Together in Christ: 'Quit It!' — Ephesians 4:17-19

Friday, May 10, 2024

With the Lord's authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

— Ephesians 4:17-19 NLT

Key Thought

When Paul wrote to Christians in Ephesus, he wanted them to stop living like their ungodly and unbelieving neighbors. Their lives had become almost indistinguishable from the materialistic culture around them. So, Paul told them, "Quit it!"

These Asian Christians had spent too much time living like sinful unbelievers and needed to stop. [1] They needed to live holy lives despite the ungodly, sinful, and morally chaotic world around them. The old sinful life was how some of them once WERE. [2] They had to not live that way any longer! So, Paul said in detail who they must NOT be. [3] Paul had taught them to be different from the world around them. [4] God wanted them to be like Christ. [5] Paul challenged the Ephesians Christians to be holy, like their God. [6] They had to quit living like the ungodly culture surrounding them. God wanted to transform them to become more and more like Jesus and receive His eternal blessing. But for that to occur, they had to heed his urgent warning: "Quit it! Quit living like the world and live for Jesus!"

All of Paul's admonitions and desires for the Ephesian Christians are equally applicable today for how we must live.

[1] Paul's admonitions are similar to Peter's in 1 Peter 4:3.
[2] 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
[3] Ephesians 4:17-31, 5:3-5.
[4] Ephesians 4:32, 5:1-2.
[5] Ephesians 4:20-24.
[6] Leviticus 11:44-45; Ephesians 1:4; Hebrews 12:14-15, 1 Peter 1:15-16, 2:9-10; Revelation 22:11.

Today's Prayer

"Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God's grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ." Amen. [A]

[A] This blessing prayer comes from the close of Paul's letter, Ephesians 6:23-24.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:9-11, 16-18
  • Ephesians 2:1-10, 5:3-21

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Illustration

Illustration of Ephesians 4:17-19 NLT — With the Lord's authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.