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Ephesians 4:20-24


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Father God,


I don't know how to start out this morning, and I was just sitting here telling You, that if I hafta sit here all day until I feel Your hand move over my heart and my mind, then I'll just sit here all day...


Last night I had trouble going to sleep because You were so on my mind and filling my heart, asking You to please let me sleep and get rest...and then this morning when I woke up and looked at the clock hoping that it was later in the morning (close to the time my alarm would go off), it ended up being an hour early. I'm laughing now, but it's so cute how I groaned and said Lord, are You going to let me get some sleep? I go to sleep with You filling my mind and heart, and I'm waking up earlier than *I* want to, with You on my mind and heart...thirsting for You, wanting You, needing You...


So here I sit, 2 1/2 hours later with joy in my heart because I'm so glad I've been able to spend this time with You...


Lord, let the words I write, let the things that fill my mind and my heart, be from You...I'm in awe as I walk into the 'holy of holies', which is Your Word, which You have written, and stand in Your Holy presence. Fill this study with Your presence Father, and may Your Holy Spirit find rest in each of our hearts.



20. But ye have not so learned Christ;


Calvin writes, "But ye have not. He now draws a contrast of a Christian life, so as to make it evident how utterly inconsistent it is with the character of a godly man to defile himself regardlessly with the abominations of the Gentiles. Because the Gentiles walk in darkness, therefore they do not distinguish between right and wrong; but those on whom the truth of God shines ought to live in a different manner. That those to whom the vanity of the senses is a rule of life, should yield themselves up to base lusts, is not surprising; but the doctrine of Christ teaches us to renounce our natural dispositions. He whose life differs not from that of unbelievers, has learned nothing of Christ; for the knowledge of Christ cannot be separated from the mortification of the flesh."


Clarke comments, "But ye have not so learned Christ] Ye have received the doctrines of Christianity, and therefore are taught differently; ye have received the Spirit of Christ, and therefore are saved from such dispositions. Some would point and translate the original thus: Æumeiv de ouc outwv? emaqete ton criston? But ye are not thus; ye have learned Christ."


Henry writes, " These Christians must distinguish themselves from such Gentiles: You have not so learned Christ, v. 20. It may be read, But you not so; you have learned Christ. Those who have learned Christ are saved from the darkness and defilement which others lie under; and, as they know more, they are obliged to live in a better manner than others. It is a good argument against sin that we have not so learned Christ. Learn Christ! Is Christ a book, a lesson, a way, a trade? The meaning is, "You have not so learned Christianity—the doctrines of Christ and the rules of life prescribed by him. Not so as to do as others do."


It's amazing Lord Jesus, that as I learn more about You, as You plow up my heart, the less I want from the world. I am complete and feel sufficient with just You. I still go about, attending to the duties of my days, and in a miraculous type of manner, I'm able to accomplish more 'being in Your presence in my heart' than I ever was with turning You on and off like a light switch. The more my heart cries out for You, the more I want and need. You and only You...and You somehow, in a way that I don't know how to put into words, bless the fruit of my labors, guiding me through my days.


21. If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:


Calvin writes, "If ye have heard him. To excite their attention and earnestness the more, he not only tells them that they had heard Christ, but employs a still stronger expression, ye have been taught in him, as if he had said, that this doctrine had not been slightly pointed out, but faithfully delivered and explained.


As the truth is in Jesus. This contains a reproof of that superficial knowledge of the gospel, by which many are elated, who are wholly unacquainted with newness of life. They think that they are exceedingly wise, but the apostle pronounces it to be a false and mistaken opinion. There is a twofold knowledge of Christ, — one, which is true and genuine, — and another, which is counterfeit and spurious. Not that, strictly speaking, there are two kinds; but most men falsely imagine that they know Christ, while they know nothing but what is carnal. In another Epistle he says,


“If any man be in Christ, let him be a new creature.”

(2 Corinthians 5:17.)


