Ephesians 4: 17-32
VV 17-19, 17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Greek for futility is “mataios”, which means moral depravity or vanity. Greek for lewdness is “aselgesia”, which means licentiousness. We should not behave as the non-believing Gentiles, morally depraved, misinformed, spiritually dead, ignorant, and blind, surrendered to licentiousness, uncleanness, and greed.
VV 20-24, 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Now that Paul’s audience, (and we), had heard and taught by Jesus Christ in truth, we must put away the old self-controlled by the flesh and put on the new man controlled by the Holy Spirit, created by God in righteousness and holiness. This is the spiritual warfare between the old self of the flesh, old man, and new self of the Spirit, new man.
Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish”.
Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”.
VV 25-28, 25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
Paul commanded his audience, (and us), not to lie, not to sin when angry, not to steal, get employment, and give financial assistance to those in need.
VV 29-32, 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Paul commanded his audience, (and us), not to speak unwholesome words, and not to grieve the Holy Spirit. We are to speak gracefully without bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and malicious words. We are to show kindness, tenderhearted, and forgiveness just as Christ had forgiven us.