Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 4

God changes even our thoughts and attitudes

Ephesians 4:23

When a person becomes a Christian, that person’s behaviour must change. He must not continue to do the same wrong things that he was doing formerly. Paul compares this in Ephesians 4:22-24 to a person who changes his clothes. He takes off and he puts away his old clothes. He then puts on his new clothes. That is a word-picture of how completely God changes a person’s life (2 Corinthians 5:17). He takes away everything that was wrong and evil in the person’s life; he gives that person a new kind of life, so that the person can serve him properly.

However, Paul’s word-picture about the clothes does not fully express Paul’s thoughts about this matter. When we change our clothes, we only change our outer appearance. In other words, what other people see about us changes; but there is no change to our inner thoughts and attitudes. Of course as Christians we should change our actions, to do what is right and good and holy. However, it is not good enough for that change only to affect what other people see about us. We must not behave well in public, but continue to think evil thoughts. The change that God is making in our lives needs to affect every part of us, including our thoughts and attitudes.

So, God wants to change even the way that we think. The spirit of a person means the inner person, so perhaps ‘the spirit of the mind’ means even a person’s most secret and private inner thoughts. Of course those thoughts must change. Our evil thoughts are the cause of our evil actions (Mark 7:20-23). The person whose thoughts are true, noble and right, does true, noble and right things (Philippians 4:8).

Next part: God is creating a new kind of people (Ephesians 4:24)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.