Bible Study Notes:

Old Self vs. New Self, continued:
Ephesians 4:22-28


These notes are from a transcript of the postings during Bible Study on Thursday Nights at 8 PM at Bible Study Chat at churchusa.com.
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Father God, we thank you for a beautiful day and we rejoice in You tonight as we open Your Word. Thank You Father, for the many blessings that You give us. Holy Spirit we invite you to be our teacher, and to implant the Word deeply into our spirits, hearts and minds.

satan we come against you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and make void all the plans to disrupt this study. We bind you and rebuke you and command you to leave in Jesus Name!

Father thank You for Your grace. Lord Jesus, we exalt Your Name and lift you up high, giving you all glory and honor and praise. AMEN Father give us a touch of your dunamis - dynamite - power tonight and refresh our weary bodies. Help us focus on You. In Jesus Name. AMEN and AMEN.

OK, last week we were talking about putting off the OLD man and putting on the NEW man in Christ Jesus, by the renewing of your minds.

Ephesians 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

So what is the "old self" or "old man"? Where did it come from and why do you have to get rid of it? Anyone want to make a guess? To get rid of it we first have to figure out what it is.

ThunderQueen - I think the old self is sin and sinful ways, the new self is created by God

In verse 22 Paul says "regarding your former way of life" the way you lived before you came to Christ. the self-serving self-enjoying self-promoting self, the self before salvation.

ThunderQueen - Its up to us to decide if we will follow the pull of our old sinful ways

See, when we are born again, born from above or born of the SPIRIT, we receive a recreated, brand new spirit inside, a spirit that is able to worship God in spirit and in truth. If we feed our spirit with the Word of God it grows stronger and stronger, and gives us the ability to overcome sin.

However, we have the same "old self" inside, being corrupted by deceitful desires, and we have to take control over that old self, and get rid of it. The point is following the sinful nature will keep the spirit from growing. That's why we have to "put off" the old self. In another place, Paul says, "kill it"! (Killing in a spiritual sense, of course!)

ThunderQueen - We have to respond to the new self's pull toward righteousness

Romans 6:12-13 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness

We will to put off the old self, but yield to the Holy Spirit's cleansing. Another way to say it, it is our decision to want to change and then God helps us to change.

Notice in the verse from Romans it says Do not OFFER the parts of your body to sin - that's an act of choice, BUT offer your body to Jesus.

ThunderQueen - We have to stop giving in to our sins and letting them take hold of our selves

This process of putting off the old and putting on the new is also called sanctification, holiness, cleansing. It is a cooperative effort between you and the Holy Spirit. As you yield to God, you become more like Him.

You don't kill your spirit, you kill you old self - your sin nature, by refusing to listen to it, refusing to feed its deceitful desires. You know if you quit feeding something, it dies. Paul said "to be made new in the attitude of your minds". The mind is the battleground where it all takes place. Normally, we pretty much go by our feelings in deciding what to do in life. "If it feels good do it". Of course, this often gets us into trouble, doesn't it? And then we feel guilty, and condemned, and depressed. Right?

Well, Jesus has made available a better way to live. We are not longer controlled by our feelings and are able not to obey them if they try to lead us in the wrong direction.

ThunderQueen - being a Christian is more than a religion, its a life style, to be Christ like

So before we became Christians, it was pretty much your emotions (feelings) controlled your behavior, and then your conscience and will objected to the behavior which causes guilt. Now we are able through Christ to reverse the process. When we study the Word, it teaches us how to act. So our will determines what we do. When we act in a righteous, right, or holy way, according to God's Word, then it produces good emotions. So now it's will - behavior - emotions. That's why Paul says "to be made new in the attitude of your minds". When you renew your mind to obey God's Word, it will produce good actions which in turn will produce good emotions.

The renewal of your mind is the key to both putting off the old self and putting on the new self. In fact, when you renew your mind with God's Word, it's almost automatic. As you fall more and more in love with Jesus and desire more and more to please Him, it will be easier to choose the right things His Word shows you to do.

