What is the Meaning of Ephesians 4.17-20

“What Are They Thinking?” Don’t live like unbelievers

Ephesians 4:17-20

INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 4.17-20 :

Turn in your Bibles to Eph. 4. Our text will be verses 17-20. In the summer of 2000 as a lost person, I visited my sister at Bob Jones University in Greenville so Carolina. I had been attending Southern Illinois University, in Carbondale Illinois. I was taking summer school and working as a research assistant for graduate students at Southern Illinois University.

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I visited Bob Jones University for a week. During that time, the Lord regenerated my heart and save me from the power and the penalty of my sin. I returned to southern Illinois University with a sermon series on Ephesians 4:17-24.

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And I would listen to this sermon series at one of the libraries at Southern Illinois University. This university had approximately 25,000 students when I was attending. And what I would do is to take the elevator and climb to the 5th or 6th flight and listen to this series as I looked out the window. I would always know when the bell rang because as I look out the window down the 5 stories I could see all the students heading back to their dorm room or the coffee shop. I would be watching these hundreds of people scurrying in all different directions… And the preacher began to read our text this morning … let’s read Ephesians 4:17-20 17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way,.

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This passage perfectly describes all of those young people I would see below me as I looked out that window and listened to those messages. This university in the earlier part of last decade was considered one of the top party schools in the nation…magazines actually rank these things.

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And the reason it was ranked nationally during this time was because on Halloween, these students would go riot uptown on the strip. School would be canceled on the Friday and Monday of that weekend out of the administration’s hope that the students would just go home.

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One of my lost professors said “How does all this rioting start? I mean, does somebody just say to someone else, ‘Hey, you wanna go riot?’” I saw a picture on the front page of the school newspaper. The picture looks over the shoulder of a a business owner and he is trying to defend his store over a mass of rioters!

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So, I Googled it again recently, like any good preacher does, and I found videos on Youtube of the SIUC riot in 2000 on Halloween, the year I was there as a new believer.

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The street is filled with people, a news article said there were 2,000 people in the streets. The first video was half-way calm, the second one, people started throwing rocks at windows, screaming, body-surfing, and there’s this face-off between these people and the police. The police start spraying what looked like mace into the crowd, yelling “go home.” And in the background, you here this crashing of bottles and windows, and screaming expletives and throwing things at the police, smoke bombs, and firecrackers.

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As we get into the passage this morning, let me just ask…what were they thinking? That’s the title of the message and that’s the question Paul will answer for us. We’ll see that Paul’s point in this passage is not only to explain the unbeliever’s mind, but most importantly he explains their mind so that we don’t live like them!

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Background

Notice the word “walk.” This is the second time this word occurs in chapters 4-6. The word occurs 3 other times in chapter 4-6. The first time this word occurs in these chapters is in Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

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Now, skip to verse 17 and notice the similar wording … Ephesians 4:17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

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And so it could be that Paul had verses 17-20 in mind when he wrote Ephesians 4:1.

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You remember when we studied that passage that we said that the chapters 1-3 are the gospel and chapters 4-6 is the application to the gospel. And we took as our theme for the whole book of Ephesians “The Riches of God’s Grace Empowers Life in Christ.” That’s Ephesians in a nutshell: “The Riches of God’s Grace Empowers Life in Christ.”

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And so because of the riches of God’s grace, we should live a certain way. If we are supernaturally empowered with the gospel, we will live a certain way. And so here in verses 17-24 we have the response to the gospel.

God has seen us in our deplorable condition, with the great sin that has been in our hearts. And God out of his great love sent his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And the Lord Jesus came and kept the entire law of God for us. And he was put to death by godless men. And in doing so out of the great wisdom of God, Christ paid the entire penalty for your sin, yes, even the sin that you committed this past week. And he was raised the third day from the dead proving that that sacrifice was indeed received by God the Father. And he was seen alive after His death by many of the Lord’s chosen people.

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Have you trusted Jesus for salvation? If you have, the His kindness of God has lead you to repentance, even though you would sin against God, even to His face.

