It's not too hard to leave behind years of rejection, abandonment, lies, and torture. Which, when you think about it is exactly the kind of life we were surely living before we came to know Christ in our lives.

If you put all your hopes in the relationships in your life, from your friends to your romantic interests to your peers to your colleagues, I can almost guarantee that they let you down at least once. Probably more than that. The truth is, the love of almost every person in the world is conditional. They only love you if you love them back, or provide them with something they want. Sad, but usually true.

So often I see youth ministers or youth ministries that are entirely set up on convincing people that they need Christ as a type of fire insurance, a means by which to avoid the terrible consequences of hell. While that is part of what Christ provides for us, I think we stand a much better chance of showing them how much better their lives could be with Christ. Showing them exactly how much the life they're leading without him is letting them down. Almost everybody can get behind that, right?

For tomorrow, we'll work on 4:25-5:2