So here he affirms that any knowledge of Christ, which is not accompanied by mortification of the flesh, is not true and sincere."


Oh gosh Father God, WORDS scare me to death...I don't want words, I don't want pat sayings, I don't want profound expositions of Your Word that are nothing more than mere words. I want the living, breathing, pure, unadulterated Gospel of Jesus to permeate all that I've known and been, and birth with a cosmic explosion in my heart and my mind, Your Truth. I've been telling You that I have been feeling like a little girl that is coming into Your presence and I'm UPSET. With all the passion that lies in my heart, I tell You over and over and over again, I will not settle for less. I want it ALL or I want none. I don't even know where these words come from sometimes, except that they are the roots that You have planted in my heart and I just want to rail towards You and say, 'give me more Lord, teach me more Father, birth all of this great expanse into the pit of my soul...make it real, erase any 'word' and make it Your living, breathing, fertile Truth.' I know I sound stupid trying to put this into words for others to read but YOU know the intensity of my heart as I write this, You know it's real, and I know it's been planted there by You. This is all about You...Your love and Your glory have placed a spark in my heart and for whatever reason that I'll never understand, I'm ready. There's a fire that is increasing in my heart so I just ask that You fan those flames, that You make it a hot, roaring fire, that consumes me and burns up anything that is not pleasing to You Lord.


I never thought I'd say those words, I never thought I'd ever want such a thing, but Father God, You know I do, so that is my prayer for today...


Clark shares, "If so be that ye have heard him] eige, Seeing that, since indeed, ye have heard us proclaim his eternal truth; we have delivered it to you as we received it from Jesus."


Henry comments, "If so be, or since, that you have heard him (v. 21), have heard his doctrine preached by us, and have been taught by him, inwardly and effectually, by his Spirit." Christ is the lesson; we must learn Christ: and Christ is the teacher; we are taught by him. As the truth is in Jesus. This may be understood two ways: either, "You have been taught the real truth, as held forth by Christ himself, both in his doctrine and in his life." Or thus, "The truth has made such an impression on your hearts, in your measure, as it did upon the heart of Jesus." The truth of Christ then appears in its beauty and power, when it appears as in Jesus."


22. That ye put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;


Calvin writes, "That ye put off. He demands from a Christian man repentance, or a new life, which he makes to consist of self-denial and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Beginning with the first, he enjoins us to lay aside, or put off the old man, employing the metaphor of garments, which we have already had occasion to explain. The old man, — as we have repeatedly stated, in expounding the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and other passages where it occurs, — means the natural disposition which we bring with us from our mother’s womb. In two persons, Adam and Christ, he describes to us what may be called two natures. As we are first born of Adam, the depravity of nature which we derive from him is called the Old man; and as we are born again in Christ, the amendment of this sinful nature is called the New man. In a word, he who desires to put off the old man must renounce his nature. To suppose that the words Old and New contain an allusion to the Old and New Testaments, is exceedingly unphilosophical.


Concerning the former conversation. To make it more evident that this exhortation to the Ephesians was not unnecessary, he reminds them of their former life. “Before Christ revealed himself to your minds, the old man reigned in you; and therefore, if you desire to lay him aside, you must renounce your former life.” Which is corrupted. He describes the old man from the fruits, that is, from the wicked desires, which allure men to destruction; for the word, corrupt, alludes to old age, which is closely allied to corruption. Let us beware of considering the deceitful lusts, as the Papists do, to mean nothing more than the gross and visible lusts, which are generally acknowledged to be base. The word includes also those dispositions which, instead of being censured, are sometimes applauded, — such as ambition, cunning, and everything that proceeds either from self-love or from want of confidence in God."


Wow Lord, that is, at least in part, what is going on with me lately. Christ is revealing Himself to my mind and I find myself as if I'm standing on my front porch, running at a fevered pace, more than willing to throw over that railing, all the things I've collected all my life. It's as if I'm taking armfuls of 'stuff' and throwing them up in the air, saying noooooooooooooo...no more, I want this no more. I'm not feeling mourning, I'm not even really too scared most times. The more I throw over that railing, the freer I feel, the more joy and peace I feel in my soul, the less I want the past, the more I want You.


