We just finished reading how we should “Put on [our] new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24). When we become Christians, we are called “new creations.”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV
Our passage today highlights what being a new creation practically looks like.
First, those of us who are new creations with a new nature are honest people. Paul reasons that since we are created to be like God, “truly righteous and holy,” then we should “stop telling lies” and even extends this to “quit stealing” for those who are dishonest thieves. If you have been transformed through the power of the Gospel, then you should be honest. Lies are of the devil. He is called the “father of lies.”
Second, people with a new nature are not sinfully angry. Paul exhorts the Ephesians to not “sin by letting anger control you” (Ephesians 4:26). I love how the NLT puts this passage. We can see how we are not to let anger control us and to not hold grudges because this “gives a foothold to the devil.” Holding grudges keeps us in captivity when we are called to live freely.
Lastly, new creation people are to be kind and compassionate in speech and action. Paul tells the Ephesians to not “use foul or abusive language” and to “get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” We are to be a people who are “kind to each other” and speak words that are “good and helpful.” In fact, when our words and thoughts are full of bitterness, we grieve the Holy Spirit. I always think about this passage when someone cuts me off in traffic (talk about conviction!).
We are to be a people marked by our honesty, compassion, and level-headedness in frustrating situations because “God through Christ has forgiven” us.
When you examine your life, are you someone that loves his neighbor as himself?
(Be honest before you answer that one!)
Who is one person in your life that you may need to call and apologize to after reading this passage?
Take some time in prayer today to ask God to help you to be compassionate and honest with others.
By: Lucas Taylor — West Campus Pastoral Ministry Apprentice