Formerly Known As . . . 

Ephesians 4:17-32 - Listen to the Audio Version

In July 2023, the world witnessed a significant shift in the social media landscape. Elon Musk, the renowned tech entrepreneur, rebranded the popular social media platform, Twitter, as "X." However, whenever X is mentioned, there's usually a caveat that follows: "formerly known as Twitter." This persistent link to its past raises a question: Can X ever break free from its former identity?

Iíve been a follower of Christ for many decades, but I have to admit, Iím often disappointed, and surprised, that Iím not further along in my walk with Christ by this time in my life! In Ephesians 4, the Apostle Paul speaks of breaking free from our former lives, those things that hold us back from living how Christ wants us to live. 

Paulís ministry was to Gentiles. However, his reference to Gentiles in verse 17 has to do with those who are not "in Christ," they do not belong to Jesus. The Gentiles he addresses in verse 20 are those who have come to faith in Christ. They have trusted Jesus to forgive their sins and believe he was raised from the dead to give them eternal life. Paul writes to remind them they have the Holy Spiritís power to "be renewed" and to put off "deceitful desires." He then gives us five practical tips as to how to put off our former selves and how to put on Christ in daily living so that we can break free from our former identity:

1) Put off lying; put on truth speaking (v.25).
2) Okay to be angry; but donít let it lead you to sin (v.26-27).
3) Put off stealing; put on working and sharing with those in need (vs.28).
4) Put off rotten, useless, or depraved speech; put on speech that loves and builds up others, show the same kind of grace that God has shown you (v.29). 
5) Put off grieving the Holy Spirit by the way you live showing bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Remember, you belong to him, he guarantees your salvation on the day of redemption. Put on kindness to each other, be tenderhearted, be forgiving to one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you (vs.30-32). 

Thankfully, when we are in Christ, God does not see us as our former selves. Will we make mistakes? Guaranteed! Yet, we have this promise from God, ďif we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousnessĒ 1 John 1:9 (NLT). 

Letís Pray
Dear Lord, thank you that you do not see me as my former self. Thank you for forgiving my sins and making me right with you! Help me to put off those things that offend you and others and help me to put on this new way of living. Amen.

Friends, do you relate to this? Please leave your comments!

Copyright 2024 S.A. Keith

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