July 23, 2023

Life Without Christ

Speaker: Jason Whitley Series: Ephesians - The Unsearchable Riches of Christ Topic: Unsearchable Riches in Christ Scripture: Ephesians 4:18–19

Life without Christ

Ephesians 4:18-19

Paul is reminding us what it was like in our old life before Christ, when we were dead in our trespasses and sin.  He describes what "dead in sin" is and looks like. Each point can be described in three, one-word descriptions.

  1. Vain
  2. Darkened
  3. Impure

The source of our problems begin with the mind (heart) -- our thinking. The cause of our problems is an internal issue not just external issues we face.  It’s not our upbringing, culture, environment, or even behavior itself — although that is part of the problem.  

VAIN - Isn't a flattering description, it indicates futility, emptiness.  Literally means worthless.  We humans like to be impressed with ourselves and the abilities we have. But this is really a grim description of humanity.  

Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 describes all of life as vanity of vanities - all is vanity. Why would anyone say this?! Verse 14, "I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind." Solomon had been given extensive wisdom, etc.  but he didn’t always live for the glory of God - for a time apart from God.  But his end conclusion in the book -- which is well worth reading through - is that  LIFE IS A GIFT FROM GOD AND NOT A VANITY IF YOU LIVE FOR GOD HIMSELF. In Him, you can find joy and satisfaction.

DARKENED - verse 18: "They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart." The INNER PERSON is in focus because that’s where the problem is.  John Calvin in one of his commentaries stated that we tend too often "to think ourselves as little angels", but the reality is that we are not.

Spiritually blind to God’s grace, attributes, but our mental acuity does not let us see spiritually. Paul shows us in 2 Corinthians 4:4, (a) that in their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God and (b) they are alienated

2 Cor. 4:4 - a) the god of this world has blinded minds of unbelievers from seeing the glory of the Gospel, and b) people are alienated because of the ignorance in them. — self-deluded, choose to be ignorant - because their heart is hardened. They know the truth. They push truth away, hide it, and don’t want to deal with truth. They chose to harden their heart and refuse to turn toward God, as Romans 1:21-23 so aptly describes.  "21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things."

IMPURE - Downward progression begins in heart and travels to outside.  As Proverbs 4:23 reminds us "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life."
Everything outward reflects our heart on inside. Romans 1 continues: 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, ... 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. 

God gave them up to themselves — as man rejects God - so God gives them up. “Have it your own way.”
Living for self and it shows a downward progression--going contrary to nature as God designed it.

Apart from Christ - life for man is meaningless and hopeless.


SEPARATION - We are to separate from our old way of life.  Put old ways off.

EVANGELISM - Stir up within you a renewed desire to share Christ!!!  We are the people who have the solution - it's the Gospel of God.  Sinful man needs REGENERATION - not improved self-behavior or moral reformation.

GRATITUDE - be thankful. How can we not after reading this and all that God did for us.



other sermons in this series