Paul has just described the terrible state of many people who do not know Christ. In particular, many of the members of Ephesusís church were in that state before they became Christians. They were doing evil things on purpose; they lost any desire to do what is right and good. However, then God sent Paul to Ephesus, and Paul taught them about Christ.
In fact, Paul did not only teach them about Christ. Rather, Paul taught them how they themselves could know Christ. He urged them to turn from their evil deeds and to invite Christ into their lives. Because of Christís death, God can forgive our evil deeds. He wants to give us a new kind of life where Christ - and not our evil desires - directs our life. It is truly wonderful to live in the way that God wants. It is very terrible when our evil desires control our lives.
However, wrong and evil desires continue to tempt even loyal Christians. It can seem so attractive to please ourselves, even when we must do something wrong to do that. However, it can never be right or good to do something wrong (Romans 12:21). So, Christians need to remember how Christ has taught them to live. With Christís help, they can refuse to follow their former wrong attitudes and evil desires. God wants to give them new thoughts and new attitudes that will please him. Those new attitudes will direct them to do what is truly right and good. Then they will live in this world as Godís holy people, in other words, the people who belong to God (4:22-24).
Next part: The truth that is in Jesus (Ephesians 4:21)
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© 2018, Keith Simons.