SLASB Ephesians Sampler - Flipbook - Page 11
But that isn’t what you learned about Christ.
21 Since you have heard about
Jesus and have
learned the truth that comes from him, 22throw
off your old sinful nature and your former way
of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.
23Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and
attitudes. 24Put on your new nature, created to
be like God—truly righteous and holy.
25So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors
the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.
26And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”*
Don’t let the sun go down while you are still
angry, 27for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
28If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use
your hands for good hard work, and then give
generously to others in need. 29Don’t use foul
or abusive language. Let everything you say be
good and helpful, so that your words will be an
encouragement to those who hear them.
30And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit
by the way you live. Remember, he has identified
you as his own,* guaranteeing that you will be
saved on the day of redemption.
31Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh
words, and slander, as well as all types of evil
behavior. 32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God
through Christ has forgiven you.
Living in the Light
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you
do, because you are his dear children. 2Live
a life filled with love, following the example of
Christ. He loved us* and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
3Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity,
or greed among you. Such sins have no place
among God’s people. 4Obscene stories, foolish
talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you.
Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5You
4:26 Ps 4:4. 4:30 Or has put his seal on you. 5:2 Some manuscripts
read loved you.
4:21‑24 Old and New We have abandoned the old way of
life that we followed before we believed in Christ and have
left it completely in the past. Therefore, we should leave sin,
shame, and regret behind us like old clothes to be thrown
away. When we accept Christ’s gift of salvation (2:8‑10), it
requires both a once-for-all-time decision and a daily, conscious commitment. We must no longer be driven by our old,
sinful desires and impulses. Instead, we must put on our new
nature, dress for holy action, head in a new direction, and take
up the new way of thinking that the Holy Spirit gives us (also
see Colossians 3:5‑17).
4:26‑27 The Danger of Anger The Bible doesn’t tell us not
to get angry—anger is just an emotion, neither good nor bad.
But we need to be sure our anger doesn’t control us. If we let
anger lead us into lashing out, we can easily hurt others. If
we keep anger bottled up inside, it will make us bitter and decrease our ability to connect with others. Paul tells us to deal
with our anger immediately, and we should look for ways to
do so that will build relationships rather than destroying them.
What are spiritual
gifts? How do I know if
I have one—or what it is?
• When Jesus ascended into heaven to sit at the
right hand of the Father, he sent the Holy Spirit to
be his empowering presence with his disciples. It’s
through the Holy Spirit that Christians are included
in the current, active work of God. (For more on the
Holy Spirit, see page 1309.)
• One thing the Holy Spirit does is give special abilities to Jesus’ followers so that Christians can love
and serve each other through more than human
strength. Spiritual gifts are specific things the
Holy Spirit supernaturally empowers and
equips members of Christ’s body to do to fur‑
ther God’s Kingdom work.
• Spiritual gifts aren’t just talents or natural abilities,
although they may coordinate with other abilities
God has given us and skills we have learned. In
his gift giving, the Holy Spirit doesn’t discriminate
based on gender, race, or any other factor. And we
can’t choose or earn or work to get spiritual gifts—
they’re God’s choice for us, distributed for the good
of his people.
• Everyone who has turned to God to be forgiven for
their sin and has been baptized into his family—
everyone who is in Christ—has the Holy Spirit to
lead, guide, and empower them. This means that
every believer has at least one spiritual gift.
Often, people have more than one.
• The New Testament gives us a few lists of spiritual
gifts that are all slightly different. Paul names various spiritual gifts in Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians
12:4-11, 28; and Ephesians 4:11.
• One way to discover our spiritual gifts is to
serve the church in many different ways and
pay attention to the particular areas where
we feel especially alive and fruitful. Another is
to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and see if any gifts
resonate with us when we read the lists of spiritual
gifts in the New Testament. We can also ask trusted
Christian friends, mentors, and pastors to help us
discover our spiritual gifts. Often, other people
can identify how the Holy Spirit might be
working in and through our lives.
• Since the very beginning of the church, Christians
have disagreed about how to understand spiritual
gifts and how to put them into practice. But the gifts
of the Spirit are meant to help us work together.
What we have in common is much more significant
than what separates us. As Paul says, “There is one
body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to
one glorious hope for the future” (Ephesians 4:4).
• Paul says repeatedly in his teachings on spiritual
gifts that the one really vital thing is to love one
another, regardless of which gifts we have. If
we forget to use our gifts to love each other, then we
might as well not have them (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).