Ephesians 4:17-19

Walk of a Clear Mind

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. Ephesians 4:17-19

Ephesians was written from Paul to the church in Ephesus. This is for Believers who are past the beginning stage of their walk with God and are looking to get deeper into the spiritual things of God, Christians who are advancing further down the path of their walk with God.

To “affirm together with the Lord” is to testify about what God has done in your life by living life the way a born again person should live, bearing fruit worthy of repentance. Basically, this means being set apart from the sinful world, sanctified by your relationship with God, not just calling yourself a Christian and acting no different than a person who doesn’t know God at all.

Gentiles, sometimes Gentiles means any person who is not a Jew and sometimes it means any person who is outside the covenant of God and is hostile toward God. This plural Greek word ethnē also means Gentile Believers. Most of the church of Ephesus were Gentile Believers. Very few Jews there converted to the truth.

Gentiles are basically any person who makes up part of the whole of worldly culture, people who can be any race, any gender, any religion, and denomination, any person who does not know God and walks according to their own will instead of walking according to the will of God.

Gentile Believers here are those who claim to be Christians, but they act like they are not Christians. There is no difference between them and the world, they drink, they party, they sin, they indulge in alternative lifestyles or they agree with those who do. Paul said, “Don’t do that.”

On the other hand, for those who walk together with God, there is no difference between Jew and Greek, all people are equal who walk with God. Jesus came to earth to save all people, that is one of the main points when Jesus fed the 5,000 and when He fed the 4,000. Both of these similar events that happened so close together are God saying He came to save all people who are hungry for Him.

The 5,000 were mainly Jews and the 4,000 were mainly Gentiles. the 12 baskets left over from Jesus feeding the 5,000 represent the 12 Tribes of Israel and the 7 loaves to start with when feeding the 4,000 and the 7 baskets left over from Him feeding the 4,000 represent Christ’s completed work of salvation for all people hungry for Him, whether Jew, Gentile or any person in between.

“Walking in the futility of their mind” is living life aimlessly, being worldly, practicing vanity. A futile person is a self centered person who lives life chasing their own happiness rather than living life for the purpose God put them on earth, having a relationship with Him.

The mind, our minds are a gift from God, His gift to us that gives us the ability to think and to reason. To a Believer, our mind is the organ that gives us the ability to receive God’s thoughts. Faith is not just believing God exists. Faith is hearing God and responding to what He says. It was that way with Abraham, the father of our faith, and it is that way with us also.

A corrupt mind cannot clearly receive God’s thoughts. God renews our mind for the purpose of giving us His thoughts. This should be the goal of every Believer, to possess the ability within our mind to clearly hear from God. This is done by the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.

“Being darkened in their understanding” is being morally and spiritually blind in a person’s reasoning. This is the product of having a mind that cannot clearly hear God’s thoughts, but instead hears the world’s thoughts, the thoughts of a world influenced by demons and not by God.

Those people who possess a morally corrupt mind are excluded from the life of God. They are not walking in the full potential of God’s blessing because of their ignorance, which is a product of their inability to clearly hear from God. Those of us who clearly hear from God do not walk in ignorance, we hear from God and know what He says.

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“The hardness of their heart” is the Greek word πώρωσις (pórósis) and it means a mind that is incapable of appreciating the things of God, a poor quality mind that cannot grasp the reasoning of God because it cannot clearly hear from God.

In Christian Greek, πώρωσις meant a pre-ordained blindness of heart like Pharaoh when he refused to let the children of Israel go free. This is the heart all humans are born with, and the heart all humans never born again will die with and end up in hell if they never come to know God.

To become callous is to cease to feel the pain of your sin and give yourself over to sensuality, which is where you reject constraint and practice lawlessness, which is anything that feels right, no matter what God says about it. No matter what God says is impure, a person like this will follow their heart and do whatever they think is part of their self.

What Paul is saying here is a person with a corrupt mind will practice greediness. Nothing will truly satisfy the person and the person will live their life chasing their own happiness, but always wanting more and never being truly satisfied, which is why Paul continued this thought with

But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Ephesians 4:20-24

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