Living Out Our New Identity in Christ at New City
Passage: Ephesians 4:17–5:2
BIG PICTURE: Christians are called to live their daily lives in a way that is sharply differentiated from the world around us and from the lifestyle that characterized our pre-Christian past. Our lives are now determined by our relationship with Jesus Christ and the new identity we have in him. This will involve the Holy Spirit changing our way of thinking and bringing our lifestyle into conformity with our new identity. What we are governs how we think, and how we think determines how we act.
- The doctrinal basis of the new life (4:17–24)
The lives of Christians must reflect the dramatic transformation that has taken place in us in our conversion. We must no longer live in a way that speaks of the confusion, demonic control, and despair that characterized our non-Christian past. We must instead live in ways that show our thinking is continually being renewed spiritually and that reveals our re-creation in the image of a God who is righteous and holy.
The non-Christian life (17-19)
- Ungodly thinking
- Immoral lifestyle
The Christian life (20–24)
- We have learned Christ
- We take off the old self
- The Spirit renews our thinking
- We put on the new self
- The new life’s practical outworking in everyday behaviour (4:25–5:2)
The love of God and the love of Christ provide the models for Christians to follow in our relationships with one another. Therefore . . .
- Don’t tell lies, Christian, but rather tell the truth (25)
- Don’t lose your temper, Christian, but rather ensure that your anger is righteous (26–27)
- Don’t steal, Christian, but rather work and give (28)
- Don’t use your mouth for evil, Christian, but rather for good (29)
- Don’t grieve the Spirit, Christian (30)
- Don’t be unkind or bitter, Christian, but rather kind and loving in imitation of God and Christ (4:31–5:2)