The latter half of Ephesians 4 makes it clear that spiritual growth happens primarily within community, as you interact with others. Iron sharpens iron.
It takes a grinding wheel to sharpen a blade, and so one person sharpens the character of another. Proverbs 27:17, TPT
This is one of the purposes of being together as The Church, we sharpen each other. Our Christian “walk” (in other words, your daily life) is to be characterized by word and actions that reveal people who are made anew in Jesus, who have abandoned our old sinful selves.
|The source of conflict–|
THE OLD MAN
|The solution to conflict–|
THE NEW MAN
|Hopelessly confused, dark-minded wanderers with closed minds and hardened hearts (17-18)||Chop down the old way and throw them in the fire. Let the Spirit renew your minds and hearts (20-23)|
|Without shame, indulge in pleasure doing whatever you want, whenever you want (19).||Return to how you were created, to be in the image of God, righteous and holy ((24)|
|Tell lies to everyone (25).||Tell the truth, for we are all one family (25).|
|Express your anger and continue to think about it, dwell in it, giving the evil power (26-27)||Practice self-control and reease your anger quickly with the Spirit’s help, so the devil has no control over you (26-27)|
|Steal, take what you want (28)||Work hard, share generously (28)|
|Make your words as damaging as sticks and stones (29).||Speak good and helpful words of encouragement to all those around you (29).|
|Don’t worry about what God wants, live however you feel like living at the moment, give in to your every desire (30).||The Holy Spirit live in you (since you chose to believer) and His presence shows that you are a member of the family of God, an heir of Christ. Live in that truth (30).|
|Practice bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slander, and evil behavior (31).||Practice kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness. In other words, act toward others as God has acted toward you (32).|
Stated in theological terms, after salvation comes the process of sanctification. We don’t accept Christ and, “kazaam! we are new” just like magic. Growing in Christ is not a once-and-done renewal. It requires a constant choosing to be honed and shaped, a relentless submission to God’s grndstone, a prolonged purification process, that grows our new person in Christ. The Holy Spirit resides in us, and we need to allow Him more and more access to the deep recesses of our hearts, minds, and lives so that His light shines through us. We must subjugate ourselves to God and become more like Him.
Pray with me. Lord, bring me to my knees as I lay myself down as a living sacrifice. With you help, let me honor and glorify you in my life. Amen.
I was listening to music as I added the pictures above into my blog post, and this is the song that came on, “Lead Me to the Cross,” by Hillsong. It’s no coincidence that it is the perfect song.