Genuine Faith Results in Change

No Longer Walk Like
Ephesians 4:17-19 ESV

“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. 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. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.”

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to no longer live like we did before believing in Jesus. Our salvation in Christ Jesus is not freedom to continue living in sin. This is not saying we will never sin again, but sin should no longer be our master, and we are not to be its obedient slaves.

Jesus didn’t die on that cross merely to forgive us our sins, but he died to deliver us from our chains of addiction and to free us from enslavement (bondage) to sin. When we believe in Jesus, we die with Christ to sin and we now live to Christ and to his righteousness, empowered of God’s Spirit.

And we, as followers of Christ, are not to engage in all manner of evil, giving ourselves up to all kinds of impurity and immorality. We are not to view porn or watch movies and TV shows which glorify sin, or which are sensual in nature, nor should we listen to what is vulgar, etc.

Assuming You Learned Correctly
Ephesians 4:20-24 ESV

“But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Believing in Jesus Christ is not a one-time decision in our life, and then we live however we want to live, and then one day we get to go to heaven when we die. It is also not words we repeat after someone in a prayer, or a mere acknowledgment of Jesus and what he did for us on that cross.

If we were taught correctly, and if our faith is biblical faith, when we came to faith in Jesus Christ we put off our old self and our former manner of life which is corrupt through deceitful desires, we were renewed in our thinking of the Spirit of God, and we put on the new self, which is created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

This means that we surrendered our lives to Christ Jesus, we submitted to him as Lord (owner-master) of our lives, and we left our lives of sin behind us, dying with Christ to sin, that we may now walk in obedience to our Lord, empowered by the Spirit of God who now lives within us.

If this didn’t happen in our lives, then we are not saved. We may profess Christ with our lips and claim we believe in him in our hearts, but if we didn’t die (aren’t dying) with him to sin that we may now live to him and to his righteousness, then our faith is not of God. It is not genuine faith.

No Lying; Tell the Truth
Ephesians 4:25-28 ESV

“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”

So, genuine faith in Jesus Christ, which is ongoing, is to result in genuine change in our lives away from living to sin to now living to Christ and to his righteousness. Thus, we are no longer to be those who make a practice of lying to others, but we are to now be truth tellers.

If we get angry over something, we are not to sin in our anger, for not all anger is sin, in and of itself, though it can be. Some anger stems from hidden sins of rebellion, unforgiveness, bitterness and pride in our hearts. Other anger stems from genuine love for others and anger at seeing them being treated unfairly.

If we are regularly getting angry at others because of unforgiveness or bitterness of spirit or pride, then we need to cleanse our hearts of those evils so that we can love others with the love of Christ. And, if our anger is righteous anger, still we must guard against sinning in our anger.

And, a thief is not just someone who goes into banks, stores, or people’s homes and steals their personal property. A thief is one who takes what is not rightfully his from someone else without permission from the owner. So, it could include stealing someone’s writings or music, too.

So, instead of thieving from others what is not rightfully ours to possess, we are to be those who work with our own hands so that we may have something to share with anyone who is in need. We should now be giving to others rather than taking from them, in other words.

Watch What You Say
Ephesians 4:29-32 ESV

“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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Again, faith in Jesus Christ results in genuine change in our hearts, in our thinking, and in our behaviors. It doesn’t mean we are perfect or that we never sin again, but lack of perfection is never to be used as an excuse for continuing to live in sin willfully and on purpose.

So, our speech is another area where we should begin to see serious change. Thus, we are not to allow ourselves to speak what is rotten, corrupt (perverted, dishonorable) or depraved (immoral, wicked). Instead, we are to speak what is for the good (benefit) of others.

All that is evil is to be put away from us. The Holy Spirit empowers and helps us to do this, but we must obey the Lord in turning away from sin to following Jesus in doing what he says to do. And, then we are to be kind to one another and to forgive others as Jesus forgave us.

Now, when we believe in Jesus, with genuine God-given faith, which dies and is dying with Christ to sin and is living to him and to his righteousness, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us, and we have the hope of eternal life with God based on us continuing in that faith (Lu 9:23-26; Jn 10:27-30; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Gal 6:7-8).

Thus, we are not to grieve the Holy Spirit by returning to the evil which God delivered us from. And, if we never did die with Christ to sin, and if we never lived to him and to his righteousness, because we were convinced it was not required, then we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God.

For, not everyone who confesses Christ as Lord truly believes in Jesus Christ. So, don’t believe the lies which tell you that you don’t have to repent of your sins or obey the Lord, and that you don’t have to submit to his Lordship. For, Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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