Ephesians 4:17-24 (NLT) 17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
Two myths about being a believer:
• Spiritual growth just happens over time.
• Spiritual growth is measured by how much we know.
Two truths about spiritual growth:
• It is a result of our daily decisions.
• It is measured more by our actions than beliefs.
1. Put off.
Ephesians 4:22 (NLT) Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.
Colossians 3:5 (NLT) So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Colossians 3:7-9 (NLT) 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.
2. Think differently.
Ephesians 4:23 (NLT) Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Colossians 3:1-2 (NLT) Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the
things of earth.
3. Put on.
Ephesians 4:24 (NLT) Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
Colossians 3:10 (NLT) Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT) 12 You must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
Growing Deeper Together
Use these points throughout the week as part of your quiet time, in your small group, or over coffee with a friend to help you apply what you learned in today’s message.
• Which part of this message was most impactful for you and why?
• Share about a time when you made a lasting change in your life. What role did God have in that decision?
• What’s your current mindset like when it comes to making a lasting change in your life? What truths about your identity do you need to embrace to make the changes you want to see?
• Explain how you personally have seen these three steps of God’s grace taking part in your own life.
• What step or area of Christian growth have you most struggled with? Explain.
• Talk through one thing you are needing prayer to stop, and what is one thing you are needing to prayer to start doing based on today’s message?
A self-described “leadership junkie”, Ronnie brings a relationship perspective to all of his messages. He's a transparent teacher, baring his soul to help his listeners connect to the greatest relationship they’ll ever know!
Wednesday | 6:30pm