The New Man

Ephesians 4:17-24

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.  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.


  • The Way Not to Walk as a New Believer.
  • Do not walk as a follower of men or women of the world.  In this passage of Scripture we see the non-believer referred to as a Gentile.  This is a carry over from the Jewish thinking into the Christian thinking.  To the Jew anyone who was not a Jew was a heathen.  Gentiles were therefore classified as heathen.
  • The Ephesians were all gentiles by birth and this passage is a bold declaration but it is not obvious to most.  In the original texts the word “other” Gentiles or the “rest” of the Gentiles is not there.  It simply says. “Do not walk as Gentiles.”  Paul was saying as a Christian you are no longer a gentile or, as he was a Jew, he was no longer a Jew but that they and he alike were Christians.  They no longer walked like they used to.  Galatians 3:28 tells us “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
  • The Way to Walk as a New Believer.
  • As a new believer, you are a new creation, having been born again.  (John 3:1-8)  You are part of a new body, the body of Christ.  As a part of that body, the body of Christ, you must not allow, you cannot allow your body to be involved in any activity or thinking that would             defile the body of Christ.  Romans 6:1-2 states, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!  How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

I Peter 2:5,  “You also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  

  • As a holy priest in the household of faith we ought to be holy.  We ought to be honest.  We ought to be believers with integrity.  We ought to be trustworthy.  We ought to treat others in an open and fair manner.  We ought to offer up our lives as a daily spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God.  If we have to ask whether or not we should do something, or rather or not we should involve ourselves in an activity or conversation; if we have a question in our own mind, then it probably is not acceptable to God.  Therefore leave it alone.  Let it be.  Don’t contaminate your life with it and since you are a part of the body of Christ do not in any manner contaminate the body of Christ.
  • The new believer is to put off the old man, to be renewed in the spirit of his mind, and to put on the new man. Note that there is both a taking off and a putting on.  This is more than just turning over a new leaf or making a New Year resolution.  Our very minds (our way of thinking) is to be changed.  We can only do this when we turn to Christ and allow His Word, His Spirit to fill our own spirit.  


  • The old man, or the unbeliever, walks in the vanity of his mind.  The mind includes the ability “to will” and “to do the truth” as well as “to know the truth”.  Jesus said “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”  The mind has the ability to reason and understand.  This seventeenth verse says that the unbeliever (Gentile) walks in the vanity (or in vain) of their mind.  This simply means that the unbeliever walks empty minded, futile, senseless, aimless, unsuccessful, and worthless.      This does not sound like anybody having an enjoyable life.  Their minds are void and empty of God and of His truth and morality.  God is not in their thoughts.  Their minds are ready to be filled with some other god or supremacy, that is, with the things of the world:  worldly pleasures, worldly possessions, worldly power, worldly position, worldly religions, worldly ideas, worldly honor, and worldly gods. 

Gen. 6:5 – “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Psalm 10:4 – “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.”

Psalm 94:11 – The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile.”

 Proverbs 15:26 – The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, but the words of the pure are pleasant.”

  • The mind of man, the unbeliever, walks after these things, neglecting, ignoring and rejecting God.  The believer must never return to the walk of an empty mind; he must never allow his mind to become empty of God.  Unbelievers walk with their understanding darkened.  They are blind to the things of God. 

Psalm 82:5 – “They do not know, nor do they understand; they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are unstable.”

Proverbs 4:19 – “The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.”

Acts 28:27 – “For the hearts of this people have grown dull.  Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.”

  • Unbelievers walk alienated from the life of God.  They are spiritually dead.  They are doomed to eternal death.  They are alienated, estranged, separated, detached, cut off from God. 

Matthew. 15:8 – “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.”

John 3:18-19 – “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

  • Unbelievers can reach a point in life where they no longer have feelings for God and His standard of morality.  They become callous, insensible, hardened.  The more an unbeliever walks in this manner, the more callous his conscience becomes to righteousness.  Sin becomes more and more acceptable.  The person’s conscience no longer bothers him.  He reaches a point where he is past feeling.

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