Clarke writes, "That ye put off] And this has been one especial part of our teaching, that ye should abandon all these, and live a life totally opposite to what it was before.


The old man] See the note on Rom. vi. 6, and especially the notes on Rom. xiii. 13, 14.


Which is corrupt] The whole of your former life was corrupt and abominable; ye lived in the pursuit of pleasure and happiness; ye sought this in the gratification of the lusts of the flesh; and were ever deceived by these lusts, and disappointed in your expectations."


Wow Lord, why did it take me so long to get here? I'm just sitting here thinking about the uphill struggle that I've been going through these past couple of years, stumbling and falling more often than I stood. I keep trying to climb with all these things on my back and it was so incredibly laborious. And then for whatever reason, I noticed Your Spirit moving in my heart, stirring it with depth and peace and beauty. I finally got to that point on that mountain where I finally understood that I either had to keep those things on my back and go back down to the foot of that mountain, because I knew I'd never make it to the top, where You are, with them strapped against me. So, that faith You talk so much about in Your Word, that little word faith that I don't fully comprehend in my mind...well Lord, I don't really even know if it was so much faith for me, that allowed me to start pitching those things off my back as it was my day of reckoning, where I had to make the decision to trust. Would I trust You or not? That's what it was for me Lord, it was trust. So when I made that decision to trust You, without knowing, that I started to take things off my back and lay them down on the side of that mountain. And each thing I took off, gave me that much more strength to take one step higher, towards You. And here I find myself, feeling like a girl full of glee, in my heart going "weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...yesssssssssssssssssssssssss"...Pitch, pitch, pitch, throw, throw, throw. I don't want all that 'stuff' on my back anymore Lord...I want You more. Your yolk really IS lighter, Your burden is far easier to bear and I never, never knew, till now.


Henry shares, "Another branch of the general exhortation follows in those words, That you put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man, &c., v. 22-24. "This is a great part of the doctrine which has been taught you, and which you have learned." Here the apostle expresses himself in metaphors taken from garments. The principles, habits, and dispositions of the soul must be changed, before there can be a saving change of the life. There must be sanctification, which consists of these two things:— (1.) The old man must be put off. The corrupt nature is called a man, because, like the human body, it consists of divers parts, mutually supporting and strengthening one another. It is the old man, as old Adam, from whom we derive it. It is bred in the bone, and we brought it into the world with us. It is subtle as the old man; but in all God's saints decaying and withering as an old man, and ready to pass away. It is said to be corrupt; for sin in the soul is the corruption of its faculties: and, where it is not mortified, it grows daily worse and worse, and so tends to destruction. According to the deceitful lusts. Sinful inclinations and desires are deceitful lusts: they promise men happiness, but render them more miserable, and if not subdued and mortified betray them into destruction. These therefore must be put off as an old garment that we should be ashamed to be seen in: they must be subdued and mortified. These lusts prevailed against them in their former conversation, that is, during their state of unregeneracy and heathenism."


23. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;


My heart is filling with more joy this morning Father God, because I'm beginning to see and comprehend what You are doing in my life, as I read Your Word. It's all there Lord, it's all there. *darlene smacks her forehead...duh*


Calvin writes, "And be renewed. The second part of the rule for a devout and holy life is to live, not in our own spirit, but in the Spirit of Christ. But what is meant by — the spirit of your mind? I understand it simply to mean, — Be renewed, not only with respect to the inferior appetites or desires, which are manifestly sinful, but with respect also to that part of the soul which is reckoned most noble and excellent. And here again, he brings forward to view that Queen which philosophers are accustomed almost to adore. There is an implied contrast between the spirit of our mind and the Divine and heavenly Spirit, who produces in us another and a new mind. How much there is in us that is sound or uncorrupted may be easily gathered from this passage, which enjoins us to correct chiefly the reason or mind, in which we are apt to imagine that there is nothing but what is virtuous and deserves commendation."


