Don’t Give the Devil a Foothold

Summary Ephesians 4:1-24

We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are to live lives which are worthy of our calling which we have received in Christ Jesus, our Lord. And that calling is to holiness, godliness, purity, and righteousness, in the power of God.

We are also called to works of service in Christ Jesus which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them, as his workmanship (Eph 2:10; Rom. 2:1-11; 1 Co. 15:58; 2 Co. 9:8; Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 1:9-14; 2 Thess. 1:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:21; Tit. 2:11-14; Tit. 3:8; Jas. 2:17; 1 Pet 1:17-21).

And we are all called to maturity in Christ Jesus. So, we are to do the works of service God prepared for us to walk in, as his workmanship, and we are to use the gifts of the Spirit God has given us to exhort and to edify our brothers and sisters in Christ till we all reach maturity in Christ.

We, too, are to speak the truth to one another in love so that not one of us ends up being led astray by those who are cunning, crafty, and deceitful, who confuse the minds of the naïve, and who toss them back and forth with all kinds of false doctrines and teachings.

Also, we are not to live like we did before we ever believed in Jesus, if we have believed in Jesus, in truth. We are not to give ourselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity. And we are not to be greedy people, either.

If we were taught the truth in Christ Jesus, we should have learned that, with regard to our former way of living in sin, that we are to put off our old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires. We are to be made new in the attitude of our minds. And we are to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:25-28 NIV

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”

Like this said in the previous verses, we are not supposed to live like we did before we believed in Jesus. For, Jesus died on that cross to deliver us out of our slavery to sin so that we would now become slaves of his righteousness. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness.

If we believed in Jesus, in truth, we were turned away from our sin to follow our Lord in obedience. We were turned away from the power and control Satan had over our lives to now coming under the Spirit’s control. And all this that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (Ac 26:18; cf. Rom 6:1-23; 1 Jn 1:5-9).

We put off that old self, which was being corrupted by its deceitful desires, and we put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. But this is not a one-time deal. This is our daily walk of faith in Christ Jesus, dying daily to sin and walking daily in his righteousness (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26).

Every day we must choose to follow our Lord in obedience, and in surrender to his will for our lives, or to succumb to the flesh and to do what our flesh dictates. Because we have Jesus living within us, in the person of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to say “No!” to sin and “Yes!” to God daily.

So, if we are tempted to lie, we choose not to lie, and instead we tell the truth, in love. If we feel anger over something, we do not sin in our anger. We give it over to the Lord in prayer, praying for his peace and his wisdom, and we follow his leading. We forgive, and we don’t hold grudges.

If stealing was something that we used to practice and perhaps it is still a temptation, we say “No!” to the temptation, we resist Satan, and instead, we work and we are productive with our lives, and then we share with others who are in need.

Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Unwholesome talk can be gossip, slander, false accusations, mockery of others who are different from us, filthy jokes, sexually suggestive remarks, sarcasm meant to stab others in the heart, crude humor, and humor which makes a mockery of or which pokes fun at Jesus Christ and the Scriptures. It can be anything sacrilegious which makes light of God’s truths.

This type of unwholesome talk appears to be pretty commonplace within the gatherings of the church or in groups of people claiming to be Christians. They sound not much different than people who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ at all. You even see this kind of sacrilegious humor in greeting cards in Christians bookstores or coming from the pulpits.

Making fun of others who are different from us, or who don’t think or act like we do, is also very commonplace among those who call themselves Christians. So, because of this, and because the church, overall, has adopted the ways of this sinful world, the church, in general, has lost its witness.

But we are to be those who are encouraging one another in our walks of faith in Jesus Christ, which are walks of holiness and righteousness. And we should be speaking the truth to one another in love, even rebuking where necessary, in order to bring our brothers and sisters in Christ back into the light so that they are shining the light of Jesus and not that of the world.

So, we, as the body of Christ, his church, need to get rid of everything which is hindering our walks of faith and our testimonies for Jesus Christ. And this includes all bitterness, rage, anger, slander, and every form of malice. And we are to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave us.

Praise Be Told!

An Original Work / December 28, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

He was pierced for our transgressions.
He was crushed for all our sin.
Our chastisement was upon Him.
By His stripes, we now are healed.

He has witnessed all our trials,
And the sins we choose to wear.
Yet, while we were dead in our sin,
Jesus died, our sins to bear.

He himself bore all of our sins
In His body on a cross,
So that we might die to our sin,
And live for His righteousness.

By faith in the pow’r of Jesus
And His blood shed for our sins,
We can be forgiven our sin,
And have life with God in heav’n.

He will lead us and He’ll guide us
In the way that we should go.
He will comfort and protect us,
Because Jesus, we do know.

Though He disciplines for our good,
He will heal us – Praise be told!
Do not fear, your Lord is with you.
Just have faith in Christ your Lord.

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