Ephesians 4:17- 24 — We Are Who We Wear
“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:17-24
First, we understand that Gentilesare all those who are not Jewish, any group of people not a descendant of the offspring of the sons of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, the third patriarch, with Abraham and Isaac, of the Jews. But, in a broader sense those who were members of the early church were not included in the reference to Gentiles because they were considered along with the Jews who had accepted Christ as Messiah to be a part of the Church, the Body of Christ. They were Gentilesby birth but they were set apart from other Gentiles by their faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, he says, “that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk…” Though you are Gentiles by human birth, by rebirth of the Spirit you are no longer subject to the same deception and darkness that they walk in because of their ignorance of God.
Other Gentileswho have not heard or accepted the message and Spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are not born again and therefore are subject to only one source of what they have chosen or invented to know of God, and that source is false. It is the vanity of their minds.
In other words, without the knowledge of God revealed by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit the human mind in its fallen state has no true concept of God, only what their corrupt imagination can create.
Those whose source for wisdom and understanding is only themselves and those like themselves, who do not know God or His Word are in no way led by His Spirit. Their understanding is darkened. Because of their ignorance their hearts are blind. Everything they desire and everything in which they find temporal pleasure draws them ever closer to their destruction. Because they have become insensitive to the debilitating effects of these things on the soul and body, so they greedily pursue lasciviousness and uncleanness.
In them, the beauty, purity and Godly ordained pleasure and joy of sexual fulfillment in the bond of marriage is reduced to sensual degeneracy with any and all kinds of sexual partners engaging in all kinds of filthy behavior among themselves and even with brute beasts. Sin like a tasteless slow acting poison mixed with a sweetened beverage, they drink thirstily more and more until the effects begin to manifest themselves and without supernatural intervention it is soon becomes too late to reverse the trend, so death comes swiftly.
Everything that men seek to add meaning, purpose, pleasure or fulfillment to life apart from Godly righteousness and obedience, can never satisfy and never bring the happiness or lasting pleasure men so desperately seek. In vain they expend all their precious life capital, their youth, their strength, their talents and unique abilities, their reason and rational thought capabilities to justify themselves with things and pursuits they instinctively, in the deepest part of their hearts know to be a lie because the devil, the liar, has captivated and seduced them into it.
But this is not the way of those who know and follow after Christ to walk in obedience to righteousness, denying the sinful self and hungering for the truth to know it and understand it and to live by it in everything in every way in thought, in words and in actions.
In learning to live as Christ we put off the old garments of sin, the old human nature and the death it was fashioned in, being born in ignorance of the ways of God casting them all in the fire to be burned, burying them in baptism, never to pick them up again. Then by renewing our minds to the ways of righteousness and Godliness we put on the new garments, the new man of holiness wherein is life, true life and that more abundantly.
In Jesus Christ we are now new creations created in Him.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Is it any wonder that God went to such extreme measure to rescue us from sin, why He made it such and urgent demand that we go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to every creature? His desire is that no one should perish in ignorance, but that all should come to repentance. (1 Peter 3:9)
Rather than wearing the rags of poverty, depravity and death, God desires that we, His children, would all be clothed in Christ, in the garments of salvation (Isaiah 61:10) and the garments of praise, (Isaiah 61:3) dressed in the full armor of God, (Ephesians 6:11,13) clothed in righteousness, (Isaiah 61:10) adorned with a meek and quite spirit, (1Peter 3:4) clad with zeal as a cloke, (Isaiah 59:17), clothed with humility (1Peter 5:5) arrayed in the glory of His presence with us and in us.
“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one…” John 17:22
What we choose to wear is a reflection of who and whose we are.