Yesterday in Ephesians 4:22-24 Paul exhorted us to ‘put on’ a new self in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit living within each believer. The next verses continue and remind us of what we need to ‘put off’ as well. In Ephesians 4:25-32, Paul gets really specific about what actions we need to put away or put off so that the new self in Christ can thrive.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. We are to not lie to each other. Stop the little falsehoods that make us look better and the other person less. We are to remember we are all here as believers joined together in His body to glorify Him.
26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. Unrighteous anger, and holding grudges allows Satan to infiltrate your mind and actions, and let’s him have an in with you. Don’t let this happen!
28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Check your motives and work for the common good-sharing and loving one another in Christ. Selfish gains have no place in the body of Christ.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Watch what you say- it is important to build each other up not tear one another down.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Those things that are sinful grieve God when we do them. We don’t’ think we are hurting others but we are making God sad by our sinful words, deeds, thoughts and actions. Our desire should be to please God not grieve Him.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Paul is very specific- get rid of the bad attitudes and actions, evil and hurt. They are not to be part of our new character in Christ!
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Paul’s final reminder of what God desires of us in Christ.
Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can choose to be kind, compassionate and forgiving towards others; I can put off those non God honoring behaviors that are destructive to myself and those around me. Praise God! Through Christ Alone is this possible.