Monday, June 22, 2015

Ephesians 4: unbeliever's thinking and living is antithetical to the Believer in Christ

Going through Ephesians 4 at church, especially the passage below, it really hit me how hostile and antithetical the unbeliever's thinking and living is to that of the believer, the one who is in Christ Jesus. It is no wonder that  psychology cannot ever be married to Scripture; the world to Christ; darkness to light; truth to error; sin to righteousness. 

2Co 6:14  Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 
2Co 6:15  What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 
2Co 6:16  What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 
2Co 6:17  Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 

Here's what I observed in Eph. 4:

Eph 4:14  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
Eph 4:15  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Eph 4:16  from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Eph 4:17  Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.
Eph 4:18  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
Eph 4:19  They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
Eph 4:20  But that is not the way you learned Christ!—
Eph 4:21  assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,
Eph 4:22  to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
Eph 4:23  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
Eph 4:24  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Eph 4:25  Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

Eph 4:15  Rather, speaking the truth in love

“speaking” alētheuō
From G227; to be true (in doctrine and profession): - speak (tell) the truth

The issue is truth, as that is the reoccurring theme in Eph. 4. We are to be true or faithful in doctrine, to the “one faith” of our “one Lord”, versus being like children tossed around by every wind of doctrine and therefore speaking falsehoods—that which is not true, that which is opposed to Christ—that is, that which is according to the futile thinking of unbelievers. Those saved are given a love for the truth and walk in the truth (2Thes2:10, 2 John 1:4; 3John 3-4).

Holding on to the truth in love that is in Jesus teaches us:

To put off the old self. There is nothing good in it. It belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires.

The Truth that is in Jesus also teaches us to put on the new self, which is CREATED after the likeness of God and is in TRUE righteousness and holiness.

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let everyone speak the TRUTH to his neighbor

This falsehood:

Is futile thinking

Is the way of unbelievers

Is according to the manner of old self

Includes false doctrines including about salvation and sanctification –how to live and how NOT to live.

Eph 4:29  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
From G4595; rotten, that is, worthless (literally or morally): - bad, corrupt.

Gentile talk is corrupt:

Human cunning
False doctrine
Things not according to what is IN Christ
Not of the Truth that is IN Christ
Is in darkness and therefore has NO LIGHT to shed that can instruct us on how to live righteous and holy lives in TRUTH.
It cannot build us up—that is, grow in Christ
It is not fitting for any occasion
It cannot give grace to the hearer because it is not from Christ
It is of total ignorance
Of darkness
From callous and hard hearts
Of all kinds of impurity
Of deceitful desires

Rom 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Col 2:2  that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ,3  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.4  I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.

Psychology cannot shed any light on how to walk according to the TRUTH. Truth is the reality as God has set forth in Scripture—the way things are according to God, who is omniscient and owner of all this Creation, the God of Truth.

There is no excuse or justification for sin, whether stealing, false worldly doctrines, or selfish anger in Eph. 4. It states that such things are of the old self which is corrupt. It is not created in Christ therefore it is not righteous nor holy nor of the Truth. It is hostile and opposed to all things of Christ, to all Scripture, to all commands.

There is no “understanding” of how hard life is, there is no lowering the standard since we’re all imperfect. Paul doesn't go into how "hard" it is to live for Christ because after all, "we're only human" or "Who's perfect?". 

Rather, it is because of that sinful nature that these things need to be taught to us and constantly brought to mind. God simply says STOP SINNING. Period. Stop stealing, stop lying, stop with unrighteous anger, stop with false doctrine, stop with deceitful desires. Put it off and instead put on the New Self, CREATED in God, in righteousness, in holiness and in TRUTH. Get an honest job so you can provide not only for you and your family but for those in need, tell the truth, stop with the foul mouth. He goes on to say: stop with all your bitterness. You have no right to it. None. No right to steal, no justification. No right to cuss, swear, or spread false doctrine. You are not ignorant of the Truth IF you were taught the biblical Jesus and the Gospel. Stop with your slander, clamor and malice and anger. You have no right to those either.

Sin is not your right as a fallen man who claims Christ.

You are not a victim to your sin.

You are not a slave to your sin.

Righteousness and holiness in truth is the command of every Christian.

Sanctification therefore, can ONLY be done by the Truth: the Word of Truth (John 17:17) and IN Jesus (Eph. 4:21). 

To borrow from the false doctrines of the world, to use the thinking of the unbelievers is to go what is dark, ignorant, callous, futile thinking and has as its actions and fruit: sensuality, greed to practice every kind of impurity, and hardens hearts, is strictly sinful and prohibited by God. There is nothing that the world can add or benefit the Christian in his or her walk with Christ--which aim is to be like Christ and glorify Him Eph. 1-2).

The only way to deal with your sin and to increasingly stop sinning is by being IN Christ, and being powered by the Holy Spirit through the Word:

Eph 1:17  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him
Eph 1:18  having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 
Eph 1:19  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 
Eph 1:20  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 
Eph 1:21  far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 
Eph 1:22  And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 
Eph 1:23  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 

Eph 2:10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 

Php 2:13  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

For more contrasts between the world's philosophies and the truth, please read Col. 1-3. For more article relating to the war between psychology and Scripture go here.

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