Sunday, December 30, 2018, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at Ephesians 4:17-24:

Ephesians 4:17 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. 18 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. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

We used this quote to guide us in our sermon.

“To live a life of sustainable impact, you must take the long view and think in more permanent terms. This means valuing a commitment to long-term effort over short-term results and pausing as needed to take care of yourself so that you don’t burn out before you’ve had the chance to see your vision through.” Imperfect Courage

We pursued this Big Idea and points:

Big Idea: A Godly Approach to a New Year

The Old Way of Thinking
The New Way of Learning
A Season of Renewal

The Old Way of Thinking

Ephesians 4:17 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. 18 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. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

Paul wants every Christian to protect themselves from slipping back into their old way of thinking – they way they thought before knowing Christ. The Christian doesn’t have a futile mind. We aren’t darkened in our understanding. We are not alienated form God. Our hearts are not hardened. As we approach the New Year, these are good things to protect our hearts from. We can’t give in to thinking and living as we once did.

The New Way of Learning

20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,

The new way of learning of the believer is that we must learn Christ. We learn Christ by putting off all the sins that once held us down. As we approach the New Year, we should recognize that we are now gifted to cast off all the sins of our old self and live in a new manner of life. This will lead to…

A Season of Renewal

23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

This coming year can be a season of renewal. We aren’t hopeless or helpless.

Big Idea: A Godly Approach to a New Year

The Old Way of Thinking
The New Way of Learning
A Season of Renewal

Truth: God calls you to a continual and enabled life transformation that displays the work of Christ in your life.

Application: Live knowing that God’s desire in the new year is to transform you more and more into the likeness of Christ.

Action: Renew your mind in Christ this year. It’s not a resolution. It’s a commandment.

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