What Were You Taught?

Ephesians 4:17-19 NIV

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.”

Many people today within the gatherings of the church, or within the confines of the institutional church, are teaching the exact opposite of what this is teaching. They are teaching or they are implying that you can believe in Jesus, have your sins forgiven, have heaven guaranteed you upon death, but that you can continue living like you did before, only now without guilt.

But Scripture makes it clear, including in Paul’s teachings (their hero), that coming to Jesus means we die with Christ to our old lives of living for sin and self, and that we now follow our Lord in obedience to his commands (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).

For, Jesus died for us on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died, too, that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And Jesus shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God so that we would now honor God with our lives (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20).

Because of God’s grace to us, we are to present our lives to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our reasonable and acceptable worship of God. And we are to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, that our lives may prove what God’s will is for us (See Rom 12:1-2).

In fact, God’s grace to us, which brings us salvation from sin, trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. So, we don’t give ourselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, but we live holy and pure lives, instead (Tit 2:11-14).

Ephesians 4:20-24 NIV

“That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

If we were taught the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as Jesus taught it, and as Paul and the other apostles taught it, we would have learned that, regarding our former way of life, that we are to put off our old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.

We would have learned the truth that is in Christ Jesus that says that we are to be made new in the attitude of our minds, which comes from the Spirit of God as we yield our lives over to God’s control, and as we cooperate with his work of grace in our lives.

And we would have learned the truth in Christ Jesus which teaches us that we are to put on the new self, which is created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. All this comes from God and is only possible by his grace and via Jesus’ death and resurrection, but we must surrender to God’s will for our lives and do what he says we must do.

And Paul is not the only one to teach this. Jesus taught it first. He said if we want to come after him we must deny self and daily die to sin and follow him in obedience to his ways and to his commands. For, if we hold on to our old lives we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our lives (die to sin and self), for the sake of the name of Jesus, we will live (Lu 9:23-26).

This whole thing of us dying with Christ to sin and us living to Christ and to his righteousness is a running theme all throughout the New Testament, especially as the gospel is being taught, for this is why Jesus died. He didn’t die just to forgive us our sins, but to deliver us from our addiction to sin so that we would now be slaves of his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; 1 Pet 2:24).

So, what happens if we don’t do this? What happens to us if we continue to live like we did before we said we believed in Christ? What happens if we don’t repent (turn from sin) and follow our Lord in obedience?

The Scriptures teach, in that case, that we will die in our sins and that we will not have eternal life with God. For, we are all going to be judged by our works, by what we do, and we will all reap what we have sown. And if we sow to please the flesh, we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).

So, please take this seriously. Reject the lies. Embrace the truth. Turn from sin and follow Jesus Christ with your life today while you still have today.

Servant of the Lord

An Original Work / July 26, 2012
Based off Romans 1:1-17

Servant of the Lord;
For the gospel you’re set apart.
Promised through the prophets of old:
Jesus, Son of God.
Through Him, and for His name alone,
We receive His grace
To call people, Him to obey;
Coming from their faith.
Servant of the Lord,
For the gospel you’re set apart.
Promised through the prophets of old:
Jesus, Son of God.

You belong to Christ;
Loved by God, and called to be saints;
Serving God with whole heart and mind;
Preaching Jesus Christ;
Always praying for others’ needs;
Helping hand to lend;
Giving courage to others’ faith,
For the praise of God.
You belong to Christ;
Loved by God, and called to be saints;
Serving God with whole heart and mind;
Preaching Jesus Christ.

Servant of the Lord;
Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
For salvation, power of God
To those who have faith.
In the gospel find righteousness:
Being right with God.
Turn from sin, and trust Jesus Christ.
By faith, live in Him.
Servant of the Lord;
Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
For salvation, power of God
To those who have faith.

3 thoughts on “What Were You Taught?

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