Principle Five

The Believer’s new life is lived in a new way as a new person, growing, by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, in righteousness, holiness, and understanding of what God’s will is.

 

[The following scripture passages and questions are here to guide you in your thinking. The questions are not answered.  If you are truly seeking, you will sense God guiding you.  You will see and understand those things which are most needful for you.  And, most importantly, you will know that God cares for you.]

Ephesians 4:17-20 “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.  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.  They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.  But this not the way you learned Christ!”

Question:  Unbelievers of this world are described as having “futile” thoughts.  Define the word “futile.”  (Look it up in a dictionary.)

Question:  This passage describes the result of living a life of unbelief.  Do you believe this is an accurate description of the lifestyle of the unbelievers that you encounter?

Question:  (True or False)  The believer can please the Lord and unbelievers at the same time.

4:22-24   “ …put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and  be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and  put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Question:  Read Galatians 2:19-20.  Does this passage help you to understand the importance of “putting on the new self”?

Question:  (True or False) “Putting on the new self” is accomplished by being renewed in the spirit of your mind. (see Romans 12:1-2)

Ephesians 5:1-2  “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Question:  (True or False)  In order for the new believer to grow spiritually, he/she must learn to imitate other believers.

Question:  (Select the wrong answers.)  What is the sign that a believer is imitating God?

  1.   walking in love;
  2.   participating in church activities;
  3.   knowing doctrine;
  4.   giving money to the church organization.

Read Ephesians 5:3-7.

Question: Do the things described in this passage describe the unbelievers in your community?  How about church members?

Question:  God is love and tolerates this kind of behavior as long as the person is basically good.  (True or False)

5:7-10  “Therefore do not associate with them; for at one time you were darkness,  but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.”

Question:  What does it mean to “walk as children of light”?

5:18-21  “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Question:  When a believer turns away from the world’s delights, does he/she experience a boring and joyless life?

Ephesians 6:10-11  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

Question:  (Select the correct answer)  In order to combat evil, the Lord requires the believer to:

  1.   be bold.
  2.   to conquer by his/her own strength.
  3.   create tactics to defeat evil.
  4.   put on the whole armor of God and stand against the evil.

Read Ephesians 6:13-18.

Question:  List the pieces of armor and explain their individual importance to the believer when combating evil.

Summary:

The believer’s new life is lived in a new way.  The temptation is to try to accomplish the Christian walk with the old self’s good intentions, strength, and tactics.  These must not be trusted because God only “gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:57).  It is not our flesh that conquers: “This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.  And who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5)

Learning anything new is uncomfortable at first, but, after time, the new life in Christ is not only comfortable but very satisfying.  Keep your eyes on Jesus.  Trust in your Bible. Pray. Be patient because:

“…He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

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Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission.  All rights reserved.