Clarke shares, "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind] Their old mode of living was to be abandoned; a new one to be assumed. The mind is to be renovated; and not only its general complexion, but the very spirit of it; all its faculties and powers must be thoroughly, completely, and universally renewed. Plautus uses a similar expression describing deep distress, and answerable to our phrase innermost soul:-Paupertas, pavor territat mentem animi.


Poverty and dread alarm my innermost soul. Epid., l. 519."


Henry comments, "The new man must be put on. It is not enough to shake off corrupt principles, but we must be actuated by gracious ones. We must embrace them, espouse them, and get them written on our hearts: it is not enough to cease to do evil, but we must learn to do well. "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind (v. 23); that is, use the proper and prescribed means in order to have the mind, which is a spirit, renewed more and more."


I agree with Henry, but think there's a little more depth to what he writes. I just read it and it filled me with dread...'it is not enough to shake off...we must be actuated...it is not enough to cease to do evil, but we must learn to do well'...


Perhaps it's just me, but the way I'm reading that makes it feel like work , that *I* hafta accomplish 'something' and I already KNOW I'll fail trying to 'be good, do well...'


For me, at least what I'm experiencing that is alive in my heart is that I have made a decision...I have taken that one thing that God has said is mine (forgive me and correct me Father if I'm not understanding this correctly), which is my will, and I have, on my own accord, given it freely to Him, letting Him take control, letting Him be the Boss, trusting Him with that, which He gave me to begin with, which was my physical life that encompasses my mind, soul, heart and will.


What I'm doing is pressing, pressing, pressing into the Lord, begging Him at times to protect me externally, and also from this sinful flesh in my life. The enemy worked hard to keep me blind, and between the enemy and me, myself and I, I was pretty buried. So, I know the enemy is getting really ticked off at what the Almighty God is doing in my life, that I'm asking Him and begging Him to do.


But THAT'S the point for me...HE is doing it, all I'm doing is asking from the bottom of my heart to pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeee do it, pressing closer to Him in my prayers, in my heart, by studying His Word. This is HIS work, not mine. I can't 'make myself' into anything other than things that break my heart. I'm just that extreme of a person. But HE is exceedingly able and is accomplishing all that, and more.


I know this sounds infantile at best, but I'm just trusting Him, that He will teach me, He will mature me, He will protect me, He He He He He...it's His power, His glory, His transformation, His bride, His banquet table, His heavenlies...it's all His. So yes, Lord...fill me with You...let Your Holy Spirit that You promised me, and us, find rest in my soul and reside there, to do the work You have sent Him to do.


24. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.


In Zechariah 3, Joshua stands before the Lord in filthy, dirty rags. The Lord says:


1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"

3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes."

Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you."


5 Then I said, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.


6 The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua: 7 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.


8 " 'Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9 See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes [c] on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.


10 " 'In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree,' declares the LORD Almighty."


And there I stood before the Lord, with satan standing at my right side, throwing the most vile and truthful accusations against me. The enemy was attempting to excite the justice of God in his condemnation against me. It was GOD that rebuked satan, by HIS power...GOD has chosen me, and you, and has pulled us out of the burning pit of hell. So there I am, dressed in filthy rags, which is/was my sinful life and the angel of the Lord said to take the dirty rags off, to let go of the sin in my life. And then, The Lord said, He, Himself has stated that HE has taken away my sin...NOT me...Jesus took away my sin...HE will clothe me in HIS righteousness. The Lord even said there that that occassion was symbolic of the times that lay ahead....the days that we live in today because God really DID take away the sins of this land in one, single day, with the death of His Son, on the Cross at Calvery. Jesus IS the main branch, and I really believe that we are "sitting under His vine and fig tree" by reading His Word, fellowshipping with Him.