When you aren't saved, you often do something that FEELS good that turns out to be very wrong. Emotions can be deceived - that's why you can't trust them! And if you did something like that, you need to ask Jesus for forgiveness and just learn from it.

Now the new self is "created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness". By ourselves we CANNOT please God, we CANNOT be righteous or holy. But IN JESUS, we are being made to be like God.

Sometimes when you obey God, it makes others mad, because either you don't do things their way, or you good actions convict them of sin. What I mean is that when we follow Jesus, sometimes others don't like it, not that you deliberately hurt them.

The point is - don't let your old self guide you - the old self that operates on feelings, that is deceived by desires, but renew your minds and put on the new self.

gifted - our soul (mind will and emotions) gets all caught up on itself instead of God.

Jesus said that offenses - things that hurt and upset you - WILL come. It's a part of life. Why does God allow it? To teach us lessons - of patience, longsuffering, forgiveness and love. Ok, let's go a little further. Paul is so practical. He gives a principle - put off old self, put on new - and then tells us how to do it. Christians are BECOMING like Christ - some are a lot closer than others!

gifted - Many Christians don't realize God is dealing with them personally, so they take it out on others. Pray for them. He is dealing big time with them..

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

Paul says THEREFORE. Whenever you see therefore, it refers to the previous passage. Since we did not come to know Christ through the futility of your thinking;, you came to know Him through being taught about Jesus. Therefore, since you were taught to put off the old self and put on the new self by renewing your minds by the Word

The Lord is responsible for his children, but sometimes they do not listen to the "easy" lessons, so sometimes He takes them through harder ones. Which seems to make them worse at first ... But the point is... we cannot change THEM. All we can do is with God's help, change OURSELVES. Don't focus on them, focus on your own heart.

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

And some of them AREN'T Christians - they are "wolves in sheep's clothing" and are sent by satan to PRETEND to be one of us to cause discouragement, rebellion, dissension, pain and doubt.

marie - Sometimes Christians hurt each other because the kisses of an enemy may be profuse, but faithful are the wounds of a friend.

sharon - if we do like Christ, we won't hurt one another; we will handle things with love and kindness, understanding , patience, longsuffering, all that God stuff. Its not what you say, it's how you say it.

Therefore - one way to put off the old man is to quit lying! To put on the new self by speaking truthfully to his neighbor. Why should we speak the truth? "we are all members of one body". Here's another answer to your questions, some Christians hurt others because they don't recognize that we are all part of ONE body.

sharon - speaking the truth with understanding, and kindness cause the truth shall set us FREE

Use wisdom. You don't have to blab everything you know, and what you do say that is negative should be "sandwiched" in love.

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Jesus is the Shepherd, the master of the sheep, the Head of His body. He is the one who reveals the sinners, heals the believer's heart and disciplines disobedient children IN HIS TIMING. IF we recognize that Jesus is the head of the body, then we will follow His lead. If we follow His lead, we will recognize that all believers in Him and part of us and treat them with grace and love.

That's a big IF though, some are not aware of this truth. But now YOU are aware of this truth - so how are YOU going to put it into action? Let's go on to verse 26:

Ephesians 4:26-27 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

Dealing with anger is a difficult thing, isn't it? It's not a sin to be angry - some things are worth getting mad over. Think about Jesus angrily driving the moneylenders out of the temple. When is being angry sinful?

Hieremias - God has never blamed us for our emotions, like anger. The sin is in not controlling them.

PDB - Abortion is a good thing to get mad at

ThunderQueen - Anger is an emotion, but sin is a choice, you can feel anger,but you can choose not to sin

Tal - We are supposed to get angry at the sin that they're committing, and not at them.

Right PDB, good example. But in becoming angry at abortion, there are right ways and wrong ways of expressing it. Bombing abortion clinics and killing people is WRONG!

Notice that Paul sets a time limit on expressing the emotion of anger - do not let the sun go down when you're angry. And he also says "do not give the devil a foothold". When offenses come, our natural reaction is to get angry and SHOW IT and we usually say things we regret later. The devil can get a foothold in a marriage through an argument and cause a divorce. He can get a foot hold in a parent/child conflict and create rebellion.