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And because of the redemption, election, your adoption into His family, sanctification, and the future glorification … Because of all of these truths, Paul by the power of the Holy Spirit can exhort us this morning no longer to live like the unbelieving world lives. To say there is a huge difference between the unbeliever and believer is an understatement.

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Walk

And so when Paul commands us in verse 17 and not to walk like you the Gentiles walk, he commands us not to live like they live. Your walk is your lifestyle, your way of living.

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It’s like the saying goes, “your talk talks and your walk walks but your walk talks louder than your talk talks.” Actions speak louder than words. Your walk then is your way of life, your actions. Your children will learn more by how you live than by what you say. You cannot say “do as I say not as I do.” Your life teaches your children as much or more than your words.

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We all know unsaved people. And many of us can remember what it was like to be someone who was not saved. Your unsaved family and friends are described in this passage this morning in verses 17-19. You before, you came to Christ are described in verses 17-19.

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So when you talk to your nice, polite, happy unsaved neighbors their mind is described right here in these verses. So when you see seemingly morally upright people and yet they reject your witness….and they are wonderful people … What’s the difference between their thinking and the thinking of someone who has been saved, regenerated?

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Basically, with these folks, “What are they thinking?” Let’s see if we can find out the answer to that.

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So, in verses 17-18 we have the nature of the unregenerated person. These verses describe the thinking of the unbeliever. And in verse 19 we have his practice. Because of the way he is in his heart, that is the way that he lives. Verses 17 to 18 is his heart and verse 19 is his lifestyle.

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And Paul’s point in this passage is we don’t have the same heart so we must not have the same lifestyle.

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  1. The Old Nature (Eph. 4:17-18)
    1. Paul solemnly exhorts them in the Lord

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First, notice how Paul tells them that this is no light matter.

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Ephesians 4:17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, …

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Paul is saying, “I’m about to command you about something. And I am connecting my command with the Lord Jesus himself. Just like one who is in the presence of the Lord Jesus himself I solemnly charge you…

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Imagine having somebody tell you, “I command you in connection with the Lord Jesus that you ….” And you say “that I what, that I what!” Keep reading…

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Ephesians 4:17 …that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

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Paul exhorts them not to live like people who do not intimately know the riches of God’s grace (v.17a)

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God’s people who have received the riches of His grace are not to live like the “Gentiles.” You must not have a life that is like “the Gentiles.” In other words, don’t live like unbelievers.

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TRANS: What causes unbelievers to live the way they do? They may seem morally upright but are not saved. Or they may live like those people at Southern Illinois University. Either way, why do they live the way they do?

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The unbeliever’s lifestyle is the fruit of what is already in his heart. The unbeliever’s thinking produces the way he lives.

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C. The Unbelievers Mind Causes the Unbelievers Lifestyle (vv.17-18)

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In verses 17-18, Paul describes the unbelievers’ heart. He describes their mind. Let’s read these verses and look at the words that describe the mind …

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Ephesians 4:17-18 17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

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At the end of verse 17: mind; understanding verse 18 and ignorance and at the end of verse 18, “hardness of heart.” So clearly Paul is discussing their inner man, their heart, their way of thinking.

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TRANS: Let’s take the first one, end of v. 17, the Gentiles live in the “futility of their mind.”

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This phrase describes the moral failure of the unbelieving mind. The phrase “futility of their mind” describes the moral failure of the Gentile mind. The moral failure of the Gentile mind.

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  1. The Moral Failure of the Gentile Mind (v. 17)

And this is the overarching reason why they live the way that they do. The reason that they live the way that they do is because their mind has failed to produce thinking that lives up to God’s moral standards.

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This is the main point of these verses. Everything in vv. 18-19 are reasons for why they fail morally.

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The futility of the mind here refers to a moral failure of the mind.

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Meaning of Futility – What it Doesn’t Mean

I’m going to prove that now. To do so, let’s discuss the meaning of the word futility. Futility of the unbelieving mind obviously does not refer to their minds being …

  1. empty’ –the Gentile mind isn’t empty, it’s filled with godless thinking. They are not intellectually unproductive. No, they are productive. In fact, their minds, intellectually speaking, are more productive than most believing minds. Paul writes 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, …; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, …,

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    So, obviously they are productive intellectually speaking. They aren’t stupid in an academic sense. They did better in school they most of us did. So, futility doesn’t mean “empty.”

