Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 4

The right and the wrong way for people to live

Ephesians 4:17-19

The description that Paul gives, of a life without God, is truly awful (4:17-19). There are many people who only want to satisfy their own selfish desires. They choose on purpose to do evil things. They are completely unwilling to change their attitudes or their behaviour. They are like people who have decided on purpose to leave a safe path, in order to follow a dangerous one. In the end, they may even become unable to recognise what is right or good. Their life is nothing like the kind of life that God gives.

So, Paul tells the Christians in Ephesus, and all his readers: ‘you must not live like that.’ Perhaps formerly, before they became Christians, some of them did live like that. However, when a person becomes a Christian, his life changes completely (2 Corinthians 5:17). Christ even described it as a new birth (John 3:3-6). Christians are the children of God (John 1:12-13). Therefore, they must be very careful about how they live (Matthew 5:43-48). Their desire should be to please God in everything that they do (2 Corinthians 5:9). Therefore, their actions, words and even their thoughts must be different (4:22-32).

Of course some people who are not yet Christians behave in a moral and right manner (Romans 2:14-15). Their actions and attitudes prove that there truly is a right and proper way for people to behave. Christians should always remember, with grateful hearts, how kind God has been to them. So, they should study carefully the right way to live (Psalm 1:1-3); and they should choose gladly to live in that manner.

Next part: The new life of a person who knows Christ (Ephesians 4:20)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.