A Direct and Authoritative Command…

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.  They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
Ephesians 4:17-19 [ESV]

Paul now turns to specific application of what the equipping and enablement means for the church. In many ways the tone goes back to and picks up the points made in Eph 2:1–3 and Eph 4:1–3. You can tell that Paul is choosing his words carefully here; drawing on and exhorting the authority of the Lord in his statements. “I say and testify in the Lord” The call is to pull the Ephesian church away from something it was found to be doing…”You must [NO LONGER] walk as the Gentiles do”. Paul then follows this up with clarifying statement of the ‘doing’ with “in the futility of their minds”. The unbeliever’s mind is futile in its ability to discern and comprehend the righteous way of living the ‘New Spirit/Creature’ in us (believers), is inspired to do.

When Paul talks of the Darkness in their understanding, it is the absence of light. So, all of the understanding draws from the darkness…this is bad news — think of the lawlessness of that. Adding on to this, the Gentiles are ‘alienated’ from the life of God. Why? Because of the ignorance that is in them; because of the hardness of their hearts. This hardness is because of callousness generated from refusing the Creator God over and over again. Rather than seeing an Almighty God as being the answer to all of their needs, they choose the sensuality of self-gratification and self-sufficiency. The last line leads us to believe that the unbeliever longs to bring impurity into the mainstream of acceptable behavior. It is amazing at how on the money this is in describing the craziness of what is happening in our own culture and society today.


I cannot just look at this passage and say that is not me. Although I am a child of God, and capable of leaning into the inner ‘new man’ by putting off the evil things of this world and putting on the obedience in Christ; I can fall…I am in my most dangerous place Spiritually if I stop crucifying the ‘old man’ even for one day. I think this warning and admonishment from Paul to the church at Ephesus should be a wake-up call to not only flee any ‘Gentile Behavior’, but to see the frivolousness of the worldly answers. I know myself, and I need to be in God’s Word EVERYDAY. I must be in a place of easy spontaneous prayer for God’s strength, wisdom, grace, and love so that my mind is saturated with the thoughts how to be more like HIs Son.

Today’s Psalm:

​ Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.

Psalms 37:1-2 [ESV]

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