So anger is a natural emotion, and at times is justified, but in expressing it, you need to be careful that you don't give the devil a foothold, and that you don't hold it in. What would be a SINFUL way to express anger?

ThunderQueen - That is when they revert to the old self, or have never been rid of the old self - killing, stealing, lying, taking the Lords name in Vain

Hieremias - I think the best way to examine whether our anger is justified is to ask WHY we're getting angry. If it's only to satisfy personal feelings or taking out revenge, it's wrong. If the aim is to help another person, or defend the Lord God, it's right.

If we allow our anger to cause us to do things against the Word, it's sinful. I think a good cue that our anger is getting us in trouble is to speak in the "heat of the moment" yelling cussing blaming, etc.

James 1:19-20 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

This is really good advice - a lot of anger comes from hearing what we THINK someone said, or jumping to conclusions about what they meant. Take the time to listen, really hear, what the other one is saying. Be slow to speak. Ask questions about what the person meant before you jump in and get angry.

Hieremias - Exactly! I remember very distinctly that when I was a little child, my parents never spanked me out of blind rage. They ALWAYS sent me to my room for a while, let themselves cool down, THEN punished me. Maybe because the waiting was the worst part... LOL But it was so they knew what they were doing was out of love, not rage. (I deserved some of those spankings pretty good. *grin*)

And most importantly, be SLOW to get angry! I used to have a real problem with MY temper! It keep getting me in trouble! LOL I was FAST to get angry and man oh man, get out of my way when I do! I had to really ask God to help me a lot with this! One thing I realized is how selfish I was, to think I was always right, and that I had the RIGHT to take my temper out on others.

And it's a very humbling experience to ask forgiveness afterward. That too is a valuable lesson for us. You ALWAYS need to ask forgiveness for losing your temper and hurting others, and sometimes you need to make restitution.

ThunderQueen - but OT anger is an emotion, like happiness we can't help how we feel, but we can choose how we deal with it

Now when I feel that anger churning inside, feel the "heat" of it, I ask God to give me peace and pour a bucket of living water over my head to cool me down! AND I take a big swallow of it, and try really hard to cool off before I speak out.

Hieremias - I think we should look to our Perfect Example when considering this. Look at what God's anger was like. "For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for LIFE. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

Amasa - what if someone is deliberately hurting you, do you have a right to be angry?

Someone - was Jesus mad at Judas? was Jesus mad at those who were nailing Him to the cross?Father please forgive them for they know not what they do.

sharon - yes amasa but take to Jesus and he will fix it and I am a witness to that

Hieremias - Someone - Was He mad at Judas? That's a good question. I don't believe so. He knew what Judas was going to do. He knew what would come of it. But I think He pitied Judas more than anything.

Someone - For those who are hurting us we should pray for because they are inflicting pain on the children of God and they have to pay for it if they aren't saved...and forgive them as we want to be forgiven

Let's look at verse 28 for more practical advice on how to put off the old self and put on the new:

Ephesians 4:28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

Now I don't know how many of you were thieves before coming to Jesus, and I'm not asking for a show of hands! But realize that in the early church there were thieves who came to Jesus! Now I used to be closely acquainted with a thief and that helps me understand what this verse means. Most people who steal DON'T think they're doing anything wrong! They think that someone else "owes" them something - and it's ok to take what you want as long as you don't get caught.

Because it seems obvious to most of us that you should steal no longer! But Paul makes a point of this, and also that the thief "MUST work, doing something useful with his own hands". The thief I knew had a marked "aversion" to work! Thought everyone else should support him. But why should the thief now work, "that he may have something to share with those in need"! The thief needs to see others needs as more important than his own.

Remember to put off the old self, that is being corrupted by deceitful desires, and put on the new self, being renewed in mental attitudes, becoming like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Father God, bless your very patient hearers and help them put into practice what they have learned tonight! In Jesus Name Amen.

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned!
And put it into practice.

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