I was speaking from Eph4:17-27…And as I last spoke here in the “church” we are “Named” under a new name …that name is “Christian”; And that in bible it means for this Greek word used in bible “Cristianos”….It meant an adherent to Christ, or someone who walked with… or acted like Christ, or we would say a ”Christ like one”.
It was intended as a term of scorn by those who named the disciples of Jesus as Christians, but was considered a title, or name of honor by the Disciples of Christ themselves according to Vines bible dictionary.
And we are now still recognized by that name, and we should walk that way, to be recognized that way in this world as followers of Christ…And as an honor to be named that.
Paul also taught in (1Cor 11:1) that we should follow him as he followed Christ. This word “follow” in this 1st Corinthian verse though is actually the word we get our word “mimic” from, or “imitate”. So we should imitate Christ… as those called by this name Christian.
But I see that Paul wrote some things in Ephesians chapter four that we need to consider and that “we” have the responsibility to do for ourselves! READ Eph4:17-27…
Paul taught WE as Christians need to “put off” some things that may try to drag us down…or hold us back instead of allowing us to go and grow up in Christ!
I see He mentioned in verse 17. You are no longer to walk in the “futility” of YOUR mind!…A Mind devoid of truth and appropriateness, which is a depraved or a perverse mind in the bible….Being darkened in your understanding.
Why?… Eph4:18… Because of ignorance and hardness of heart they gave themselves over to sensuality and practice of every kind of impurity …and with “greediness”. (Opposite of generous… like our God is) (Ignorance=Not knowing, lacking knowledge!) Biblical definition of Hardness of heart= “hardness of heart because of a lack of moisture (lubricant); an obstinate, hard heart which lacks the oil of the Holy Spirit and hence implies rebellion – i.e someone refusing to be receptive (obedient) to God’s in working of faith.” (Helps Ministries word studies)
But vs 20 says and remember Paul here is speaking to the Christians of “the church” in Ephesus ….Paul said… YOU did not learn Christ in this way! If you what? … Have heard Him, and been taught in Him… Just as the Truth is in Jesus.
1)Jesus was always speaking grace and truth, John 1:14 says “He was word in flesh and that He was full of grace and Truth!”. Jesus was walking in grace and truth… Therefore “we” should be recognized as taught by Him…and also WALK in grace and truth…
And NOT be recognized by our old manner of life… but that we “lay aside the old self which is being corrupted in accordance with lusts of deceit. “…Deceit is something that gives a false impression by “appearance”, or statement, or influence…That is what the devil always does!… Devil is a liar! Devil always shows you lies or speaks lies!
2) And in (vs23-24) do what??… YOU be renewed in the spirit of your mind! …. (Goes with Rom12:2 read it!) Doing that which Romans 12:2 teaches… will let you do what’s next!
3)And ( vs24)
“PUT ON” THE NEW SELF which in the LIKENESS of God HAS BEEN created IN Righteousness and HOLINESS of THE TRUTH.
(VS25)THEREFORE LAYING ASIDE FALSEHOOD, SPEAK TRUTH! EACH ONE OF YOU! WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another!
And…Be angry…But sin not!
How to sin not?…It is not a sin to be angry at the devil! He is the one you can always be angry at without sin! And look he talks about devil in very next verse,
vs (27) AND do NOT “give” the devil an opportunity!
We as Christians “Christ like ones”….which we are able to be seen as… because by accepting Christ we are now saved by Christ…and we are made one in Christ… in us!…
(1Cor6:17…the person who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him!)…read that again slowly.
That is why you are considered a new creature in Christ, Christ made “your spirit” in you a New creature by joining your spirit to Him! ….And as He makes us free we always have choice! (Gal5:1)
Therefore “WE” are ONLY able to be kept from doing things in a Christ like manner when “WE” give the devil the opportunity!
The devil has no power over us anymore… unless “we” give it to him! …So Paul said …Don’t give it to him!
YOU are in Christ, one with Him…devil cannot make you do anything….YOU have to give him the opportunity! So Paul said renew your mind Why?
Because the mind is part of the “soul”….which is actually three parts… mind, will and emotions…Mind is listed first!
Your mind is NOT in the spirit man which is already one with Christ …That is what reading your bible does, because word is Spirit and life! (John6:63)…
The Word renews your mind to change “transform” your thinking… which controls your attitudes…And Your will and emotions …And we are to have this mind that is in Christ Jesus (Philip2:5,)
So by renewing the mind we can submit our soul…(our mind will and emotions) to the Spirit of Christ…. “in us”, and be led by the Spirit as God’s children….Because our “body” the temple will follow whoever is leading! Either the Spirit!… or the un-renewed Soul.
So renewing mind helps our attitude become like Christ. Which bible also teaches in…
Prov23;7-that as a man thinks in his heart …so is he.