Calvin writes, "And that ye put on the new man. All that is meant is, “Be renewed in the spirit, or, be renewed within or completely, — beginning with the mind, which appears to be the part most free from all taint of sin.” What is added about the creation, may refer either to the first creation of man, or to the second creation, which is effected by the grace of Christ. Both expositions will be true. Adam was at first created after the image of God, and reflected, as in a mirror, the Divine righteousness; but that image, having been defaced by sin, must now be restored in Christ. The regeneration of the godly is indeed — as we have formerly explained — nothing else than the formation anew of the image of God in them. There is, no doubt, a far more rich and powerful manifestation of Divine grace in this second creation than in the first; but our highest perfection is uniformly represented in Scripture as consisting in our conformity and resemblance to God. Adam lost the image which he had originally received, and therefore it becomes necessary that it shall be restored to us by Christ. The design contemplated by regeneration is to recall us from our wanderings to that end for which we were created.


In righteousness. If righteousness be taken as a general term for uprightness, holiness will be something higher, or that purity which lies in being devoted to the service of God. I am rather inclined to consider holiness as referring to the first table, and righteousness to the second table, of the law, as in the song of Zacharias,


“That we may serve him in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our life.” (Luke 1:74,75.)


Plato lays down the distinction correctly, that holiness (ὁσιότης) lies in the worship of God, and that the other part, righteousness, (δικαιοσύνη,) bears a reference to men. The genitive, of truth, (τὢς αληθείας,) is put in the place of an adjective, and refers to both terms; so that, while it literally runs, in righteousness and holiness of truth, the meaning is, in true righteousness and holiness. He warns us that both ought to be sincere; because we have to do with God, whom it is impossible to deceive."


Clarke comments, "Put on the new man] Get a new nature; for in Christ Jesus-under the Christian dispensation, neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision, hut a new creation. Therefore ye must be renewed in the spirit of your mind.


Which after God is created in righteousness] Here is certainly an allusion to the creation of man. Moses tells us, Gen. i. 27, that God created man in his own image; that is, God was the model according to which he was formed in the spirit of his mind. St. Paul says here that they should put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness, or, osiothti thv alhqeiav, in the holiness of truth.


Both certainly refer to the same thing, and the one illustrates the other.


From the apostle we learn what Moses meant by the image of God; it was righteousness and the truth of holiness. See the note on Gen. i. 26. It is not this or the other degree of moral good which the soul is to receive by Jesus Christ, it is the whole image of God; it is to be formed kata qeou, according to God; the likeness of the Divine Being is to be traced upon his soul, and he is to bear that as fully as his first father Adam bore it in the beginning."


And finally, Henry comments, "And that you put on the new man, v. 24. By the new man is meant the new nature, the new creature, which is actuated by a new principle, even regenerating grace, enabling a man to lead a new life, that life of righteousness and holiness which Christianity requires. This new man is created, or produced out of confusion and emptiness, by God's almighty power, whose workmanship it is, truly excellent and beautiful. After God, in imitation of him, and in conformity to that grand exemplar and pattern. The loss of God's image upon the soul was both the sinfulness and misery of man's fallen state; and that resemblance which it bears to God is the beauty, the glory, and the happiness, of the new creature. In righteousness towards men, including all the duties of the second table; and in holiness towards God, signifying a sincere obedience to the commands of the first table; true holiness in opposition to the outward and ceremonial holiness of the Jews. We are said to put on this new man when, in the use of all God's appointed means, we are endeavouring after this divine nature, this new creature. This is the more general exhortation to purity and holiness of heart and life."


Heavenly Father,


Yanno, recently I've been thinking about this warrior heart of mine. Thinking about the intensity with which I love my children...thinking about how one of the jokes with the children is "don't tick my mama off", because when I feel someone is doing my children wrong, this ridiculously intense emotion erupts out of me like a volcano and I stand in front of them and DARE anyone to go further. It has embarassed them, and I guess it is a trifle over board, but it's because of how much I love them and want to protect them.