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  2. Neither is the unbelieving mind ‘pointless’ –as if to say there is no purpose. Their mind has a purpose, they have their purposes for their minds. And God can use their godless purposes for His own glory. So, it’s not like it’s pointless. They have their point for it and God has His point for their minds.

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    Futility – What it Means

    The word “futility” in the NT refers to a failure to achieve a goal. And here, it would refer to the unbelieving mind’s failure to achieve the goal God that gave to it. I could take you to the other passages in the NT and prove that, but you could look up the word and similar words and discover that on your own. [1]

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    It’s best to take futile in the sense of the “failure” the unbelieving mind. It “does not achieve” God’s goal for it. The Gentiles conduct their life all the while their minds are failing to achieve God’s moral standards.

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    They live in the futility of their mind. I’m arguing that mind in this passage …. refers to the morality of the individual. It is used that way in other passages of the NT.

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    The Mind Fails at What?

    Eph. 4:17, it’s the futility of the mind. Often in the context of this word “mind” are very clear references to morality.

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    You could make a note here and put down Ro. 1. Verse 28-29 and then let’s turn there together.

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    In Rom. 1:28-29, Paul writes about unbelievers. He’s going to connect their minds with their lack of righteous living. Paul writes, Romans 1:28-29 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do (see, there is the connection…the mind is connected to what we do. Everyone does what they do because their heart is the way that it is….God gave them over to a depraved mind to do … ) those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, etc. …

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    So, God has given certain individuals over to a depraved what? A depraved mind, a mind that is crooked … it refuses to see God’s moral requirements as good. So the mind plays a key role in the morals of an individual. That’s the point in Ephesians 4. “the futility of the mind.”

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    ILL: It’s like when you hear about someone and they are acting wickedly, not like everyone else is, I mean this guy is just really bad, demonic almost, committing unimaginable evils like in my opening story and you think, “Wow, what was that guy thinking?” That’s the idea here, except the Greeks would say, “Wow what is that guy’s mind?” My point is that in Scripture, the mind and moral living are tied together. You can’t discuss the mind without discussing that mind’s moral living.

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    We’re going to come back to Romans 1, so you could be ready for that. But for now, let’s go back to Ephesians 4.

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    The topic of moral living is also in verse 19. Ephesians 4:19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

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    So, it’s the Gentiles’ minds that have failed to achieve God’s standard of morality. What’s God’s standard of morality for the human mind? The divine standard of the mind, morally speaking, for all humanity is to perceive God’s moral revelation and to do it. God’s standard for our mind is that we perceive God’s moral revelation and to do it. Anything less is to fall short of glorifying God!

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    To live in the futility of the mind is to fail to achieve God’s moral standard.

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TRANS: Unbelievers live out the futility of their mind, i.e., in their mind, they fail to reach God’s moral standard and they live the way they do. But why? Why has the unbeliever’s mind failed to reach God’s moral standard? Paul will now give 3 reasons why the Gentile mind has failed to reach God’s moral standard.

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II. Three reasons why the unbelieving mind has failed to achieve God’s moral standard

They are all in verse 18. Look at verse 18 …

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  1. Unbelievers have a darkened understanding [that’s one reason why the Gentile mind has failed to reach God’s moral standard … another reason the unbelieving mind has failed to reach God’s moral standard is because … ]
  2. They are excluded from the life that God gives [and thirdly … ]
  3. The hardness of their heart

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    Those are all reasons why the mind of someone who has NOT repented of their sin and trusted Christ fails morally and cannot please God, no matter how righteous they seem to be. Everything they do is filthy, no matter how much they seem to be more righteous than you. You can’t have a darkened understanding, be excluded from the life of God, and have a hard heart and expect to achieve God’s moral goals for your mind.

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    Paul builds his case in verse 18 as to why the unbelieving mind fails to live up to God’s moral standards.

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    ILL: And the way that he does is kind of like what it’s like to have a 5 year old asking “why” to everything you say. “Why does it rain?” It’s because the clouds get heavy with water. “Why do the clouds get heavy water?” Because water from the oceans, lakes and rivers evaporates into the sky. “Why does water evaporate?” Um … do I have to explain the whole hydrological process?

