Freedom In The Thought-Life – Part 2

Continuing…. 

In Ephesians 4:17 Paul writes:  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.  Here is the Gentile world, the lost world, our world, today.  They are walking ‘in the futility of their mind.’  Surely this sound like Romans 1: they became futile in their thinking.  This is an inward thing.  This is what is wrong with the world:  the vanity of its mind. 

In Ephesians 4:18 we are given the reason for this: 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.  So we are told that their understanding is darkened; that is an internal thing.  All of this flows from the basis of their rebellion against God.  It is exactly as Romans 1 explains it.  But after showing where ‘the gentiles’ stand, there comes verse 19, with its picture of men who have moved past feeling, They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. So again the order is the same; the internal, then the external.   

Now we are brought sharply to a contrast in verse 20: But that is not the way you learned Christ!  The word ‘learned,’ let us notice, is again an internal thing.   

This is exactly parallel to Romans 12, where in verse 2 we read ‘by the renewing of your mind.’  That is an internal thing, and so is this.  But Ephesians 4:22 is the outward:  put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires.   

The conversation here encompasses the whole set of life.  It is in itself an internal aspect.  Then it flows over into the external.  So this all rests upon verse 20, But that is not the way you learned Christ, which is an internal thing.  The internal thing has internal motion from it: first to internal results, and then to external results.  (con’t tomorrow). 

Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc

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