But there is another part Paul mentions here in Ephesians beside renewing your mind….Which we know comes by reading the word of God.(Rom12:2)
But the other Part of this process of being Christ like…Is as James said: Must be doer of word not hearer only! You… have to take opportunities away from devil by “putting off old self!” And putting on New; As stated in Eph4 vs 24. Which it said…in the likeness of God …”has been” created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. And where is this created? ….IN you… in your sprit man…You are one with Christ! Read again. (1Cor6:17)
But you have to uncover him, and let him empower you to walk NOT like other gentiles as it said back in Eph4 verse 17. …But walk as you should….. like Christ who is in you now.
So we should practice here now ….together putting off something’s of our former self…. You see our Sr. Pastor King speaks of “deliverance prayer ” quite often… but many people do not realize that deliverance is putting off things of former self that the devil “use to have” control over when you were not saved!
But the devil has no power to control you any longer…because in Christ you were made free!
Gal 5:1 says for freedom sake Christ set us free!! ….Unless… YOU!…. give him control …because Christians can get deceived by him. Devil can only lie to you, or trick you…. deceive you into wrong thinking…which opens you to temptation and leads you to wrong actions… That is giving devil an opportunity.
That is why James 1:14-15 says… “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to “sinful actions.” And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”
So we need to accept we are saved and Christ Jesus is IN us… You and I “who believe”! And the word of God is truth and Has “all” power over the devil! So you can do what the bible says you can do. And overcome the temptations; …
Because YOU can receive what the bible says you can receive!…Starting from your position you have in Christ with freedom to choose! Freewill!
So deliverance is prayer that is asking Father to let loose, or to bind up (Mat18:18) with what you believe is your power to use, by declaring what Christ has ALREADY done for you on the cross… to make you free!
And that “you accept” what Christ has done…and you CAN NOW put off the old things though His power already given you….and walk in Christ who lives “in” you… by His Spirit which gives you the ability to do as Christ did!…And do greater things than He did also!…according to what John14:12 said!
Because He went to the Father and Father sent you His Holy Spirit!…The Spirit of the Son! (Gal4:6) ALL His anointing power dwells in you! Hallelujah!
So deliverance is putting off the things that the devil and his demons used against you in your past, and that he tries, or attempts to trip you with now.….
But NOW You have deliverance power within you! To use always! You are not blind to truth …Believers can see! Only Unbelievers are blind! (2Cor4:4).But we can be or remain ignorant of truth as Paul said in Eph 4:18 to Ephesians church!…by NOT seeking and renewing and transforming our mind in Truth!…by our NOT reading Word of God!
By the way deliverance is different than possessed…. being possessed of a devil would need an exorcism, which is very different than deliverance…
Exorcism is what is done when someone is “possessed” by the devil and or his demons that dwell in someone and actually “control you” completely…. But that cannot be for a Christian. We read it …Your spirit is one with Christ!
That is why you have YOUR mind free to “choose” to be Christ like…It is why YOU can make a choice ….you get to choose to exercise freewill to rid yourself of Satans influence;
Possessed people do not choose…they are controlled… they are fully under Satan’s power and rule, his authority. But…Because YOU are OWNED …Possessed by God! (1Pet2:9 says YOU are Gods own possession)
You were purchased by Christ’s blood! Now YOU always have choice! Now YOU are under Gods rule and power and authority of His kingdom…
But you as a Christian CAN be “deceived”…. You CAN be tricked into giving the devil a place to work in your life, sometimes giving the devil a place where you can be “oppressed” by him….. but these are all different words meaning different things…
That is why Paul is teaching the Ephesians they can “Put off the old man”, and the old nature. Because WE as Christians have control, and the power to do so to be delivered, and remain delivered;
Paul was teaching them they can make a choice right now, that they see clearly to DO the right thing, and do what Christ did… Use the authority given them by God and “act like”…”put on” the likeness of God.
…meaning Act like Christ who imitated the Father! And USE the authority given to them… those who believe in Jesus to GIVE NO PLACE to the devil!
When you put off…you cast off something. You get rid of something that does not belong with you now.
So tonight we CAN pray some “putting off prayers” TO DELIVER YOU!…FROM ANY PLACE DEVIL tries to use DECEPTION AND TRICKS on your mind to gain a place, or an opportunity against you.
…So we are going to cast off some things and remove opportunities the devil has tried to have as a place in our life. And Give NO place to the devil! (Eph4:27) Amen!
Because we are granted ALL power and authority in heaven and earth through Jesus Christ name !
And He IS greater in us than he that is in the world! Amen!
You can start by praying That God would forgive you of all sin and unrighteousness and then pray Eph3:16-20 then say I now ask ______, (anything else you need cast off to be done!) Amen!
And keep asking, Seeking and knocking until you walk in Christ’s victory!! Seeking, and knocking is part of remaining! And if you remain in His word truth will set you free! (John8:31-32)
Ast. Pastor Ernie Harpster