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    Well, in our passage, you are the child, and you’re inquiring of God “Why do unbelievers think this way?”

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    Paul says …. Look at verse 17 at the end …. “the Gentile mind is futile … it fails to reach God’s moral standard. “Why?” you ask. Why is it futile; why does it fail to reach God’s moral standard?

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    1) v. 18, unbelievers fail to reach God’s moral requirements because they have a dark understanding. “Really? Why do they have a dark understanding ?”

    2) B/c the verse says they are excluded … cut off from the life of God. “Really? Why are they cut off from God’s life?”

    3) Well, Paul says … because of the ignorance in them. Really? How did that get there?

    4) verse 18 at the end … the hardness of their heart.

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    And the hardness of their heart is why in verse 19 they are morally callous. … they can’t feel the sinfulness of what they do anymore.

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    TRANS: So why has Gentile mind failed to achieve God’s moral standard? Because, #1…

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    The unbelieving mind is darkened in its understanding .

    The unbelieving mind is darkened in its understanding (v. 18)

    We’re talking about the unbeliever’s mind’s understanding. This word refers to the process of thinking, the reasoning process, understanding. The understanding in this passage is the ability to come to a proper moral conclusion. Their moral reasoning process is darkened. Of course, this is, metaphorically speaking, in contrast to someone who has been spiritually enlightened.

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ILL (Allegory of the Cave): It’s like everyone who has not turned from sin and trusted Christ for salvation is living out their lives chained inside a cave, facing a blank wall. There’s a fire behind them and objects are passing in front of that fire. And so shadows are projected onto the wall. Unbelievers are watching these shadows and they are trying to guess what those things are on the wall, not even knowing they are shadows. That’s a picture of reality for the unbeliever. And that’s all they know about reality, they are just observing what they think is real, but in actuality, everything is a mere shadow.

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But the one who has trusted Jesus has an enlightened mind, your chains have fallen off, and it’s like you’re a prisoner set free. You can see that those things on the wall are just shadows. Not only that, you can see what or who is making those shadows.

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What would evangelism look like inside that cave? “Look, I’m telling you, you’re only looking at shadows, that’s not even reality that you see there.” “Oh no, can’t you see what I’m seeing? Of course it’s reality, I see it! I see clearly at how nice looking that is, and how it moves on that wall, very attractive.” “No no … you don’t understand … you’re in the dark on this ….let me tell you I used to see what you’re seeing, but now I see something infinitely more wonderful! Just let me cut off your chains.” “Oh no, then I wouldn’t be able to look at these things moving on this wall…”

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That’s an example of how that prisoner in the cave is totally incapable of making his reasoning process come to the right conclusion. He can’t see chained up in the dark. That’s the unbeliever. Why does his mind fail to achieve God’s moral standards? Because his moral reason processes are in the dark.

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TRANS: So, the Gentile mind has failed to reach God’s moral standard because, number one, it is darkened in its understanding. Why are they in darkness morally speaking?

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The unbelieving mind is excluded from the life of God (v. 18)

Why is the unbelieving mind dark? Because verse 18 they are …

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Ephesians 4:18 … excluded from the life of God

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The unbelieving mind always fails to reach God’s moral standard b/c of its position before God. Unbelievers are excluded from the life of God.

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The life of God refers to the “Life that God Gives” …

So the unbeliever is cut off, entirely separated from, what? The life of God, meaning not they are cut off from God’s existence. It means that unbelievers are cut off from the life that God gives.

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For believers, the Spirit of the eternal God dwells in your heart! You have received life from God! Eternal life. But if you are separated from God, you have no spiritual life in you, you have not received the life that only God can give. It is only that new life in Christ that can empower your mind in such a way to truly please God with a proper, moral life.

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TRANS: Well, but … why are they excluded from the life that God gives? I mean, whose fault is that, right? Paul explains that it’s due to … v. 18 …to the ‘ignorance that is in them.’ They are excluded from the life that God gives because of the ignorance that is in them. It is their own fault, it is due to the ignorance that is in them.

