The Christian Birth

The Christian Birth

The Christian Birth

William Stout / General

 

Ephesians 4:17–19 NKJV

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.

 

Ephesians 4:20–32 NKJV

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.

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.

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.

 

NEW LIFE

  • Vs. 20-25 describe this new life – What we call “Born again”
  • New meaning – “if indeed you have heard of Him” — The truth is in Him
  • The truth—v. 20–21. Jesus said He was the truth—John 14:6.
  • He also said the truth would make man free—John 8:32.
  • There is no other way – No other truth

Put off the Old Man

  • Being born again speaks of a “new Life” – old things are passed away –
  • Paul went so far as saying “I was crucified with Christ” – that old person is gone
  • I can tell you many stories about my past, but it is almost as though I am talking of someone else (Recent story)
  • There has been change—v. 22–23. speak of putting off that former conduct –
  • putting off the deceitful lusts – (and how deceitful they are!!)
  • Now, in Him – All old lust and sin are gone!
  • This happens through being renewed (reborn) in our mind

 

Put on The New Man

  • As simple as changing clothes
  • You have no obligation to the flesh

Romans 8:12 NKJV

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

  • Sin has a way of tricking us into thinking that we have to keep on sinning
  • We tend to try to be who people expect us to be –
  • As Christians – we put on the new man – created according to God
  • This new life- Christian birth is made in true holiness and righteousness –
  • Those who “put on Christ” have true holiness and righteousness. “Putting on Christ” means accepting Christ.
  • If you “accept” Him, you also receive His righteousness, His holiness
  • Begin today to think of yourself as Holy
  • Yes, you are “righteous” through accepting Him

     New man with New manners

  • (vs. 25) A Christian puts away lying and speaks the truth at all times. A Christian does not practice lying.
  • Also means being honest with ourselves
  • People lie because of fear – fear of rejection, fear of consequence
  • We lie to ourselves out of the same fears –
  • Perfect love casts out fear –
  • I can admit my faults without fear – I am born again
  • He will not reject me, nor harm me

 

 NEW LOVE

  • Be angry – but do not sin –
  • We all experience human emotion – this is not an excuse to sin
  • In fact, it would be wrong if certain things did not make us angry – we are instructed to be angry
  • but sin cannot justify sin
  • Refusing sin—v. 26. Note these words, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”—James 4:7. If you try to “play with sin and temptation” they will overcome and defeat you.
  • Refusing Satan—v. 27. Satan goes about the earth, seeking whom he may destroy—1 Peter 5:8.
  • Love for God will cause us to resist the temptations of Satan.
  • We do not overcome sin by learning about sin – we do so by being closer to God

 

NEW LEARNING

  • The Christian birth brings Change
  • Change of heart ( Matthew 5:8. pure in heart)
  • A pure heart – that which is pure is not polluted or diluted
  • Changes of habits— The one who steals doesn’t steal anymore –
  • Not only that but now he works that he may have something to give –
  • this is one of the greatest miracles of Christianity – perhaps greatest, this change of heart
  • and we see it just as true today
  • The Christian’s thoughts are different from those of the sinner. ( 2 Corinthians 5:17; )
  • The Christian has the mind of Christ—Philippians 2:5.
  • Change in Communication—v. 29.
  • A born-again Christian’s speech is clean and pure. He thinks before he speaks—(James 1:19. – Swift to hear – Slow to speak)
  • The tendency of the natural man is to do exactly the opposite
  • A Christians words will edify, will impart grace tot he hearer
  • Are we imparting grace with our words?
  • Please stop and examine ourselves right hear for a moment – us “seasoned Christians”
  • If we are not imparting grace with our words, why not?

 

NEW LIVING

  • Surrender—v. 30. When the Holy Spirit speaks—obey!
  • Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit.
  • Has it occurred to you that our actions, words, and thoughts, might actually “grieve the Spirit of God”?
  • How wonderfully He loves us! That we could be a grief to Him through our loss
  • Why would we so live?
  • Yet, we need not grieve Him – He will work through you if you allow Him to do so.

  Separation

  • Meanness, bad temper, anger are the characteristics of non-Christians. Arguing and harsh words should not come from Christians.
  • The born-again Christian does not live like the sinner—he is completely different. – He has put away bitterness, wrath, anger, and evil speaking
  • Soft-hearted—v. 32. Note these words: kind, tenderhearted, forgiving. Here are the marks of a real Christian.

Ephesians 4:32 NKJV

32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

  • Here are the marks of a Christian:
  • tenderhearted – please, be tender, not callous, not chafed, (and there is no excuse if you will not)
  • forgiving one another
  • even as God in Christ forgave you

 

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