"Do’s and Don’ts"

Preached by on June 12, 2016
— From the series,

When God enters a person, he changes their spiritual DNA. God comes into our lives and cleans us up from the inside out.

Spiritual Dos and Don’ts

(Eph. 4:25-32)

Intro:

A.  DNA.  We hear about it in the news to help determine if a person was somehow connected to some crime scene.  We hear about it when talking about archeology.  We hear about when people start talking about cloning.  But DNA is a strand within most every cell in living organisms that tell our hereditary make up.  In essence, it is that in you which defines you as to who are.

B. But what about your spiritual DNA.  What is it within you spiritually that defines who you are?  Paul makes the same type of statement in several place:

1.  Rom. 6:4

2.  1 Cor. 6:11

3.  2 Cor. 5:17

C. Here is the point.  When you became a Christian you became “born again” (John 3:30).  That is a new life.  That new life is life given by the Spirit of God.  Paul would state it this way in Rom. 8:11.

D.  When God enters a person he changes their spiritual DNA.  God comes into our lives and cleans us up from the inside out.  When a person is baptized into Christ, God they become a new creation.  As a new creation we must learn what aspects of our “old self” needs to die and what it means to “put on” our new self.

E.  If we are not careful what we might find happening to us is like the parable that Jesus told.  Remember when he said that a demon possessed man was clean, and the demon left him.  The house (the man’s life) was empty, he did not put anything in himself, so the demon came back and brought seven other demons with him, and it was worse for that man then before. (Matt. 12:43-45)

F.  Will you sin after becoming saved?  YES.  Should sin reign in you and control you?  NO.  Paul has taught the Christians in Ephesus about some deep spiritual doctrines, but now he want to them to know how to live those truths.

 

I.  Falsehood

A.  Verse 25.  Lying is a sin.  We seek hard to justify our lies.  We try to use Bible examples like Rahab and say, “Well, if lying helps others people, then it is okay to lie.”  It actually sounds good, but when compared with what the Bible teaches on the subject of lying, it is wrong.  In Rev. 21:8, God gives a list of people who will be thrown into the lake of fire (Hell).  That list ends with the phrase, “and all liars.”  When you read about the seven things God hates in Prov. 6, you find that a lying tongue is one of those seven.  Jesus called some of the Jews children of the Devil because they were liars like the Devil who is the father of all liars.  Don’t kid yourself, lying is destructive and will lead you down a pathway of ruin.

B.  Famous American Fibs: The check is in the mail. I’ll start my diet tomorrow. We service what we sell. Give me your number and the doctor will call you right back. Money cheerfully refunded. One size fits all. This offer limited to the first 100 people who call. I need just need five minutes of your time.

 

II.  Anger

A.  Verses 26-27.  Anger is an emotion that flares up when we feel injustice has taken place.  It a part of the self-preservation mechanism within.  You hurt me, those I love, or innocent people and my anger begins to surface.

B.  Here is the problem.  Anger gives a foothold to Satan.  While I don’t lose my emotions when I am saved, I don’t let my emotions rule my actions.

C.  When I hold on to my anger it allows Satan an opportunity to help lead me to act upon it in a way that hurts others. The idea of not letting the sun go down on our wrath is that when anger is left without resolution of confrontation and a desire for forgiveness, it will lead for more opportunities to bring about sin.

D.  Aristotle said, “Anyone can become angry.  But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – this is not easy.”  AMEN!

 

III.  Stealing vs Sharing

A.  Verse 28.  One of the 10 Commandments that gets restated in the NT is “Thou shall not steal.”  The idea of taking something from someone else for personal gain is sin. God says to stop stealing and instead work with his own hands.  The idea that God teaches us is that personal hard work brings about an honest wage that can be used to help others.  Lazy Christians are seen in a similar light.  2 Thes. 3:10, “if anyone does not work, he should not eat.”  A Jewish rabbinical teaching was, “If you do not teach your son a trade, you teach him to be a thief.”

B.  The motive behind a working is not simply to gain riches for yourself.  Paul says in our text that with personal gain comes the ability to share with those in need.  As our Lord said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

 

IV.  Unwholesome Language

A.  Verses 29.   When you speak, how much of your words are thought out and how much are simply spewed out?  The words we say cannot be taken back, and many times, will not be forgotten.  While someone might forgive you for your evil and mean spirited words, they may not feel comfortable around you for fear you will continue to verbally assault them.  God says that we should change our speech from harming others to helping others.

 

V.  Before and After Picture

A.  Verses 30-32.  It has been said that an unforgiving spirit is the devil’s playground.  When someone hurts us we need to learn to forgive.  Not so much because that one deserves it, in fact, they probably don’t.  We seek to learn to forgive them because it brings peace in our own spirit and is an example of what God has done in Christ for us.

B.  Learning to forgive like Christ forgave is extreme and many never achieve that level.  Yet, when we look at our own lives, and see how much we have hurt God by our sin, and yet depend upon his grace and mercy to forgive us and let us spend eternity in heaven, then we might begin the process of learning to let go of the evil in us caused by the harm of others and begin to forgive.

 

Conclusion:

A.  Take home this one thought:  The Holy Spirit of God is within you as proof that you are a child of God.  Everything you think, say, do, and feel is seen before God.  Paul simply stated in verse 30, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.”  As a Christian we have the confidence that “he who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

B.  The Hebrew writer says that we should throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us.  Then we are told to “fix our eyes on Jesus” so that we can run our race as he did while on earth.

C.  Run the race.  Get rid of the negatives that pull you down.  Live free in Christ and experience the joy of righteousness.  If you are in need of someone to talk to, pray with or share a burden, I hope you will find someone in this family that is righteous and pray with them.  If you are need of this entire congregation to lift you up and pray for your strength, then don’t just sit on that pew thinking you are alone.  I invite you come forward during this song and let us pray with you.  The invitation is yours to accept.  If we can journey with you, then come as we stand and sing.