Ephesians 4:17-24 The New Man.
Thinking and walking are inseparable. It is a common thought in our day for people to say that the truth must travel the distance between the head and the heart, but this is far from the biblical testimony. The fact is, human beings will always walk as they think. The heart will always show itself in words and deeds. When the bible speaks of the heart, it usually refers to one’s core, of one’s emotions for sure, but usually to one’s thinking. Therefore, Paul instructs his readers to no longer walk in the futility of their former way of thinking (v. 17). One is alienated from God when one’s understanding is darkened, it is ignorance because of a blind heart (v. 18 Cf. Rom. 1:21). Again, the heart refers to one’s core, who we really are. It is what we really think and feel, or not (v. 19 Cf. I Tim. 4:2; I Pet. 4:3). Similarly, Christ must be learned from our core (v. 20).
We must not only hear, but we must be taught by Christ, who is the truth itself (v. 21). In order to learn Christ truly, we must put off our former way of thinking, feeling, and doing. Only then will our conduct follow (v. 22). There are really only two kinds of people in the world-the true Christian, and the corrupt. Both these groups will grow, the former more and more into the image of Christ, and the latter according to deceitful lusts (v. 22). Note well, lusts are deceitful-they never deliver what they promise. The latter have “given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” (v. 19) The Christian, on the other hand, is to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” (v. 23 Cf. Rom. 12:2; Col. 3:8-10) This is what it means to put on the new man. It starts with going to the core of one’s thinking. The new man is of God’s creation (v. 24 Cf. Rom. 6:4; 7:6).