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Ignorance Defined: When we think of ignorance, we often think of someone who is totally foolish –“what an ignoramus.” We think of that as less than Christian. It’s often an insult of somebody’s level of intelligence. That’s not what Paul has in mind here. Being ignorant here is failing to perceive the facts.

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And this ignorance is “within them” it’s inside of their heart/mind. Spiritual ignorance is clearly a purposeful ignorance, it’s clearly self-deception b/c of what Romans 1 says…

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Let’s go back to Romans 1. Let’s read from verse 18. Spiritual ignorance is clearly a purposeful ignorance, it’s clearly self-deception. Romans 1 teaches that the ignorance in each unbeliever is self-deception. They are purposefully deceiving themselves.

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Romans 1:18-23 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, [they hold down the truth how? With their unrighteousness. Unbelievers never turn away from the truth because of intellectual reasons. They might say that with their lips, but Paul says no, they turn away from the truth by using their unrighteousness … they love their sin and hate the truth … and it is because of the very fact that when they hear the truth, they turn away from it … Anyway keep reading … they suppress the truth with their unrighteousness … ] 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God [they knew Him! But instead, they made a moral choice … ], they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

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TRANS: You can see the willful ignorance? They willingly suppress the truth with the love of their sin and make morally reprehensible choices. What are these people thinking, right? What would make someone want to willfully disregard the truth? Let’s go back to Ephesians 4 for the answer … What would make someone want to willfully reject the truth? Paul explains the reason for the ignorance that is in them.

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Reason for the ignorance: it’s their, end of v.18 … Hardness of heart

They are willfully ignorant because of their hardness of heart.

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ILL: The word “hardness” here can refer to what happens after a broken bone begins to heal. After a bone breaks and begins to heal, it begins to petrify in order to reunite the broken bones.

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So in the unbeliever’s mind, it’s like something broke in there, and his mind was layered with something that keeps the revelation of God and His will from penetrating so as to save them.

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An unbeliever’s mind is unable to respond to the demands of God. But what “broke” in him? Well, the unbeliever is presented with truth, like Ro. 1 “his clearly seen visible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature” …they are presented with that truth and although they knew God, they made a sinful choice and choose not to honor him. They are presented with the Gospel or the fact that their sin is in direct rebellion against an Almighty God and they reject these truths because they love their sin … and they are adding another layer of hardened reasoning on top of their heart … that God would have to penetrate in order to save them.

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TRANS: Gentiles walk verse 17 in the futility of their mind. The mind of the unbelieving fails to reach God’s moral goal. Why is that? Well, verse 18 their understanding has been darkened. But why has their understanding been darkened? It is because they have been excluded or cut off from the life that God gives. Why have they been excluded from that? Is God responsible for that? No, they are excluded from the life eternal life that God gives because of the willful ignorance that is in them.

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And they continue to be ignorant because they have been hardening their hearts continually. They are exposed to truth or their conscience convicts them of their sin and they hold down that truth by continuing to love their sin.

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And now each unbeliever has a hardened heart to a certain degree. And so verse 19, this all leads somewhere. The unbeliever now has a calloused mind.

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And now they do what they and they don’t blush anymore. They have no sickness in their heart over their sin ….

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And that’s why they can get to the point where they want to work uncleanness, greedily…they long for more and more filth. So what are they thinking?

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They hardened their heart and they willfully became ignorant of universally known facts about creation and the existence of God. This explains why they are not saved, they are excluded from the eternal life that God gives! Without that life of salvation, they go seeking to replace it with a life of damnation.

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CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 4.17-20

1 Corinthians 6:11 And …such were some of you; but you [are] washed, but you [are] sanctified, but you [are] justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

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…if you have trusted Christ alone.

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Ephesians 4:20 You did not learn Christ in that way …

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If you have learned of Christ, your mind now has the opportunity to fulfill the original moral purpose for which it was created. Your mind isn’t darkened, it’s illuminated by the Spirit of God! You are becoming more and more open to the truth because God is teaching you not to harden, but to humble your heart and, by God’s wonderful grace, you are a recipient of eternal life from God! So, you b/c of God’s work in your life should feel that you cannot and must not be able to live like the unbeliever. Many of them are so greedy for sensuality, but you’ve got a fountain of joy inside your heart!