I was thinking about all of that and thinking how I want to feel that way about You. And I realize that I don't know You as well as I know my children, so I've been asking You to reveal Yourself to me, to show me who You are, to teach me because I want to love You even more than I love them...


So these past couple of days I'm getting pinhole glimpses into Who You are. And those pinhole glimpses are setting my soul on wings. I was just thinking about how if I were up in heaven right now, I'd be running all around the place, bursting through people's doors that are already home with You, and with much fever and intensity, saying "Did you know? Can you believe it? Oh my gosh, I never knew! Isn't this the most AWEsome thing you could ever imagine? This walk with Jesus is leading me to the Father's Throne and oh my my my myyyyyyyyyyy..."


I'd tear out of that house and burst into the next, whether it be Moses, or Paul or Peter or John Smith, and as I'd go flying out of their houses, and into the next, I could just imagine them pealing with laughter because YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! They know! And their hearts sing for gladness because now I'm beginning to learn and to know...and i can just imagine my Heavenly Father sitting on His Throne with a tender and heart felt smile on His face as I go rushing through heaven exclaiming this truth that is beginning to grow in my heart...


And then, I think about what if I were to do that here, on earth? What would be people's reception. How would the people in His Church respond? Would they find me a lunatic, or unscriptural? Would they feel embarassment at watching a 47 year old woman squeal from the center of her heart over the love that is blooming inside for her Savior?


I think there is some that would know Father...I think that there would be some, perhaps a few, that would revel in Your Glory, giving You praise that another one of Your children has come home. But I also think Lord, that there would be many, who wouldn't understand, like I didn't understand. I think there would be many in Your Church who would be a little uncomfortable with it all. I don't expect them to react and to experience it exactly like I am, because I am unique to You, and You are doing exactly what is perfect in Your sight, in my life....just as You will do exactly what is perfect in their lives, because of how uniquely You have made them too.


Father, pour out Your essence of Your Spirit into all our hearts. As we step into Your presence through Your Word, please flood our lives with Your grace Father, Your favor, Lord. Your favor is so incredibly and intensely sweet. Break whatever seeks to keep us bound and reveal the glory of Your favor.


In Jesus Name,

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Praise God. Our Heavenly Father, I simply agree with Darlene's prayers and the desires that You have put into her heart. More, Lord, more. We thank You Father for Your goodness and Your cleansing by Your very hand.


One scripture comes to mind. It's been part of the 'fabric' of my being for the last several weeks and a focus of prayer simply because it is a promise from God Almighty.


It's James 1:21 'Therefore, putting aside all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted/engrafted which is able to save your souls'.


The word used there for 'word' is logos. I'd always been taught that logos meant 'written word of God' (as in the Bible). Not so. It means 'essence', or 'concept' or 'idea' or 'reasoning'or 'thought' behind the spoken word (rhema). It is the very essence of the thoughts of God Almighty. As we put aside all filthiness and uncleanness and what remains of wickedness, with great humility we receive the gift of the very mind of Christ and His logos essence, his thoughts, that have the potential power (able=dunamis which is the root word for unexploded dynamite) to save (make whole, complete, heal) our souls (memories, thoughts, emotions). It is indeed a transforming work.

And I believe you're right on the money about it being His work producing His fruit. 'I am the Vine, you are the branches, you can do nothing without Me'. The very vine of His essence engrafts itself around our souls and infuses His Life (abundant fruitful Life) into our very 'self' and transforms it. Life from death. Life wins. As we receive that sap to flow through the branches, His fruit is the natural result. We simply give away freely what He gives to us. And His Kingdom grows to His great Glory. And the gates of Hell will not prevail against it to keep people blind and in bondage. Praise God.

Father, we simply agree with Darlene's prayers and ask You to multiply these desires into Your entire Bride. Let us dance with You in complete intimacy as You lead us.

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