No Longer Walking as the Gentiles Walk (v. 17-19)
Because of what Christ has done for you, there is no longer any good reason for you to act like the unsaved Gentile. This is a life characterized by the futile mind, darkened understanding, alienated from God, ignorant, blind, past feeling, lewd, unclean, and greedy. But you are these things “no longer” (v. 14, 17).
As Peter tells us, you’ve spent enough time there (1 Pet. 4:1-3). Now it’s time to be done with the lusts of the world and to give ourselves to the will of God.
Put Off, Put On v. 20-24
The Christian motivation for obedience is the result of understanding who you are (1 Pet. 4:1, Rom. 6:4-7). The lusts that want to rob you of Christ are deceitful. They enslave you by telling you lies. Remembering who you are in Christ will always be one of the most powerful weapons for putting to death the works of the flesh.
But we are called to put off that old, dead man. Put him off and put on the new man in true righteousness and holiness.
The New Man v. 25-32
Remember that we have been seeing Paul continually bring up this image of a “man” or a “body” throughout Ephesians. At one moment this man is Jesus, the incarnate Son of God. But at other moments, the “man” or “body” being described is the church.
When we think of putting on the “new man,” we tend to think of private, spiritual disciplines that happen in the secret places of our hearts. But it is interesting to note the disciplines that Paul lists when we are putting on the “new man.”
Don’t lie to one another. Don’t get angry at one another. Don’t steal from one another. Instead, look for ways to give to each other. Speak with edification to one another. Get rid of bitterness and anger. Forgive one another.
These are all disciplines for living within the corporate body of Christ. The new man that we are putting on is simultaneously Christ and the Church. We shouldn’t pit the individual renewal against the corporate manifestation of this renewal.