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They desire and lust and seek for more and more rebellion against God, all the while they may or may not seem outwardly righteous. This is human depravity. War, murder, violence. We could give story after story of the gruesome and depraved heart. And at the same time, if you can believe it, we live in a society that believes that man is basically good.

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So do you think this passage is too negative? Does this really describe your nice, unsaved friends? One of the things that should encourage us about the truth of Scripture is that it indeed gets the human condition right. The Bible explains the human heart perfectly. And it explains why we see what we see happening in the world.

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But do we ourselves admit the depth of our own depravity? This heart …this same wicked heart and it’s capabilities is in you. Do we really see that Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

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“As a believer, can you really say with all sincerity … I’m not perfect!” Are you kidding me, you’re far from perfect in God’s sight! Your heart?

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Do we understand that there is nothing more deceitful in our existence than our own hearts? There is nothing else that we could see with our eyes touch with our hands see, hear or talk with that is more deceitful than our own hearts. Our hearts lie to us. They deceive us. Our hearts are desperately sick. It’s not that our hearts have cold or we just have a bad case of the sniffles you know, “I’m not perfect; I have a few shortcomings…” No, our hearts are so wicked that it’s like we have cancer, heart disease, AIDS, and our main arteries are all bleeding, and we were in a horrible accident … . We are desperately sick! this is the human condition; this is your heart.

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And the sin that is committed against God in this condition is of such a degree that it deserves eternal separation from God in hell and the Lake of fire.

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Because the human heart is the way that it is as we’ve been speaking about this morning, it will not be solved with a few gimmicks. We can’t trick ourselves into not being angry. We can’t do certain exercises to rid ourselves of our sinful heart.

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No, it’s going to take a brand-new heart! And only God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ can give that new heart to make that person a new creature in Christ Jesus. Ask Him for that, If you haven’t.

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And for those of us who have trusted Christ and God has given us a new heart, we are commanded in verse 20 not to live like those unbelievers.

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So let me apply that specifically in this way: is the design of your life like the unbelieving life except without heinous sin? Do you do what you do for the same reasons that the unbeliever does what he does? Why do you raise your kids, why do you do the job that you do? Is it really …. Really, is it really true of you that you are desiring to do everything for the glory of God?

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The same heart that is described in this passage is the same heart that is in you if you were to be left by yourself away from God. This is the old person in you. That ought to humble us.

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APP: And because our hearts are desperately sick like this and we have the sin nature still in us and because our hearts are deceitful more than anything else, be careful when you like something that has no obvious connection to Scripture. I like this this? Why do I? You should immediately doubt whether you should continue liking that. This is really something God wants you to enjoy? And how do you know? “It’s in my heart to like it, you say.” Your heart has a pile of manure in it, are you sure you want to like that?

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APP: And because our minds are this way, it demands that we learn how to think. If God has regenerated your heart, he is working on you to think better. God is working on you to think through the Scripture. He wants you to learn how to put everything through a biblical sieve, sifting out the bad and just the ‘ok’ and to cling to excellent things.

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Thinking God’s thoughts takes prayerful study, diligence, and with a heart that knows it is searching for lost treasure. Let nothing get in your way of your pursuit of the knowledge of God. And let the grim picture today motivate you. Don’t trust your own heart, trust what God’s Word says.

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476 “May the mind of Christ” speaking of our mind today, we need Christ’s mind in us.

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  1. Futile – The meaning of “Failure” Proven

    This is what it means in 1 Co. 15:17, Paul says, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is worthless or futile…[or vain in the KJV. It’s the same word here.] In other words, if Christ wasn’t raised, our faith is worthless, what does that mean? It doesn’t accomplish its goal. What’s the original goal of expressing Christian faith…keep reading…If Christ has not been raised, your faith does not accomplish its original goal…] ye are yet in your sins.” So, your goal when you expressed faith in Christ is, what? That your sins get forgiven by God. So, the Gentile mind does not reach God’s standard. See also Ro. 8:20.

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