Put On Your New Clothes

Sermon for Sunday, January 7, 2017

Put On Your New Clothes

Introduction:

In Ephesians 5, Paul tells the church how to live the Christian life.  We are to live differently from what we see in the world.  We are to live or walk in a different way.

Ephesians 5:

[1] Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children [2] and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

This different way of living in Christ is sometimes described as putting off and putting on new clothes.

Galatians 3:

[26] So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, [27] for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

The verb “clothed yourselves” is used by Jesus to refer to literal clothing:

Matthew 6:

[25] Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Colossians 3:

[8] But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

[9] Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices [10] and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

[12] Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Examples of clothes to take off:

Ephesians 5:

[3] But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

[4] Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

1) “sexual immorality” (Πορνεία) means “every kind of sexual intercourse.”

2) “hint” means it literally should not be named among you.

3) “impurity” is often associated with sexual immorality (Galatians 5:19).

Galatians 5:

[19] The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;

4) “greed” is covetousness (Luke 12:15).  In the Greek lexicon, one definition is “insatiableness” which means “incapable of being satisfied.”

Like the Willie Nelson song titled “Luckenbach, Texas”:

We’ve been so busy
Keepin’ up with the Jones
Four car garage and we’re still building on
Maybe it’s time we got
Back to the basics of love

People get caught up in the rat race: “Buying things we don’t need to impress people we don’t know.”

5) “obscenity” is a rare word that can also be translated “indecency.”  The KJV and NASB translates it “filthiness.”

“Obscenity” refers to “indecent behavior, ugliness, or wickedness” (BADG).

Perhaps this word is associated with the two words that follow it (“foolish talk or coarse joking”).

6) “foolish talk or coarse joking” are tied together with a conjunction which indicates they are similar.

“Foolish talk” (μωρολογία) is silly talk.  Course joking is a word that refers to a negative kind of wit.
All three terms refer to a dirty mind expressing itself in vulgar conversation.

Perhaps these two things are tied to some of the above sins involving sexual immorality.

Note the point of verse 4: Do not joke about sex, but rather give thanks.

All of God’s gifts, including sex, are subjects for thanksgiving, rather than joking.  To joke about them is to degrade them.  To thank God for all blessings is a way to preserve their worth.

All of this is likely in mind in verses 11-12 of our text:

Ephesians 5:

[11] Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. [12] It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.

Ephesians 5:

[14] This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

[15] Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, [16] making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

[17] Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

1) “making the most of every opportunity” means we should make the best possible use of the circumstances of life.

Someone said, “There are no guarantees in life, only opportunities.”

Wise people make the most of their time (v. 16): “Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise an sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes.  No reward offered, for they are gone forever.”

2) “understand what the Lord’s will is” shows the importance of seeking God’s will rather than our own.

The point: Wise people seek to know the will of God for their lives.

J B Myers
jbmyers1@gmail.com

Books:
Faith and Addiction
Elders and Deacons
Life Choices