Walk Not as Other Gentiles Walk Eph. 4:17-24 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
I have seen a trend throughout my time in the ministry. Young people start out in church and in their teens and early twenties they start walking as other Gentiles walk. I have often tried to figure out why this happens and what to do about it. In our text lies the answer to both questions. We’ll deal with this passage according to this theme: “How to keep from walking as other Gentiles walk.” Yet, before we delve into the “how to” we’ll thoroughly examine how the Gentiles walk.
They walk in the vanity of their mind [Eph 4:17] – every man did that which was right in his own eyes – there is a way that seemeth right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death. Here’s what’s wrong with their mind. Their understanding is darkened [Eph 4:18]. Notice that to depart from evil is understanding – the entrance of thy words giveth light it giveth understanding unto the simple – when anyone heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.
They are alienated from the life of God [Eph 4:18]. Notice that they are lost – they have not the Son of God, therefore they have not life – Jesus came that they may have life and have it more abundantly.
They are ignorant and their hearts are blind [Eph 4:18].
They are past feeling [Eph 4:19]. Their conscience is seared with a hot iron. And because they want to feel something they give themselves over to lasciviousness. They will do all uncleanness [anything that isn’t holy] and they are motivated by greediness.
Look at these examples of how the other Gentiles walk. Brad Pitt had relationships with 12 different women before he married and now he has a relationship with another woman. Matt Damon had relationships with 4 different women before he married and now has a relationship with another woman. Justin Bieber has had relations with 10 different girls. Kim Kardashian lost her virginity when she was 14. She married and then had relationships with at least 7 different men before she married again. Following that marriage, she divorced and married her third husband, Kayne West, who had relationships with 6 different women before marrying Kim. I am reminded of a girl in our first church who was better at scripture memorization than anyone I have ever seen. But she walked as other Gentiles walk and is now in her third marriage.
You have to remember what you’ve learned from the Bible. When Amnon finally lay with Tamar, “the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her,” [2 Sam 13:15]. When David committed adultery with Bathsheba, he lived to regret his sin through the death of three of his sons in his lifetime and a fourth shortly after his death.
So here’s how to walk not as other Gentiles walk:
Learn Christ – Eph 4:20-21 – Let Jesus Christ teach you. In other words, when your parents teach you to obey, your Sunday school teacher teaches you a lesson, or your pastor preaches a Bible sermon, you need to learn Christ, to know and love and understand him; not just about him. In him is truth. Once you know and love him, you will never let anyone take you away from him.
Put off the old man – Eph 4:22 – he’s corrupt according to deceitful lusts – the pleasure of sin is exceedingly temporary yet the heartache lasts a lifetime on this side of glory and for eternity on the other side – David suffered immensely each time one of his sons died as a consequence of his sin – for all of eternity we will know of his sin because it is recorded forever in the eternal words of God.
Be renewed in the spirit of your mind – Eph 4:23 – there’s a spirit associated with your mind in the Gentile walk and a spirit associated with your mind when you get saved – it must be renewed – there is a process of cleansing and healing your mind – the cleansing is like your daily shower – you use soap, a wash cloth, shampoo and water and you never get bored with getting clean – likewise, the spirit of your mind is cleansed with the Bible, preaching and teaching and you should never get bored with this spiritual cleansing.
Put on the new man – Eph 4:24 – the new man is created after God in righteousness and true holiness – concerning the shower illustration above, once you have showered and you are clean, you never put on your old stinky clothes again – likewise, you put on the new man spiritually just as you put on new clothes physically – the life of a new man in Christ is full of growing joy, peace, comfort, satisfaction, purpose, glory, and a depth of love comparable to nothing in the Gentile walk.
Conclusion: Don’t let the walk of other Gentiles draw you into alienation from the life of God and into lasciviousness – it isn’t worth it – learn Christ, put off the old man, be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new man – I would try to help see how wonderful the truth is in Jesus but… you wouldn’t understand would you!