I say therefore . . . that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, . . . that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man. Ephesians 4:17, 22–24
In Ephesians 4:17 and 4:22–24, the apostle Paul challenged the church at Ephesus that because they were saved, they should live differently than unbelievers. This is especially true in relation to a happy Christian home. When our homes are just like those of people in the world, it indicates that we need a renewing of our minds.
Notice Paul’s description of the Gentiles, who walked “in the vanity of their mind.” This is true today. People in the world are absorbed in materialism and carnality. They blindly race from one wrong philosophy to another, believing that the next one will bring the joy and peace they desire. Many think an affair will do it, but it doesn’t. Others think more money will do it, but that doesn’t work either. People go into debt and rush from one event to the next and end up with nothing but failure. Some try drugs and alcohol, only to end up with addictions on top of the problems they were trying to erase. All this comes from vain thinking, which we must avoid.
Paul used the word “ignorance” to describe the Gentile world without Christ. In other words, unbelievers don’t know the truth. The word “ignorance” conveys the idea of being dumb. Now we have all done dumb things at times. Often the dumb things we do are a result of just being absent minded, like putting the milk in the pantry or trying to find our cell phones while we are actually talking on them. I had a neighbor lady at the post office tell me Happy Father’s Day recently, and I responded with “You too!” She laughed at me! These kinds of dumb things are insignificant, but bigger dumb things can rob us of the blessings and favor of God in our lives and in our homes. We are not to blindly run after pagan philosophies as unbelievers do, but rather we are to live the truth so we can have God’s very best for our lives and our homes.
Paul reminded the Ephesians that the Gentiles did not have the truth, but the believers did. Now that we are saved, we are not to walk like the Gentiles walk, talk like the Gentiles talk, or balk at God’s plan as the Gentiles do. How is all this possible? Simply stated, by the renewing of our minds. We literally have to learn God’s Word and apply it to our lives. When we do, the Holy Spirit takes God’s Word and makes us more like our Savior so that we can receive God’s blessings. Here are a few suggestions to help us receive those blessings.
Spend time with God in His Word. Blessed is the man whose “delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Ps. 1:2). If we are going to know God’s will and enjoy God’s best, we have to be in His Word daily. “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways” (Ps. 119:2–3). We should read God’s Word verse by verse, chapter by chapter, and book by book. We should meditate on it. We should also ask the Holy Spirit to guide us to understand and apply the Word.
Memorize specific Bible passages. Consider Psalm 119:9–11: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Where are we most likely to wander from God’s Word? Is it in an area of impurity? Is it in our anger? Is it in our failure to lead our families or love our spouses? Whatever it is, we can find specific verses and memorize them over a course of time so that the Holy Spirit can drive them into our minds, emotions, and wills (i.e., heart) and give us victory over these areas.
Be diligent to teach the Bible to our children. Deuteronomy 6:7 states that we are to diligently teach our children. We are to do this as we sit at home, as we go to bed, as we rise up in the morning, and throughout our daily walks. As we train our children to apply God’s Word to their lives, the Spirit renews their minds.
- Can you identify a weakness in which you need the Holy Spirit to help you remove the “old man” and “put on the new man”?
- What is the last verse you memorized to help you overcome a weak area? If you haven’t done this, find a verse that can help you in this way, and memorize it now.
- What steps will you take to begin or enhance the process of teaching your children the Bible diligently?
This chapter was written by Evangelist Dave Young.
This chapter is taken from our book “Home Improvement- Keys To Building A Happy Home“. CLICK HERE to learn more about this book and to place your order.